Eight Goals Shared in Wee Derby

Arriving at Central Park the Rovers support saw that the pitch was in better condition than they may have feared considering the heavy rain of the last few days.  There was one change to the starting line-up with Hamill coming in for Grant Anderson, news that was not greeted with universal approval.  Rover’s legend Mickey Cameron, who's 40 on Tuesday, lined up in the middle of the park for Cowden.

Spence looked eager and in the first minute closed down Flynn the home keeper who seemed ill at ease.  In the third minute Flynn spilled an effort and Hamill’s shot on the angle was blocked wide for a corner.

Miller opens the scoring
Miller opens the scoring

Cowdenbeath took the lead after Hamill’s slackness in midfield let the home side get forward, Mensing and Hill failed to clear the danger and McGurn pushed away a shot.  Kyle Miller was quickest to follow up and put the ball in from five yards.  Raith tried to respond and Spence and Graham worked to create something but the effort from the later was blocked.  Despite the surface looking not bad the ball was spending a lot of time in the air and neither side played much football early on.  This disappointingly remained the case for much of the match.After Raith pressure the ball was cleared to Jason Thomson, he fired in a low shot which was deflected towards Brian Graham whose effort was blocked wide for another corner.  Malone cut out a dangerous looking ball as the home side tried to break then Jamie Stevenson hammered a low free kick just inside the far post from 29 yards.  It was a rare moment of quality.2:0 down Raith were looking for a spark and it came from Malone’s driving run then cross.  Walker’s shot from the left backs ball was pushed wide.   Moments later Flynn fumbled a pass back and in a panic dived on the ball again.  The referee rightly awarded a free kick for handling a pass back. Graham beats the wall to scoreThe Cowdenbeath team lined up in an 11 man wall on the line but Brian Graham’sleathered shot found the net from seven yards.  Malone’s ‘reward’ for his efforts was a booking a minute later when he was adjudged to have fouled McKenzie.

Brian Graham tried an opportunist strike from distance in the 37th the way Flynn had started you could see why but it went over.  The Rovers levelled the match in the 44th when their fifth corner was swung in and Greig Spence had the simple task for heading home from close range.  It was 2:2 at the half with both sides having cause for satisfaction in some areas and disappointment in others.

Flynn caused some amusement falling over hoofing an early free kick up the park.  Stevenson had another go from a free kick which went over to McGurn’s relief.   The half started scrappily as both sides tried to get the next vital goal.  Stevenson scooped a shot over from 15 yards as the home side continued to try and get forward quickly.  Graham headed wide before a home man scuffed a shot.  Jason Thomson caused some concern when Mbu failed to clear his cross but a colleague blocked Smith’s follow up effort.  Jason did some good work wide linking with Smith getting into the box then moments later crossing but without a chance being created.  Walker was booked for what may have been his first foul despite the home side’s Garcia Ray attracting more of the ref’s attention throughout.

McGurn and Mensing got a bit confused and this resulted in Cowden’s first corner in the 70th minute.   Cameron had a shot wide when the ball in was cleared.  At the other end Hamill’s cross after Graham’s ball wide saw Spence’s header held by Flynn.

The fifth goal came from a quickly taken home throw; McKenzie’s cross was headed home by sub Lewis Coult from 6 yards.  The home side had capitalised well on a moment of slackness by the Rovers defence.  Pat Clarke came on for Smith and Graham had a good shot on the turn held by Flynn at the second attempt.

Two minutes after his first goal Lewis Coult scored his second.  Greg Stewart got forward and his shot was parried by McGurn but the in rushing Coult put it away.  His celebration was more akin to that of a goal that sealed the World Cup or Champions League, not a second tier Scottish game in front of 1200 odd...

Pat Clarke gets Raith back into the game
Pat Clarke gets Raith back into the game
Thankfully the Rover’s response was almost instant.  A cross from the left was headed on by Graham and Pat Clarke drove the ball low into the net from eleven yards.  Pat’s celebration was more businesslike, 4:3 in the 80th minute.The Cowdenbeath captain Adamson incensed the away support after tussling with a Raith man right in front of them, he appeared fortunate to only receive a yellow card.  With seven minutes left much of the Rovers support thought they were level, Clarke took a great first touch and getting into the box fired a shot low past Flynn.  It hit the side netting hard but sadly the wrong side of it.As the urgency increased the quality of play didn’t, Stevenson saw his low shot saved then the home side had everyone back to defend a free kick as normal time ran out.  Thomson got in Clarke’s way at the edge of the box as they were both trying to make something happen.  Stewart was booked for kicking the ball away, trying to ease the pressure on his team mates.  In the 92nd minute a free kick in was flicked on and Simon Mensing was able to angle a header into the far side netting.  This time it was the right side and Flynn was picking the ball out of the net for a fourth time.  The game ended after a couple of quick substitutions with Ellis coming on for the Rovers.

Nine League games in Raith fans can reflect on some good performances and cracking goals but looking at the league table many will think we are a couple of points short of what we deserve.  The first quarter has seen LONG road trips, ‘giant-killing’, the Rovers live on the telly and a disappointing Old Firm crowd.  Let’s hope the mid season assessment sees Rovers fans continuing to draw on more positives than negatives.

Report – John Mainland, Pictures – Eddie Doig


Photographs copyright Eddie Doig


Live Updates

Hamill wins a corner after his shot is blocked.
Miller scores for Cowden after McGurn parties a low shot
Smart turn and shot by Graham. Blocked by Mbu
Thomson drives a shot at goal. Graham follows up. Corner to Rovers
Spence fouled. Free kick taken by Walker - cross knocked out for a Rovers corner
Corner too long - out for a Cowden throw.
Cowden goal. Low free kick from 25 yards by Stevenson
Hamill volley from 20 yards brilliantly saved
Rovers corner passed back. Rovers free kick from 4 yards
Ball touched back to Graham who scores with a low shot
Good work by Graham sees a rasping 25 yarder fly narrowly over
Strong run by Smith earns a Rovers corner
Spence converts the corner. 2-2
Half time. Rovers were 2-0 down undeservedly. Kept passing the ball well to level the game
Spence goal was a well placed header from Walkers corner
Rovers start the second half attacking the away end.
Good Smith shot blocked in the box
Stevenson tries another free kick effort from nearly 30 yards out. Narrowly over
Graham heads wide from Thomsons cross
Thomsons cross ends with Smith having another strong shot blocked
Cowden sub. Coult on for Miller
Walker booked for fouling Cowdens no. 2
Cowdens Adamson shoots over from long range
Long ball causes havoc and Mensing concedes a corner. Knocked off the line
Spence heads Hamills cross straight at the keeper
3 minutes of Cowden pressure leads to a corner
3 minutes of Cowden pressure leads to a corner. Comes to nothing
Cowden goal. Coult from a tight angle
Clarke on for Smith
Cowden goal. Coult following up after a McGurn save
Clarke scores after a Stramash from a Malone throw
Adamson punches Spence - yellow card
Clarke drives in from the left, hits he side netting with better options in the centre
McGurn saves low from stevenson
GOAL! Mensing heads in from Mcgurns long ball
Ellis on for Hill
Full time. 4-4. Quite exciting;-)