Raith Rovers head to Gayfield this Sunday, to take on League One champions Arbroath, live on BBC Alba.

 The Red Lichties have been champions elect for what's felt like months, but they finally sealed their third title in eight seasons last weekend with a 1-1 draw against Brechin City at Glebe Park, sparking jubilant scenes both in the stands, and the pitch!

That point took Dick Campbell's men 13 points clear of Raith with just four games to play, and Rovers will be hoping they can join the Angus side in the Championship next term, by getting through the playoffs.

If they're to head into them with any kind of momentum behind them, their form will need to swing round soon, with Rovers loss to Stranraer last week.

The points between these sides have been split right down the middle this term, with a win apiece and a draw in the three previous meetings.

The first was at Stark’s Park in October, when a late Bobby Linn goal appeared to be enough to give all three points to Arbroath, but an equaliser from Kevin Nisbet meant the match finished level.

Rovers came out on top at Gayfield just before Christmas, when arguably their best performance of the season saw them come out 2-0 winners, thanks to goals from Daniel Armstrong and Liam Buchanan.

That result appeared to lift Raith back into the title race, but the best match between the two very much left them out of it, when Arbroath won 1-0 at Stark’s Park in February, due to Colin Hamilton’s effort.Overall, Rovers have a good record in this fixture, with five wins and four draws from the last 10 meetings.

Saturday's match referee will be Alan Newlands.

Head-To-Head League Record at Arbroath:

Arbroath Wins: 13 | Raith Rovers Wins: 16 | Draws: 4

Arbroath Goals: 55 | Raith Rovers Goals: 56

Current Form:

Arbroath: L-W-D-L-W-D | Raith Rovers: W-L-W-W-D-L

Top Goal Scorers:

Arbroath: Bobby Linn 23 | Ryan Wallace 11 | Michael McKenna 10

Raith Rovers: Kevin Nisbet 28 | Liam Buchanan 12 | Lewis Vaughan 11

Match Odds:

Arbroath: 13/10 | Raith Rovers: 15/8 | Draw: 13/5


Nisbet Brace Earns Point

Raith Rovers and Arbroath shared four goals and the points at Gayfield this afternoon, in a two all draw which wasn’t enough for Rovers to climb back into second place in the table.

In a match which was essentially a microcosm of the season, two pieces of brilliance up front from Kevin Nisbet were undone by hesitancy and slackness at the back, with Rovers relinquishing the lead not once, but twice, through slipshod defending.

Manager, John McGlynn was forced into three changes, with Nathan Flanagan, Nat Wedderburn and Euan Murray all dropping out, with their places taken by Kyle Benedictus, Craig McGuffie and Jamie Gullan.

In all, Rovers were missing seven first-team players, and it was a patched up side which formed the guard of honour that applauded the League One champions onto the Gayfield turf.

Considering the somewhat unusual look to the starting eleven, it was perhaps no surprise that the away side started somewhat timidly, with Dave McKay starting in an unfamilar right full back position.

The young defender was caught out in the second minute, misjudging a cross which allowed Danny Denholm a volleyed attempt at goal that somehow almost went in, but also hit the corner flag and went out for a goal kick.

The away side were having difficulties clearing their lines, and a stramash in the tenth minute appeared to feature umpteen players trying and failing to smash the ball out of the box, before Benedictus was at last able to hoof the ball clear.

However, Arbroath’s game plan was hampered in the 13th minute, when Jason Thomson was forced off through injury.

It left the Red Licthies shorn of one of their main sources of width and attacking impetus, and it allowed the Rovers onto the front foot as the half progressed.

It took them until the 23rd minute to register their first shot at goal, but when it arrived it was a decent one, when Ross Matthews pass was run onto by Liam Buchanan, whose shot from 20-yards was stopped well at his right-hand-post by Darren Jamieson.

Rovers did take the lead four minutes later though, with a strike that was similar to Daniel Armstrong’s effort the last time these two sides met at Gayfield just before Christmas.

Rovers were awarded a free-kick 25-yards from goal, and Nisbet stepped up to ping a superb curling effort past Jamieson and into the top right corner to put Raith one up.

However, the lead was to be short lived.

Just a minute later, it was almost one all after Iain Davidson and Callum Crane managed to career into each other and allow Steven Doris a shot at goal, but his effort was repelled by Dean Lyness.

Two minutes later though, Crane switched off at a throw in and allowed Doris to get to the line and send in a cross, and although Swankie completely missed the ball with his first attempt, Rovers were completely incapable of clearing their lines, and Swankie made no mistake from his second attempt, which nestled in Lyness’ net.

The hosts seemed to take fresh impetus from the equaliser, and were the stronger side for the rest of the half, with Swankie and Denholm both going close, but Raith made it safely to the interval without further damage.

They would start the second half in excellent fettle though, taking the lead in the 51st minute, thanks to another excellent finish from Nisbet.

A free-kick from Gullan was headed across the box by an Arbroath defender under pressure from Davidson, and although the forward had plenty to do, he made his first-time volleyed finish look simple, blasting past Jamieson from eight yards out.

The second half was being played out in a more sedate fashion than the first, with Rovers keeping Arbroath at bay, in a match which in the glorious sunshine, and with little at stake, was feeling a little like a pre-season friendly.

Rovers had probably had the better of the second period though, and they were frustrated on the hour mark, when Buchanan worked himself free down the right, only for referee Alan Newlands to bring the play back, with Rovers in a promising position.

The match had become a little niggly, punctuated by fouls and bookings, but despite being under little or no pressure, Rovers found themselves pegged back again with a little under a quarter of an hour remaining.

Ricky Little headed on a corner kick, which somehow found both Ryan Wallace and Denholm alone at the back post, with the former just pipping the latter to volley home from close range.

Bouyed by that goal, Arbroath looked the likelier winner in the closing stages, but Rovers held firm for a decent point, which could well of been all three but for moments of hesitancy at the back.

Rovers will be back at Stark’s Park this Saturday, when they face Barry Smith’s Brechin City side.



RaithTV talked to John McGlynn after the 2-2 draw with Arbroath

Live Updates

Welcome to Gayfield Park for today's game Arbroath v Raith. It's sunny with a slight sea breeze cooling things down
Raith make their way out to make a guard of honour for the League winners, Arbroath
Arbroath have entered the field
Benedictus has returned to the team and is today's captain
Buchanan gets the game underway
Hamilton for Arbroath makes the long punt up the pitch but Crane is there to head clear
Denholm gets down the line and crosses the ball into the box, Lyness collects
Buchanan judged to be offside as Raith try and push forward
Denholm wins a header against Mckay
Poor pass from Crane to McGuffie, weak and short
Nisbet calls for the team to push forward as Arbroath take a throw in deep in their own half
An online clearance from Raith
Play halted for the moment as Thomson for Arbroath receives treatment
Arbroath will be making the early sub as Thomson comes off
Play continues while Arbroath get their sub prepared
Arbroath make their sub, off goes Thomson on comes McKenna
Nisbet pushes forward tries to square it to Buchanan but his pass is a bit too weak and it intercepted
Foul to Raith as Nisbet is impeded
Corner Raith
McGuffie gets the ball into the box and it's headed clear by Arbroath for a Raith throw in
Matthews fighting to keep the ball but a slight touch sees the ball over the line and goal kick Arbroath
Play has been even Stevens at the moment
Buchanan with a shot but Jamieson gets down to save
Davidson with a long hopeful pass to Buchanan, doesn't work out
Nisbet plays the ball on to Barjonas who gets the ball passed his man but Nisbet can't quite connect right to make a shot
Free-kick Raith about 25 yards out
From the free-kick Nisbet gets the ball over the wall and into the back of the net.
Arbroath close, there has been a mix up at the back. Lyness gets down and blocks but thankfully the ball is cleared off the line
Arbroath score
It was Doris for Arbroath who scored
Correction stadium announcer changed his mind and it was Swankie who scored for Arbroath
Arbroath with a pass into the box, Lyness comes running out and gets down to collect
The pass to McGuffie is too much for him to get on to it
Davidson is easily tackled as he takes his time to get up the pitch.
Doris fouled by Benedictus just outside the box
It's played staright to the keeper who collects
45+1 ref blows for Half-time Arbroath 1 Raith 1
Arbroath get the second have underway
Crane hoofs the ball away from the Raith end
Crane gets the ball into the box but Jamieson is able to collect to thwart any Raith danger
Buchanan with a hopeful shot and ball goes wide
Gullan gets a turn on the ball and tries to lay it onto Buchanan but it doesn't quite come off
Good play between Gullan, Buchanan and Crane. The latter's shot is collected by the keeper
Denholm with a pass into the Raith box and its headered cleared by Davidson
Nisbet tries to play a pass to Barjonas but the pass is intercepted
Gullan with a good tackle on Denholm
McGuffie with a pass to McKay who can't quite control
Arbroath second sub off goes Doris and on comes Wallace
Davidson tries to clamber and header clear an Abroath threat
Buchanan is challenged but is still able to go forward but the ref blows for the foul
Gullan tries to get the cross into the box but it's intercepted. Raith corner
The corner goes in deep and headed clear. It eventually comes back in and Gullan's shot is sky high
Arbroath's third sub used. Earlier sub McKenna is subbed off and McCord on
Barjonas booked
Benedictus with a header clearance
Foul on McKay on edge of Raith box
Raith sub off Buchanan and on comes Duggan
Gullan plays well and plays on a good ball to Duggan. He has a challenge to get past his player but is unsuccessful
Arbroath corner
Arbroath score
Davidson with a tackle on Swankie and the Arbroath hospitality are up in arms
McCord booked
Davidson with a blooter of a pass up field to clear
McKay clears as Arbroath push forward in the final five minutes
2 min added time and 932 in attendance
Good for Arbroath tries to play the ball up and over into the box but thankfully no-one there
McKay tries for a late shot but it's cleared away
Full time at Gayfield...Arbroath 2 (Swankie 30, Wallace) Raith 2 (Nisbet 27, 50)