Raith Rovers will put their Championship title fight to one side this weekend, when they head to Falkirk to face the League One side in the Scottish Cup.

Rovers go into this one on the back of an 11 game unbeaten run, while The Bairns lost out to Montrose last weekend by a goal to nil.

Paul Sheerin's side currently sit just outside the playoff spots in fifth place, although they're only six points behind Cove who are top, and sitting in the automatic promotion spot.

These sides last met back in the 2019/20 campaign, when Rovers won the curtailed League One title, with the two teams duking it out at the top end of the table for the duration of the season.

The three league meetings that season finished all square, although Rovers did come out on top when the two met in the Challenge Cup that season, with two Reghan Hendry goals sealing a comfortable two nil win.

Although the two teams have identical records across the three cup competitions in terms of previous meetings, Rovers have never beaten Falkirk in the Scottish Cup in five attempts.

Their last game in this tournament was back in the 1997/98 campaign, when Falkirk won 3-1 at Stark's Park in a Fourth Round tie.

Falkirk have the upper hand in the most recent meetings, with three wins to Raith's two in the last 10, with five finishing in a draw.

Saturday's match referee will be Nick Walsh.

Head-to-Head Cup Record Versus Falkirk:

Falkirk Wins: 8 | Raith Rovers Wins: 8 | Draws: 4

Falkirk Goals: 25 | Raith Rovers Goals: 25

Current Form:

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

Top Scorers:

Falkirk: Callumn Morrison 6 | Aidan Keena 4 | Aidan Nesbitt 4 | Michael Ruth 4 |Charlie Telfer 4

Raith Rovers: Dario Zanatta 8 | Aidan Connolly 5

Match Odds:

Falkirk: 15/8 | Raith Rovers: 5/4 | Draw: 12/5


Ross The Boss As Raith Advance

Raith Rovers made it through to the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup, after a brilliant 2-1 win at Falkirk. 

It looked unlikely midway though the first half, after Reghan Tumilty was dismissed for two bookable offences, but a goal from Ross Matthews had Rovers in front at the interval. 

Callumn Morrison’s equaliser five minutes into the second period had Rovers on the back foot, but despite Falkirk enjoying the lion's share of possession, Rovers advanced to the last 32 thanks to Ethan Ross’ winner with five minutes remaining. 

John McGlynn made two changes from last weekend’s 2-1 win over Greenock Morton, with Liam Dick coming back into the left back berth, and Frankie Musonda dropping to the bench. 

In midfield, Dylan Tait dropped out due to Hibernian not wanting him to be cup tied, meaning Matthews came back into the fold. 

For Falkirk, former Rovers legend, David McGurn lined up on the bench, after he was brought in on an emergency loan from Cowdenbeath, after Gary Holt’s son, Luke, was ruled out due to being cup tied.

Rovers were the swifter out the blocks in the opening moments, and Ethan Varian’s flick on found Aidan Connolly in space in the area, but he was flagged for offside before smashing a shot goalward. 

The bulk of the game was taking place in the Falkirk half, and a set-piece routine in the seventh minute saw Dario Zanatta and Connolly combine, with the former unleashing a shot from the edge of the area which whistled over the bar. 

Despite Rovers enjoying the upper hand in the opening passages of play, they had a let off in the 12th minute. 

Play broke down in the middle of the park, and after Morrison was played in, his shot across goal beat Jamie MacDonald, but rebounded off the post and eventually to safety. 

It was a relief for Rovers, but Falkirk had one of their own in the 18th minute, when Connolly did well to release Varian, but after running in on goal, the ball seemed to get caught up in his feet, and he was unable to get a clear shot off. 

However, Rovers afternoon was made considerably harder, when Tumilty was dismissed in the 20th minute, for his second booking of the afternoon. 

It wasn’t just that Rovers were down to 10, it was the fact that the right back is relied upon to give Rovers so much of their width, and as he trudged off, it felt like the afternoon might be a long one. 

It certainly was a long time for Rovers to be short handed, and it led to an immediate change from McGlynn, with Frankie Musonda being introduced for the unfortunate Connolly, as Rovers moved to a 4-4-1 formation. 

However, Rovers weren’t dwelling on their laurels, and were ahead in the 27th minute. 

Ethan Ross was the catalyst, driving at the heart of the Falkirk backline, and after his run was brought to a halt, the attack seemed to be fizzling out, only for Matthews to send a precision first time finish from 20 yards past Paddy Martin into the corner of the net to put the Championship side a goal up. 

Falkirk were attempting to stretch the game as they tried to find a way back, but despite enjoying the bulk of possession, they were struggling to create too many chances. 

Indeed, other than Charlie Telfer’s effort at goal in the 37th minute, which flew well over the bar, they’d toiled to trouble the Rovers defence.

That said, the longer the half went, the more of the ball Falkirk were seeing, and while Rovers were keeping them at arms length, Ryan Williamson and Morrison were looking dangerous down Falkirk’s right hand side. 

Raith had one last chance in the first half, when a set-piece was directed towards Tom Lang, but his backwards header drifted just wide of Martin’s left-hand post. 

It was the final piece of action in a half where Rovers held the upper hand, although Falkirk will have sensed there was an opportunity for a surprise win against a team which had retreated further and further as the half progressed. 

Rovers were on the front foot at the start of the second 45, although Falkirk had the first sight at goal in the 50th minute, only for Michael Ruth to sky his effort wildly over the bar. 

However, Falkirk were level just a minute later, when Williamson did excellently to get down the right, and after feeding the ball to Morrison, he curled a fine effort past MacDonald to level up the tie. 

Rovers were now up against it, and Craig McGuffie had a great sight at goal five minutes later, but after being played in at the back post, he could only slam his shot well over the crossbar. 

Rovers only attempts at goal in the second period had come from set-pieces, with Lang the recipient of both a corner and a free-kick, but neither of his headers bothered Martin in the Falkirk net. 

The Bairns were keeping the ball well in the second period, but again, like the first half, they struggled to test MacDonald, other than Morrison’s fine finish. 

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Rovers made their second change, with Matej Poplatnik coming on for Dario Zanatta. 

Falkirk continued to dictate matters, penning Raith into their own third with some patient play, but while it was going side to side and occasionally forward, it was yet to generate anything other than the occasional half chance, much to the home fans chagrin. 

Sensationally though, after soaking up Falkirk’s possession, Rovers took the lead against the League One side in the 84th minute, after a fantastic goal from Ross. 

A fine break away ended with Poplatnik playing the ball into Ross’ feet, and despite having a lot to do, he spun away from the defence, enabling him to run in on Martin, before placing his shot beyond the keeper’s grasp to put the the visitors ahead. 

Falkirk pressed for the equaliser in injury time, forcing two corners which goalkeeper Martin went up for, but they couldn’t eke out a decent chance from either, as Rovers defeated the Bairns for the first ever time in the Scottish Cup. 

Rovers will learn their opponents in the fourth round when it’s made on Monday evening, and after that, they have another cup tie in Inverness on Tuesday evening, when they take on the Caley Jags in the Challenge Cup quarter final. 


© Eddie Doig 2021



John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after the Scottish Cup win against Falkirk FC:

Live Updates

Raith team news… Dick is back in the starting XI, replacing Musonda, who is on the bench.
Game on!
Positive start from the Rovers.
Crossbar! Ross chips ball over Falkirk keeper, but hits the upright.
Ross… Zanatta… Ross… shoots. Blocked by a sliding tackle in the Falkirk box.
Tumilty carded for a rash challenge in the Falkirk box.
Morrison races down the right. He shoots from outside the box. The post saves MacDonald.
Williamson with another chance.
Falkirk looking more confident now.
Varian goes through. Defender does enough to put him off
Disaster for Raith. Tumilty is given a red card. Both bookings were avoidable.
Musonda replaces Connolly
Ross breaks almost into the box, ball drops to MATTHEWS, who drills home low clipping the far post.
Corner Falkirk
McGuffie tries a shot from outside the box. Goal kick Raith
McGuffie tries a cross/shot. Ball slips out of MacDonald's hands. Falkirk corner.
Hetherington rather late with his tackle on Matthews
Lang's backward flick just goes past the post.
Half time: Falkirk 0-1 Raith Rovers
Raith kick off the second half.
Goal Falkirk! Lovely move from their half ends with a shot from Morrison.
Falkirk have the ball in the net, but the ref had blown for a free kick.
McGuffie blasts over.
Krasniqi replaces Hetherington
Corner Raith
Falkirk 1-1 Raith Rovers
Williamson replaced by Miller
Krasniqi and Spencer booked for a bit of argey bargey (spelling?)
Zanatta replaced by Poplatnik
Telfer booked for a challenge on Matthews.
Krasniqi is a big lad, eh?
Falkirk 1-1 Raith Rovers
Keena on for Ruth
Telfer from 30 yards… well wide.
MacDonald easily collects what could have been a dangerous cross.
ROSS unmarked in the box. He couldn't miss. He didn't.
Miller fouled. 25 yards out. On the right wing. Could be danger time…
Defensive header well held by MacDonald.
Ross replaced by Benedictus
Corner Falkirk
Falkirk keeper up for the corner!
Another Falkirk corner
Full time: Falkirk 1-2 Raith Rovers.
What a result!!!!