Line Up


Raith Rovers head west for the second successive week, as they look to end their winless run at Somerset Park against Ayr United.

Saturday's 1-0 loss to Morton made it five games without a win, while their hosts are also without a win since defeating Cove Rangers in March.

However, the Honest Men can still book a promotion playoff spot between now and the end of the season, as they current sit just one point behind fourth place Partick Thistle, and three third placed Inverness, having played a game less than the Caley Jags.

Lee Bullen's side looked good odds for a potential title bid and a trip to Hampden earlier in the season, but a run of just five league wins since December, and a defeat to Falkirk in the Scottish Cup quarter final derailed their quest for silverware.

Raith won the first encounter between the sides this season in thrilling fashion, coming out on top in a five goal thriller in September.

Kyle Connell and Sam Stanton had Rovers two up at Stark's Park by the interval, but Ayr hit back in the second period two equalise through Brad Young and Andy Murdoch.

However, a late rocket from Scott Brown saw Rovers claim all three points.

It was a different story at Somerset Park in December, when a Josh Mullin brace saw Ayr run out 2-0 winners, and the two sides played out a tepid 0-0 draw at Stark's Park in their most recent meeting in February.

Saturday's match referee will be David Munro.

Head-to-Head Record:

Ayr United wins: 55

Raith Rovers wins: 58

Draws: 51


Rovers made their final away trip of the season to Ayr with the Raith fans fearing the worst for Ian Murray still struggling to field a strong side with only a goalkeeper and one outfield player on the bench and, once again, a makeshift starting eleven.

Despite Ayr having a couple of early chances when Reading fired a shot from 25 yards past the post and Ashford seeing his shot hit the post, the Rovers were arguably the better side in the first half, and more than a match for the home side who still had a playoff place to aim for.

Connor McBride went on a run from the half way line to the edge of the box before trying his luck but he sclaffed his shot and it went past the post, and at the other end it was all hands to the pump with every Rovers player doubling back to help the defence, Ethan Ross covering for Ross Millen who himself was helping out the make shift central pairing of Liam Dick and young Adam Masson, and Kieran Ngwenya did brilliantly to get a timely interception on an Akinyemi ball into the box to send it clear.

Adam Masson keeps tabs on Ashford

Ayr should’ve taken the lead when McGinty sent a long ball out wide to Mullin on the right who turned his man to send a low ball hard across goal to Akinyemi but he somehow managed to sky the ball 10 feet over the bar from 6 yards out, a let off for Rovers but no more than they deserved in a first half where they had more of the ball than the home side.

Rovers started the second half on the front foot and a slick one two between McBride and Stanton saw Sam striding up the bye-line into the six yard box but his cut back was a bit too fast for Akio who got a touch but could only send it into the air where it was headed clear by Ashford.

This was a brave showing by Rovers who were at least winning on corners, but they were hit by a sucker punch  when Mullin sent a free kick high into the box where it was headed clear by Stanton, but only as far as McGuire who passed to McGinty at the edge of the box and his cross back into the danger zone was met by the inrushing Frankie Musonda who sent an unstoppable header past the helpless Jamie MacDonald.

Frankie Musonda (4) heads past Jamie MacDonald

Once again the Rovers failure to deal with high balls into the box cost them dear and although Ross Millen tried to get them back on level terms, firing a free kick just over the bar, the game ended in defeat, but unlike previous weeks, there were no complaints from the travelling fans who knew every Rovers player to a man had given his all in a game where they had nothing to play for but pride.

They may have headed home to Kirkcaldy pointless, but their pride was very much intact.



© Eddie Doig 2023



Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after today's game:

Live Updates

Welcome to today's Cinch Championship game at Somerset Park - Ayr United v Raith Rovers. Final away game of the season and it's cold, damp with a bit of a breeze here in Ayr. Raith bring in Masson and McBride and have one outfield player on the sub bench - Young.
Referee today is David Munro who is assisted by David McGeachie and Graham Chambers
Ayr United get the game underway. Raith in pink shooting towards the Ayr home end
Ayr fee kick after a foul on Ashford in their half
McBride starts play well gets the ball to Ngwenya who gets the ball into the box. Ayr clear. Ball eventually falls to Millen who tries to get the ball back to Ngwenya but Ayr intercept
Ayr with an early shot but thankfully ball goes wide. Goal kick
Ball put to Akinyemi at the edge of the Raith box. Raith do enough to put him off
Good play with Raith linking well play ends with Ross trying to get the ball upfield to Millen but the pass is a touch too heavy
McBride runs upfield he see Akio and passes it to him but it doesn't come to fruition
Raith corner
Ball placed to the front post and Albinson collects
Ayr trying to burst through but Masson did well to keep on them and pinched the ball away enough for Raith to clear
Brown see Millen upfield but his long pass doesn't reach him
Ngwenya does really well as he fires upfield, he sees McGill to his left and passes. McGill places the ball to Brown who tries to get the ball into the mix but Ayr clear
Hewitt tries to put a cross in but his effort is all wrong and it goes out for a goal kick
Freekick Ayr deep in their half after Ross fouls Reading
Ayr corner
Nothing comes of the corner as Ayr ply to the edge of the box but Raith are there
Ngwenya tries to the the ball into the box but Ayr are heavily marking
Stanton with the ball he's looking left and right for options but his pass is intercepted - Raith throw in
Raith corner
Akinyemi looks to play the ball to Murdoch but Brown is there to intercept
Ayr bursting through but Raith defend well
Akio tries for burst forward he has Ross accompanying him but one of his touches is too heavy
Reading tries to drop the ball into the Raith box but it goes straight out - goal kick
Liam Dick heads clears as Ayr get the ball into the Raith box
McBride has a shot but it takes a deflection and Raith corner
Ball falls to Akinyemi who sees Mullin to his right and passes thankfully Raith are also there
Stanton does well to challenge McAlear
Akio passes low across the box and Musonda is there to clear for Ayr
Freekick Ayr as Masson fouls Akinyemi
Ball played well by Ayr deep into the Raith box but two Ayr players are there and both got for them ball and play falls apart for them
Akinyemi is only a few yards out who only has to slot home but he boots the ball high in the air
Raith corner
From the corner ball is placed in to the box but Ayr head clear
+1 Ngwenya thumps the ball clear after Akinyemi is dispossessed
+2 ref blows for half time Ayr 0 Raith 0
Raith get the second half underway
Ayr come close as they head the ball towards the goal and it goes just wide
Stanton gets the ball to Akio in the Ayr box and Akio can't quite slit the ball away
Mullin has a shot his ball takes a slight curl and goes just wide of the far post
Ashford plays the ball behind Akinyemi in the Raith half
Akinyemi again with the ball but again Raith there to thewart him
McGill has a shot but his effort is blocked. Ball falls back to Stanton who also has a shot but his effort wide
Booking for Liam Dick. Freekick Ayr
Ayr score
It wasn't from the freekick but Musonda slots home for Ayr
Ross challenges McAlear
Freekick Raith after Ross is fouled approx 25 yards out
Millen takes it it's over the wall but it doesn't drop and ball over the bar
Brilliant save by MacDonald as Akinyemi has a blast.. Ayr corner
Masson does well to pick up a loose Ayr ball and clear it
Akinyemi gets the ball into the box he tries to cross it low but Liam Dick is there to clear
Good ball from McBride as he chips the ball to Brown but it's a tad too heavy
McGill playing strong as he attempts to take in Murdoch
Freekick Ayr after Stanton fouls Maguire
Booking for McGill as he fouls Maguire
Freekick is approx 25 yards out
Maguire takes it gets it over the wall and MacDonald tips the ball over the bar
From a second Ayr corner ball played to the back post and headed out for a goal kick
Substitution galore .. Raith sub off McGill and bring in Young Ayr sub off Mullin and Maguire and bring on McKenzie and O'Connor
Akinyemi gets the ball to O'Connor but Brown is there to mop up
Musonda disposess Rossatt he half way line
Akio wins a corner
Ross can't do anything with the ball as Musonda pounces on the ball to clear in the Ayr box
Liam Dick switches play to Millen who then fires the ball into the box. Musonda gets a scoot to hit corner Raith
Shouts for handball as the ball from the corner gets headed off an Ayr player
ayr sub off Ashford and bring on Mitchell- Lawson
Hewitt gets the ball to Akinyemi who controls and passes to a fellow player but his is ruled offside
Ayr with a shot but Liam Dick blocks
Hewitt gets the ball to Akinyemi but Masson stands his ground and defends well with the help from Liam Dick
Brown wins Raith a corner
Ngwenya does well to stop Reading crossing the ball in the Raith box
Ayr head low but MacDonald also gets down to low
Young does well as Akinyemi has the ball in the Raith bix
Masson blasts the ball clear if the Raith box
Ayr corner
Ref blows for full time Ayr 1 (Musonda 54') Raith 0