Line Up

Preview

Raith Rovers head north this Saturday, when they travel to The Caledonian Stadium, to face an in-form Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Billy Dodds’ men have won four out of their last five matches, a sequence that includes victories over Ayr United, Morton and Partick Thistle in the league, and an excellent victory over Kilmarnock in the Scottish Cup, which booked a place in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

That run has enabled the Caley Jags to elbow their way back into the playoff equation, and are now six points behind fourth spot with a game in hand, making this a must win match for them.

If Rovers are to take all three points from this one, then they’d need to upset a trend that goes all the way back to 2000, the last time they actually managed to defeat Inverness over 90 minutes.

This season’s encounters have featured two draws and a defeat, with that loss coming in the first fixture, with Inverness running in 2-0 winners at Stark’s Park in September.

The return match in October ended in a 1-1 draw, with Sam Stanton opening the scoring after 13 minutes, only for Robbie Deas to equalise before half time.

Rovers took the lead again in the last meeting in January, not just once but twice, through Lewis. Augean and Aidan Connolly, but we’re pegged back on both occasions through Jay Henderson and Billy McKay.

Saturday’s match referee will be Craig Napier

Head-to-Head Record

Inverness Caledonian Thistle Wins: 22

Raith Rovers Wins: 7

Draws: 8

Reports

Highland Hoodoo continues for Rovers

Rovers fans are acutely aware of the poor record against Inverness. The difficulty of this fixture against an in-form Inverness was compounded by a host of injuries and illness in the squad.

This meant Rovers went into the game with players playing through the pain barrier and having to reshape the formation to more of a 4-1-4-1, with Scott Brown dropping into defence and Kieran Ngwenya coming in at left back. The walking wounded and depleted squad was demonstrated by only having four substitutes compared to nine against Hamilton just a few days ago.

Rovers’ fans may have felt some positivity, though, as the team did start on the front foot: good work from William Akio down the right eventually saw the ball drop to Aidan Connolly, but his curling shot was straight at the host’s keeper, Mark Ridgers. However, any optimism started to diminish three minutes later as Jay Henderson gave Inverness the lead. The ball was worked down the right hand side and with the low cross splitting the defence, Henderson was left with an easy tap-in. Inverness 1-0 Rovers

Connor McBride takes on the Caley defence

Things were to go from bad to worse ten minutes later: the ball broke off Sam Stanton – who went on to claim he was fouled – but Nathan Shaw took full advantage by smashing into the top corner. Inverness 2-0 Rovers

Rovers rallied through to half time without really posing the Inverness goal a problem. Best opportunities being a Lewis Vaughan shot from the edge of the box, which flashed wide, before Jamie MacDonald denied Inverness a third with a point blank save.

Half-time: Inverness 2-0 Raith Rovers

The second could be described as a bit of non-event with the performance falling somewhere between damage-limitation and the hope of sneaking a goal to get back in it. First opportunity fell to Akio but he was out-muscled by two Inverness defenders just as he looked to be through on goal.

Lewis Vaughan tries a shot

 

The second half continued to be a low-key affair with the main talking point being the additions to the injury woes: Ross Millen having to be taken off and then late substitute Esmael Goncalves having to leave injured just on full-time.

A difficult day for Rovers and with a tough trip to Dundee on the horizon, the squad is really going to have to dig deep over the next few weeks.

Full-time: Inverness 2-0 Raith Rovers

by David Proudfoot

Photos

 

Highlights

Interviews

Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after the defeat to Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC:

Live Updates

0'
Welcome to today's Cinch league game at Caledonian Stadium -Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Raith Rovers. It's a bright sunny day here in Inverness with a bit of a chilly wind. Ref is Craig Napier assisted by Andy Milne and Liam Duncan
0'
Inverness get this afternoon's game underway
0'
Raith playing in their pink strip today and shooting towards the away support this half
1'
Millen gets the ball dropped onto the penalty spot but ICT clear
3'
Connolly managed to steal the ball from McKay. He launches the ball upfield to Akio but he can't make good of it
4'
Doran thinks he's scores but linesman flags offside
5'
Brown tries to find Akio upfield but again ICT have intercepted
6'
Freekick Raith deep in their half after Shaw fouls Millen
7'
Akio skips past his player gets the ball into the box it's cleared but only as far as Connolly who has a pop but straight to the hands of Ridgers
10'
Connolly has the ball he has Akio on his right but he decides to take on ICT but it doesn't pay off
10'
ICT score… Harper weaves his way through passes to Henderson who slots home
13'
Millen does well to intercept a McKay pass
16'
Easton has the ball, Raith push upfield but his final pass is not accurate enough to Connolly
17'
Brown decides to hoof the ball upfield to Connolly but the ball has gone out for a throw in to ICT
20'
ICT score… Stanton was looking for the foul in the box but ball falls to Shaw who scores
24'
Vaughan plays the ball to Connolly he goes further upfield and crosses the ball into the box but McBride can't head home for Raith
25'
Stanton plays the ball on to McBride but the ball is played a bit too heavy and goes out of play
28'
Raith with opportunities there but they can't slot away
29'
McBride with a possible shot and Connolly is there at the far post but the ball is out for a goalkick
30'
Doran to Shaw who has a pop .. Millen is there to head out for a ICT corner
31'
Connolly to Millen who launches the ball into the box but nothing comes of it
33'
Millen's pass upfield to Connolly is too heavy and goes out for a goalkick
34'
Raith do well to defend and clear a threat from ICT
35'
Shaw cuts the ball back in the Raith box and Ngwenya is there to clear the ball from yards out from the goal line
36'
Akio has a shot on goal and ball is deflected out for a Raith corner
37'
Connolly gets the ball to the front end of the box, ICT clear it looked to me like handball and the Raith players are protesting too but nothing given
38'
Doran is there in the box with the ball, he shoots straight at MacDonald … corner ICT
45'
Harper plays the ball forward and Millen is there to get a toe to it
45'
+1 ref blows for half time ICT 2 ( Henderson 10', Shaw 20') Raith 0
45'
Raith get the second half underway. Raith shooting towards their own fans this half
45'
McBride plays a great ball upfield to Akio who has two ICT players at either side of him, his first touch is bit too much and Ridgers is able to collect before Akio can pick up again
47'
Freekick Raith after Carson is alleged to have slapped McBride in the face with a flailing Hand
52'
↔️
Raith sub off Millen and bring on Young
56'
Kreekick IICT just outside the D of the Raith box
57'
Harper takes it. The ball deflects off the Raith wall, corner ICT
58'
From a second corner ICT play the ball into the box, ball falls eventually to the far side of the box and ICT have a shot that is just wide
59'
Welsh has a pop in the Raith box but it takes a deflection thankfully
61'
Throw in from Ngweny reaches Akio who head flicks on but ICT intercept
62'
Henderson passes the ball upfield to Doran but Nolan is there to cover
63'
Brown is there to cover an ICT ball which is hoofed up the park and an in running Welsh advances
65'
Ngwenya does well to halt Shaw making any threat… goal kick Raith
65'
Brown heads clear a strong ICT ball put into the Raith box
68'
Easto passes to Akio who cuts it back to McBride but his first touch is poor
69'
↔️
ICT sub off McKay and bring on Samuels
70'
Easton gets the ball into the box ICT clear… eventually falls for a Raith corner. From this, the ball is played into the box but Ridgers comes out to collect
71'
Vaughan has a low shot but Ridgers collects
71'
ICF corner
71'
Ball played to the near post and Akio is there to clear to Connolly
73'
Raith trying to press and Easton crosses over to Young but unfortunately it doesn't come off
75'
Henderson played the ball to Doran, Brown is calling for offside and it is eventually given
76'
↔️
ICT sub off Doran and Henderson and bring on Woods and Boyd
78'
Vaughan is in the box with the ball but it's stolen from him… Easton has the ball and he takes the ball into the box has a shot but Ridgers collects
80'
↔️
Raith sub off Easton and Akio and bring on Ross and Isma
81'
↔️
ICT sub off Shaw and bring on Hyde
81'
The attendance today is 2198… probably around 100 Raith support in attendance
84'
Raith pushing forward play ends with Connolly trying to keep the ball from going over the touch line so he can cut back but sadly it doesn't happen
86'
Young with a good pass to Ross, ICT intercept throw in Raith
91'
Isma is being helped off the pitch with his right leg in pain