Raith Rovers will be looking to make it eight games unbeaten this weekend, when they head to Dumfries, to face Queen of the South.

Allan Johnston's side were the last team to get the better of Raith in a league game back in early September, but since then Rovers have lost just once, to Celtic in the League Cup.

It's a different story for the Doonhamers though, who have won just once in seven league games since that win at Stark's Park, and now sit eighth in the Championship, one point clear of Morton, and three ahead of bottom side Dunfermline.

Rovers go into this one on the back of a win over Ayr United, although it was far from comfortable.

John McGlynn's men were completely dominant in the first half, with goals from Ethan Ross and Dario Zanatta deservedly having them two goals up at the interval. However, Ayr fought back in the second half, but despite late pressure, they only had Jack Baird's goal to show for their efforts, and Rovers held on for all three points.

It was a close run thing the last time Rovers and Queen's met last time out, with Lee Connelly's early goal enough to seal all three points, despite the home side having the better of the play for much of the match.

Queen of the South have the upper hand in the most recent meetings, with five wins from the last 10 games, compared to Rovers three.

Saturday's match referee will be Kevin Clancy

Head-To-Head Away League Record:

Q.O.S Wins: 20 | Raith Rovers Wins: 18 | Draws: 16

Q.O.S Goals: 85 | Raith Rovers Goals: 77

Current Form:

Q.O.S: W-W-L-D-L-L

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

Top Scorers:

Q.O.S: Ally Roy 8 | Lee Connelly 6

Raith Rovers: Dario Zanatta 8 | Lewis Vaughan 4

Match Odds:

Q.O.S: 12/5 | Raith Rovers: Evens | Draw: 23/10


MacDonald The Main Man As Raith Draw

Raith Rovers closed the gap at the top of the table to three points after a 1-1 draw with Queen of the South this afternoon, although they were reliant on a man of the match performance from Jamie MacDonald, who denied the home side with some excellent goalkeeping on a number of occasions. 

Max Johnston had given his Dad’s side the lead in the 51st minute, but an equaliser from Aidan Connolly saw Raith head back up the road with a vital point. 

There was the welcome sight of Frankie Musonda in the starting eleven, which was one of two changes from the side which defeated Ayr United. 

The defender came in for Liam Dick, after the left back picked up a knock late in the game against Ayr while up front, Ethon Varian replaced Matej Poplatnik. 

Queen of the South were on the receiving end of a heavy defeat against Killie last weekend, but they should have taken the lead just two minutes into this one, when Max Johnston’s cross from the right found Ruari Paton in space at the back post. 

However, his header was slightly too close to Jamie MacDonald, who still had to look alert to palm the effort away to his right. 

He had to repeat the feat just four minutes later, when again, Johnston’s cross found a Queen’s player, Innes Cameron this time inside the six yard box, but his downward header was also too close to MacDonald, but he still had to show sharp reflexes to deny the Kilmarnock loanee. 

The Rovers defence was struggling to cope with the Doonhamers crossing, with Wullie Gibson’s set piece again from the right causing the problem in the 10th minute, but Paul McKay could only steer a shot off target from inside the area. 

It was turning into a difficult start to the game for Raith, and MacDonald had to pull off a third good stop in the 12th minute, when Ben Liddle’s corner was met by Cameron, but again, Raith’s ‘keeper denied him with a great reaction stop. 

Rovers simply weren’t at the races, and they had a huge let off a couple of minutes later, when Cameron’s pass across goal was met by Paton, but with the goal gaping, he somehow managed to slip the ball wide from six yards out. 

Rovers were playing against a strong wind in this opening period, which was making it difficult to clear their lines, and build anything further forward, and even this early, it felt like getting to half-time and getting the conditions to their advantage in the second half was going to be vital. 

Queen’s almost got the opener just after the halfway mark, when Gibson’s cross from the right found Paton in space at the back post, but he was just unable to steer the ball home. 

However, despite being completely under the cosh for 25 minutes, Rovers should have snatched the lead, when Aidan Connolly threaded a pass through to Ethan Ross, but after delaying his shot, Solomon Brynn narrowed the angle well and blocked his shot. 

The architect of that chance then decided to take matters into his own hands just before the half hour mark, but his shot from distance was never troubling Brynn. 

Rovers had done well to weather the storm, both literally and metaphorically, and the game started to become less open, more scrappy, and thankfully, more even as it wore on. 

Rovers were stretched in the 41st minute though, when Connolly’s forward ball was flicked on by Cameron, but with Paton ready to lash the ball goalward, Lang stooped to head the ball away for a corner. 

Rovers could have sneaked the lead just before the interval, when Ross’s pull back from the bye line failed to find any of the Raith players in the box, but Raith would have been pleased to see the back of that half, in which they were second best for large swathes of the 45 minutes. 

The interval didn’t change anything at the start of the second period though, as Queens grabbed a deserved opener in the 47th minute. 

The move started at their own corner flag, and with Raith exposed at the back, Johnston was played through before coolly sliding the ball past MacDonald to open the scoring. 

It should really have been two in the 51st minute, when Roberto Nditi ran at the retreating Rovers backline, before slipping the ball through to Connolly, who blasted the ball over from a tight angle. 

Despite their dominance, Queen’s were almost pegged back a moment later, when Ross and Zanatta combined brilliantly, with the latter’s clever turn seeing him with just the keeper to beat, but Brynn did brilliantly to beat away his attempt from close range. 

Queen’s had started to drop a little deeper since the goal, but while Rovers were enjoying their best spell of possession in the game, other than that Zanatta attempt, they were struggling to create anything clear cut. 

Queen’s on the other hand were still managing to do just that, and again, MacDonald had to be at his best, after Liddle was presented with a chance from close range, which the Raith custodian somehow kept out. 

Rovers made their first change of the match, when Ross Matthews replaced Dylan Tait with 20 minutes remaining, and two minutes later, they had their equaliser. 

A long ball forward from Berra was flicked on to Connolly, who blasted past Brynn to restore parity. 

Rovers suddenly had their tails up, and with 15 minutes remaining, Poplatnik replaced Ross, as Rovers went 4 4 2.

They had a half chance in the 80th minute, when a deep set piece was met by Berra, but his header was off target and bounced wide. 

Rovers had started to drift out the game a little since the change, and good play by Harry Cochrane picked out Josh Debayo on the edge of the area, but his first time effort was skied well over the crossbar. 

There was danger in the 88th minute, when a cross from the left met a clutch of players in the six yard box, but no-one was able to get a definitive touch on the ball, and MacDonald again was able to pounce on the ball. 

Nditi had the final chance of the game, but his shot from distance was slightly too high and wide, and the full time whistle was blown before the goal kick could be taken. 

It was a hard won point in a game where Queen’s must surely have wondered how they didn’t get all three. 

Rovers are on their travels again next week, when they head to the Fountain of Youth Stadium to face Hamilton Accies. 


© Eddie Doig



John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after the draw in Dumfries:

Live Updates

15 minutes till kick off at Palmerston.
Big team news is Frankie Musonda starts for the first time this season!
I can confirm that some sunshine e has been spotted over Dunfries.
Raith kick off, shooting into the covered enclosure.
HUGE early save for MacDonald from a Paton header.
Too early for excitement like that!
Cameron with the point blank header… MacDonald AGAIN. Still 0-0.
McKay unmarked in the Rovers box from a good free kick on the right wing. Volley goes well wide.
Corner QoS.
Cameron on his own from the corner, free header. Keeper MacDonald (you know the rest)
Some start from QoS. MacDonald saving the say so far…
Paton at the back post from a lovely low cross, he hits it low towards the near post. It's a certain goal if it's on target. Luckily it squirms past the post.
Queen of the South 0-0 Raith Rovers.
Musonda pings in a sweet cross from the left. Ball whizzes past defenders and attackers.
Paton slides in at the back post. Not able to connect that time.
Connolly sends Ross clean through. Brynn rushes out and saves the Doonhamers. Corner Raith.
Connolly tries a long ranger. Brynn watches the ball out for a goal kick.
Debayo quick to react in the box and out for a Rovers corner.
Berra with the header from the corner. Straight into keeper's arms.
Queen of the South 0-0 Raith Rovers.
Varian into the ref's book.
This time Lang saves the day. Manages to header the danger away. Out for a QoS corner.
Nice play from Raith. Tumilty picks the ball on the wing, his cross is blocked for a throw in.
Half time: Queen of the South 0-0 Raith Rovers.
My fingers need a deserved 15 minute lie down!
Second half kicks off with QoS on the ball.
Goal QoS!
Good break from their own half with pass after pass eluding the Rovers defence. Johnston ends up with the ball in the box and slots hone.
Connelly fires over from a tough angle.
Rovers on the back foot the now.
Ross send Zanatta into the box. Great pass. Zanatta turns perfectly and Brynn pulls off a sublime save to stop the equaliser.
Corner Raith.
With a crowded box, Raith go for the short corner. Pass is intercepted and the chance gone.
Queen of the South 1-0 Raith Rovers.
Cameron booked for QoS.
Corner Raith.
Lang yellow carded. Holding back an attacker.
Berra clears for a QoS corner.
Connelly sent through, Musonda tackles well. Ball falls to QoS and MacDonald to the rescue again.
Matthews on for Tait.
Spencer cut back. Everyone watches the ball trundle towards the penalty spot. QoS react quickest and clear.
A perfect flick drops to CONNOLLY 10 yards out, he takes his time and drills home.
Zanatta cross from the right. Just too much for Varian.
The two 22s are going off… Johnston for Cochrane (QoS) and Ross for Poplatnik (Raith)
Corner Raith
Queen of the South 1-1 Raith Rovers
Rovers now dominating.
Connelly replaced by Roy (QoS)
Berra at the far post, bullies his way past the defender. Header goes wide though.
Cooper on for McGrory.
QoS corner.
Cut back falls to QoS defender Debayo in the Rovers box. He blasts well over.
Now QoS seem to have plenty of the ball!
Ball smacked into the Rovers box. Could go to anyone… it falls at Lang's feet and spins towards his own goal… MacDonald for the gazillionth time today makes a crazy good save.
Nditi with a piledriver from 25 yards out. Wasn't too far away!
Full time: Queen of the South 1-1 Raith Rovers.
I'll take that!