Preview

Raith Rovers head to Galabank this weekend, still in with a chance of reaching the ViaPlay Cup knockout stages.

An excellent bonus point victory at Rugby Park against Kilmarnock on Wednesday evening means the Rovers have taken it to the final game, where a win would give them nine points, and depending on results elsewhere, could be enough to seal one of the three best runners up spots.

Ian Murray’s men could even still win the group, providing they defeat Annan and Kilmarnock drop points to Albion Rovers, but if they can get through, it’ll be just the second time they’ve achieved it since the group stages were reintroduced back in 2016.

They’ve given themselves that opportunity thanks to a fine performance in Ayrshire in midweek.

Trailing to an Innes Cameron goal at the interval, Rovers turned the match on its head in the second half, with goals from Dylan Easton and Liam Dick putting Raith in control.

However, an equaliser from Killie defender Stuart Findlay with 10 minutes remaining meant the match went to penalties where Kevin Dabrowski was the hero – pulling off two fine saves to give Rovers the bonus point.

Saturday’s opponents Annan currently sit bottom of the Group F table, after heavy defeats to Kilmarnock and Dunfermline in their first two outings and a slender 2-1 loss to Albion Rovers last weekend.

The two teams have only met once before in a competitive outing, with Raith winning 3-0 in the semi finals of the Ramsdens Cup at Stark’s Park back in 2013.

Saturday’s match referee will be Scott Lambie.

Reports

Watson and Smith open Rovers goal account at Galabank

The deciding goal in 5 was enough to secure a second place spot in Rovers final Viaplay Cup Group F fixture at Galabank v Annan Athletic on Saturday.

Centre back Keith Watson opened his account to give his new club the lead after a corner in the 11th minute, after a corner into the box was headed out and brought under control by Lewis Vaughan, who set the captain up to rifle the ball past Greg Fleming in the Annan goal.

Josh Galloway equalised for Annan 16 minutes later, after Annan won the ball on the halfway line, allowing Benjamin Luissint to bear down on goal. Liam Dick couldn't stop the skilful number 7 slipping the ball to Galloway who finished clinically.

It was Luissint who turned smartly inside the box to put Annan 2-1 ahead ten minutes later to give Annan a half-time lead.

With the majority of possession, Rovers could feel hard done by to be behind at the break but Annan had been more clinical with their 2 shots on target in the opening half.

Rovers pressure after a half-time team-talk by the management team of Ian Murray and Colin Cameron paid off when a ball out of defence was flicked on by the impressive Josh Mullin for Callum Smith to bear down on Fleming's goal, and the summer signing from Airdrie slotted the ball past the 'keeper for the equaliser.

Rovers then dominated the rest of the second half, with Vaughan’s 79th minute spot-kick (after Liam Dick was fouled in mid-air challenging for another cross ball into the Annan box) fired straight into the goal beyond home goalkeeper Greg Fleming to make it 3-2 and secure Rovers a spot in the second round of the competition.

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Highlights

Interviews

Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after the 2-3 win at Galabank: