Raith Rovers head over the Tay Bridge this Saturday, to take on a Dundee United team who have yet to get the better of them this term.

It'll be the third meeting between them this season, with the first, back in August, one of the most exciting games Rovers have been involved in this term.

Gary Locke’s men found themselves two down within half an hour, after a goal on 17 minutes from Willo Flood, whilst a Cammy Smith penalty five minutes later, suggesting that it could be a long afternoon for the visitors.

However, a goal just before the break from Jordan Thompson gained Raith a foothold in the fixture, and a fantastic strike from Kevin McHattie late in the second period, grabbed Rovers a deserved share of the spoils.

There were four fewer goals the next time the two locked horns in December, although there was still a large dollop of intrigue in the 0-0 draw.

Rovers held the upper-hand in the early stages, and a red-card for Lewis Toshney, appeared to move the contest even more into their favour.

However, United gained traction as the game wore on, and it took a late penalty stop from Kevin Cuthbert to ensure Raith ended up with a point.

Both teams form has fluctuated since then, with Ray McKinnon’s team briefly leading the Championship table over Christmas, but a recent dip in form now sees them eight points behind Hibernian before this weekend’s fixtures.

Despite that though, The Terrors still boast the Championship's best home record, which sees them unbeaten at Tannadice this season.

Rovers and Dundee United actually have an identical record in the last ten league meetings, with three wins apiece and four draws since the 1993/94 season.

Saturday’s match referee will be Stephen Finnie.

Head-To-head League Record At Tannadice:

Dundee United Wins: 13 | Raith Rovers Wins: 5 | Draws: 4

Dundee United Goals: 67 | Raith Rovers Goals: 41

Current Form:

Dundee United: W-L-L-D-L-D

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

Top Goal Scorers:

Dundee United: Simon Murray 11 | Tony Andreu 10

Raith Rovers: Declan McManus 5 | Mark Stewart 5 | Ross Callachan 3 | Kevin McHattie 3

Match Odds:

Dundee United: 1/2 | Raith Rovers: 11/2 | Draw: 33/10


United Ease To Victory

Raith Rovers moved down to eighth in the Championship table, after a chastening 3-0 loss to Dundee United at Tannadice.

Manager, Gary Locke made two changes from last weekend's dispiriting 3-1 home defeat to Dumbarton. Declan McManus returned to the fold at the expense of Ryan Hardie who dropped to the bench, whilst Chris Johnston also missed out, with Iain Davidson returning from injury.

This meant a rejig in the midfield, with Davidson tasked with protecting the back four from midfield, with Ross Matthews moving over to the right-hand side in the absence of Johnston.

Neither team went into this one in great form, although there were encouraging early signs for Raith, with captain, Jason Thomson striding forward in the third minute and swinging a good ball into the box, a cross which the United defence struggled to get clear.

United may have had the opportunity to close the gap to league leaders Hibs, after Neil Lennon's men drew at home with Ayr United, but it was a fairly low-key start to the match, in which Rovers were making reasonable headway against their hosts, albeit they only had a tame Jean Yves M'Voto header from a Bobby Barr corner kick to show for their efforts.

The game had started off in a scrappy fashion, with the ball being sent forward as quickly as possible from both sides, but generally it was overhit, leading to most of the forward passes becoming food and drink for both back-fours, goalkeepers and in the more wayward of passes, ball-boys.

It took until the 17th minute for the first real drive at goal, but even then, Simon Murray somehow managed to strike the backside of his his teammate, Thomas Mikkelsen, after pouncing on some hesitation from M'Voto.

There was a slightly concerning sight a minute later, when Kevin Cuthbert had to receive lengthy treatment, but with Conor Brennan stripped on the sidelines and ready for action, the Raith number one decided he was fine to continue.

Ray McKinnon's men were starting to grow into the game now, and a fine cross from the left by Blair Spittal picked out Murray, but his first touch was extremely heavy, and he was dispossessed just outside the six-yard-box by Bobby Barr.

A clearly toiling Cuthbert decided enough was enough just before the half-hour mark, and was replaced by Brennan. If United's intention was to trouble the new arrival right from the get-go, then they failed to really do so, in an error strewn half punctuated by frequent breaks.

The home fans were starting voice their displeasure, and their volume increased in the 40th minute, when a cross by Kevin McHattie was nodded back by Kyle Benedictus, and McManus' header landed on the roof of the net.

With the interval just moments away, it appeared Rovers were going to take a creditable scoreline and performance into the break, but instead, slackness at the back saw them concede in the final minute of the half.

A free-kick was needlessly conceded just outside the edge of the area, and from Scott Fraser's 25-yard effort, Brennan could only palm it away as far as Paul Dixon who had popped up on the left bye-line. His cross back into the area was aimed towards the front post, and Mikkelsen, who was completely unmarked, got to the ball before the Raith 'keeper and nodded it into the net.

Things didn't improve in the early stages of the second period, as United doubled their lead just two minutes after the restart.

Dixon was the architect, bombing down the left and sending a cross into the area which no-one in blue was able to clear. Tony Andreu was given far too much room inside the area, and despite the ball bobbling around, the Frenchman retained his composure to calmly force the ball into the bottom corner.

Just like last weekend against Dumbarton, Rovers had started poorly after the break, and it got even worse in the 53rd minute, as United added another.

The trouble once again originated from Rovers right, as Murray swung over an excellent deep cross to the back-post, and Mikkelsen rose higher than anyone to nod back across goal and into the far side of the net.

At this point, the concern was that the scoreline could become embarrassing, as Andreu again popped up free inside the area, but his side-foot effort from a short free-kick went just wide.

United sensed blood now, and a shot from distance by Murray was palmed down by Brennan, while Fraser lashed a 30-yard attempt past the post, as Rovers struggled to contain a tangerine tide.

Ryan Hardie replaced Ross Matthews with half-an-hour remaining, but it did little to alter the flow of the match, as United continued to search for a fourth.

Ryan Steveson then came on for McManus with 20 minutes remaining, as Rovers looked to at least reduce the arrears on a difficult evening.

It looked far more likely that the deficit would increase however, and Murray went close again after 73 minutes, taking the ball first time from an angle and whistling it just passed the back-post.

Alex Nicholls then hit the outside of the post after some great build up play involving Murray and Nick van der Velden, and from close range and with plenty of time, the substitute really should have done better.

The chances kept coming and coming for McKinnon's men, and Spittal was the next to waste a great opportunity, when he blazed over from an angle after being slipped through by van der Velden.

Despite United's domination, they failed to get on the score-sheet again, as Raith slumped to their 13th game without a win, as they slipped below Dumbarton in the table to eighth.

Next up for Locke's side is Morton at home on Tuesday evening, as Rovers look to put some distance between themselves and the relegation play-off spot.


©Eddie Doig 2017


The match is available to view here, in full, until 1920hrs on 11th February 2017:

Live Updates

Welcome to Tannadice for this evening's live on BBC ALBA Championship match against Dundee United.
There was rain, sleet and snow on the journey up the motorway but it is a clear evening in Dundee.
The 'Shed' to our left starting to fill up, don't expect may supporters to travel due to this being a live game.
On that note, hello to all of our armchair supporters tonight, sitting in your warm homes, drinking beer. Nope, not jealous at all.
Rovers kick off towards the East end.
McHattie and Barr combined but lost the ball to a bye kick.
A cross flies high over Big Jock but is judged to be a foul.
Davidson loses the ball clumsily and Mikkelsen tears up the park.
Mr Finnie blows for a foul as the ball scuds dangerously in the box.
Barr flights in a corner and Jean-Yves heads wide at the back post.
Stewart loses out in a muscle match against Toshney.
Rovers supporters in full voice. #COYR
Mr Finnie looks scornfully at Murray as he kicked the ball away after the whistle.
McHattie picked up a decent through ball but is flagged offside.
McHattie picked up a decent through ball but is flagged offside.
Cuthbert seams to have picked up a knock.
Brennan looked certain to replace the Cat but Cuthbert plays on.
Cuthbert looking assured as he comes to claim a corner.
Murray on the ball at the back post but is skinned by Benedictus.
Hilarity in the home end as a shot is sclaffed into the crowd.
Latest, Dundee United 0-0 Raith Rovers
Cuthbert off, Brennan on.
Callachan loses the ball to Andreu and Davidson comes to the rescue.
Edjenguele takes out Matthews, luckily he gets back to his feet.
Dixon down with a head injury.
Interruption to play as Paul Dixon receives treatment.
Play resumes with Dixon off the pitch with what looks like a broken nose.
Callachan plays on Stewart but he is offside.
Edjenguele loses the ball and Stewart has a half chance but is blocked.
McManus heads from close range, the ball landing on the top of the net.
Davidson yellow.
Goal Dundee United.
Brennan palms out a free kick, the ball lands at the feet of Mikkelsen who scored at the near post.
+3 Callachan lucky to escape sanction after a foul on Andreu.
+4 Half time. Dundee United 1-0 Raith Rovers
+4 Half time. Dundee United 1-0 Raith Rovers
Correction, Callachan received a yellow for his earlier foul.
Second half underway.
A McHattie clumsy clearance almost lets United in.
After a slip by McHattie, Andreu pounces and scores from 14 yards. Goal United.
McManus with a decent ball to Matthews the ball passed back to Thomson who is dispossessed.
Goal United. A great cross from Murray finding the head of Mikkelsen who scored at the back post.
Latest, Dundee United 3-0 Raith Rovers.
McHattie clattered.
Brennan earning his corn, punching clear a cross thdn palming down a shot from 25 yards.
Murray unleashed a rocket from 25 yards, Brennan could only watch as it came back off his ches, Benedictus clears.
Matthews off, Hardie on.
Sub Hardie almost onto a cross.
Murray beats Thomson in a foot race but the ball runs out of pitch.
Mikkelsen released Murray but Thomson held off the attacker and Brennan cleared.
Stewart back defending clears from Mikkelsen.
Andreu shoots from 35 yards high over the bar.
McManus off, Stevenson on.
Murray shoots across the face of goal as Brennan dives to cover.
Spittal almost through as Benedictus shepherds the ball to Brennan.
Andreu off, van der Velden on.
Mikkelsen off, Nicholls on.
Murray and Nicholls combined the latter hits the post with his first touch of the ball.
Stevenson shoot from 25 yards but the ball is deflected off the bahookie of Hardie and out of play.
Spittal through shoots with the outside of his boot and slices wide.
Stevenson flattens Edjenguele, Mr Finnie brings them together for a talk.
van der Velden shoots over the bar from 25 yards.
Stewart down injured, seems in some discomfort.
Stewart hobbles off the park.
Rovers attack breaks down as Thomson crosses the ball out of play.
Toshney off, Telfer on.
+1 Rovers attack looked on but Barr hooks his pass out of play.
+3 Full time. Dundee United 3-0 Raith Rovers Rovers slump to their fifth league defeat on the trot.
Dundee United scorers, Mikkelsen, 44, 53. Andreu, 48.