After an exciting 3-3 draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle in midweek, Raith's League Cup group stage reaches it's conclusion on Saturday, with a Fife derby against Cowdenbeath at Central Park.


Despite the bonus point victory garnered by Rovers on Tuesday evening, John McGlynn's men have the poorest record out of all the second placed sides in the eight groups, making qualification for the next round unlikely.


Even a big win over the Blue Brazil would only suffice if results were to go their way in at least three out of the four matches between Peterhead and St Johnstone, Alloa and Stenhousemuir, Arbroath and Elgin, and Ayr United Stranraer.


Gary Bollan's team currently prop up the Group A table with one point, after a draw with Inverness on matchday two, but a win on Saturday would see them leapfrog both East Fife and the Caley Jags into third, bringing with it an increase in prize money.


This will be the third time in four years that these two teams have met at this stage of the competition, and Rovers will be hoping it isn't a repeat of the last fixture in 2018, when Cowdenbeath won 2-0 in a game played at Methil as Rovers were having their artificial turf installed.


Two goals from Jordyn Sheerin did the damage, as Barry Smith's team ended up bottom of the table, which also contained Hearts, Inverness and Highland League Cove Rangers.


Rovers last win over Cowdenbeath came 12 months earlier, when goals from Lewis Vaughan and Liam Buchanan earned the home side a comfortable 2-0 win. That group stage also saw Rovers beat Buckie Thistle 6-1, but defeats to Dundee and Dundee United meant that Raith ended the campaign in third place.


Rovers hold the upper hand in this fixture, but only just, with five wins and four defeats from the last 10 meetings.


Saturday's match referee will be David Lowe.


Head-To-Head Cup Record Versus Cowdenbeath:


Raith Rovers Wins: 6

Cowdenbeath Wins: 7

Draws: 1

Raith Rovers Goals: 24

Cowdenbeath Goals: 18


Current Form:


Raith Rovers: L-W-W-D-W-D

Cowdenbeath: L-D-L-W-D-L


Top Scorers:


Raith Rovers: Manny Duku 6, Daniel Armstrong 3, Ross Matthews 3

Cowdenbeath: Brad Smith 2



Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 2/5

Cowdenbeath: 13/2

Draw: 15/4


Duku Decides Derby

Raith Rovers ended their Betfred Cup campaign with a 1-0 win against Cowdenbeath at Central Park this afternoon, with Manny Duku’s seventh goal of the season the difference between the sides. 

Rovers made one change from the side which started the midweek match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with Dylan Tait coming back into the starting line up in place of Kyle Benedictus who missed out through suspension. 

That meant a reshuffle was required at the back, with Frankie Musonda partnering Fernandy Mendy at the heart of the defence, and Daniel Armstrong moving to left-back. 

Rovers started the match reasonably brightly, with the bulk of the opening passages being played out in the hosts half, although other than a Brad Spencer attempt from inside the area which was sent crashing a yard or so over Ross Sinclair’s crossbar, Gary Bollan’s side were doing a decent job of keeping Raith at arm’s length. 

It was the same player who forced Sinclair into action a few moments later, getting onto the end of a really well worked move, but after Sinclair did well to spread himself and block the finish, the linesman’s flag went up give Cowden the free-kick. 

Rovers were starting to stretch the home side now though, with Regan Hendry, Ross Matthews and Dylan Tait dictcting their direct opponents in midfield, while Ethan Ross and Reghan Tumilty were providing width. 

The right back thought he’d given Rovers the lead in the 16th minute, when he got on the end of a corner kick at the back post and poked it goalward, but despite some claims that the ball had crossed the line, referee David Lowe waved play on. 

Despite Rovers holding the upperhand , the home side should have taken the lead in the 22nd minute. 

An attempted clearance went awry in the Rovers penalty area and fell kindly for Cian Kavanagh, but he made a hash of his finish, scuffing it into the turf, although Robbie Thomson still had to be alert to keep it from bobbling in. 

Rovers were still knocking on the door though, and once again, it was Spencer who had an attempt, driving a low shot at goal which looked like it was on target, before it was deflected over the bar by a defender. 

Tumilty was the provider of the next opportunity, after he was released down the right by a fine pass from Hendry, but his dangerous low cross was tipped away by Sinclair and out for a corner. 

Rovers got the goal their play warranted in the 35th minute though, when Duku was picked out inside the penalty area, but with work still to do, he remained calm and turned a defender before slotting confidently past Sinclair to open the scoring. 

There was concern a moment later however, when the forward went down with an injury after being beaten to the ball by Sinclair, but after receiving treatment for a couple of minutes, the Dutchman was able to continue. 

With other scores going their way at the interval, Rovers knew a big win might be enough to sneak them through as one of the best runners up, and they should really have made it two in the 48th minute. 

Cowdenbeath were unable to clear their lines from a corner, and the ball fell kindly for Musonda, but he was leaning back and could only guide his effort from inside the area over the bar. 

A mix up at the back almost allowed Cowden back into the game in the 51st minute, with Mendy attempting to shepherd the ball back to Thomson, but instead, Kavanagh was able to sneak around the defender and almost guide the ball home from a tight angle, but instead found the side netting. 

Gary Bollan’s men were starting to pressure the visitors though, and they had another good chance from a corner kick, when Kavanagh found space inside the area, but his header was well wide of target. 

Rovers had fallen out the game a little, as the home side sensed they could get something from it, however, Rovers missed a gilt-edged chance to seal the three points in the 67th minute. 

Ross did well to win the corner, and from it, Tumilty found himself free in the six-yard box, but he could only nod his great chance over the bar. 

Rovers were finding the second period a far tougher one than the first, and Kavanagh again squandered a chance to score with 18 minutes remaining, stabbing over from close range after a teasing cross from the right. 

With 15 minutes left, Paul Smith made his first substitution, replacing Ross with Quinn Coulson, with the youngster taking up the berth on the left of midfield. 

The play continued to go towards Rovers goal, and Kavanagh had yet another sight of goal from a set piece, but he again failed to test Thomson with his header, which he planted over the crossbar. 

It was the final chance for the home side, as Raith managed to see the game out, and while the eight points were enough to finish in second place behind Hearts in Group A, it wasn’t enough to make the last 16 of the tournament. 

Rovers will be on their travels next weekend, when they make the journey to face Inverness next Saturday.


© Eddie Doig 2020



Paul Smith spoke to RaithTV after the win against Cowdenbeath FC in the Betfred Cup

Live Updates

Welcome to today's Betfred cup action Cowdenbeath v Raith..teams are just making their way into the pitch
I have been left to believe former Rover Craig Easton is on the bench for Cowdenbeath
Game is underway
Corner Cowdenbeath
Freekick Raith deep in Raith half
Mendy's long ball doesn't reach a Raith player
Cowdenbeath gets the ball into the Raith box but it doesn't put Thomson under any pressure as he collects
Mendy with an over head clearance as Cowdenbeath move forward
Great play between Ross and Duku as Raith move up the park
Tait's cross to Duku who is in the Cowdenbeath box is too heavy
Raith corner
Matthews to Duku who tries to control, Cowdenbeath put the foot resulting in a Raith corner
Tait tries to cross the ball over but the ball hits off the head of a Cowdenbeath player and halts Raith moving forward
Tumilty's ball into the Cowdenbeath box is intercepted
Cowdenbeath's Kavanagh has a shot on goal Thomson outstretches and saves
Duku picks up a headed forward ball from Mendy. He tries to take the ball forward and cuts the ball back in but no one there to pick the move up
Tumilty gets the ball to Tait but Cowdenbeath are there to pounce and clear the danger
Raith get the ball eventually in the box from a corner. Play ends with a freekick to Cowdenbeath
Raith go for goal which as the ball pings about. Ball ends up being a corner to Raith
Freekick to Cowdenbeath in their box as Clark is fouled
Duku gets the ball into the Cowdenbeath box but he's closely covered by Clarke and ball goes out for a goal kick
Tumitly gets passed his man and plays the ball into the box but Sinclair clears for a Raith corner
Hendry with long shot into the Cowdenbeath box but Sinclair gets down and gathers
Duku gets the first goal for Raith
Long ball to Duku as he powers forward Sinclair comes out and collects. Duku has gone down just over the byline
Play gets back underway as Duku receives treatment off field
Yellow card Mullen after a foul on Ross
Cowdenbeath put the pressure on Raith as they move forward. Play ends with Tumilty ushering the ball out for a goal kick
Mendy plays well covering the ball and eventually turning and clearing the ball out of the Raith half
Cowdenbeath cross the ball into the box but Tumilty is there to clear the danger
Clark for Cowdenbeath heads the ball into the Raith box, Mendy is there to clear
Ref blows for half time Cowdenbeath 0 Raith 1.
Play has started.
No substitutions as far as I can see.
Mullen on his knees clearing the ball
Rovers corner, the ball coming to Tumilty who fires over the bar
Michael Herd swings in a cross but the ball flies out of play.
An error let's Kavanagh in but he shoots behind.
Armstrong gets clattered by Russell and the two exchange pleasantries
Craig Barr receives a lecture from the referee
Clarke off, Peter on.
Mendy, with a new hair cut, bulldozing Cowdenbeath attackers
Cowdenbeath corner, Kavanagh heads wide at the back post
Duku down under pressure in the box, nothing given by the referee
Good work from Ross, his cross is deflected for a corner, Duku heads over.
Herd yellow
Hamilton and Herd off, Swann and Taylor on.
Cowdenbeath corner, Russell heads wide
Glass crosses to Kavanagh who scoops the ball wide at the near post
Ross off, Coulson on.
Armstrong yellow for a foul on Mullen
Mullen FK wide right to Kavanagh who heads over the bar
Barr down from a challenge with Duku
Coulson breaks away but is undone by Pyper
Barr yellow for a foul on Armstrong
Flaherty one of the Cowdenbeath coaches gets a yellow for something he said
+2 Full Time. Cowdenbeath 0-1 Raith Rovers Duku