It’s a top-of-the-table clash this weekend, as Raith Rovers welcome Dick Campbell’s Arbroath side to Stark’s Park.

The Red Lichties went 13 points clear during the week with a 1-1 draw against Stranraer, so if Rovers harbour any hopes of overturning the significant gap, a win is surely a must in this vital game.

Rovers can take some positives from the previous meetings this term, taking four points from a possible six, although they were fortunate to take a point in a 1-1 draw in October, with Kevin Nisbet scoring a late leveller after Bobby Linn had fired the visitors ahead with 10 minutes remaining.

There was no fortune in the next meeting in December though, with Rovers winning 2-0 at Gayfield.

Daniel Armstrong opened the scoring with a wonderful free kick after 20 minutes, while Liam Buchanan completed the scoring before the interval.

Since then, Arbroath have struggled for form, with just two wins in their five games since, but Rovers have failed to capitalise, with just one league win against Stenhousemuir since that 2-0 victory.

Arbroath have added to their forward line in the January transfer window, with Luke Donnelly joining from Stranraer, while ex-Rovers forward Greig Spence has also become a Lichtie after leaving Alloa Athletic.

Rovers will also be hoping to extend their excellent record in this fixture, with six wins and four draws from their last 10 meetings.

Saturday’s match referee will be John McKendrick

Head-To-Head Home League Record Versus Arbroath:

Raith Rovers Wins: 20 | Arbroath Wins: 8 | Draws: 9

Raith Rovers Goals: 125 | Arbroath Goals: 95

Current Form:

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

Arbroath: L-D-W-W-L-D

Top Goal Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Kevin Nisbet 21 | Liam Buchanan 9 | Lewis Vaughan 9

Arbroath: Ryan Wallace 17 | Luke Donnelly 9

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 13/10 | Arbroath: 15/8 | Draw: 13/5


Poor Run Continues With Latest Defeat

This afternoon’s match with Arbroath may have been described as a must win in some quarters, but you wouldn’t have realised from Raith’s tepid showing against the champions in waiting.

Red Lichties ‘keeper, Darren Jamieson didn’t have a save of note, meaning Colin Hamilton’s first-half strike was enough to send Arbroath 16 points clear at the summit of the table, and they can already start to plan for life in the Championship next term.

For Raith however, it’s very much back to the drawing board, with a clutch of clubs now within touching distance if they can’t arrest the current slide in form.

John McGlynn made one change from last weekend’s 3-1 Scottish Cup defeat to Hibernian, with Dean Lyness replacing Robbie Thomson between the posts.

There was little in the opening skirmishes, as both teams attempted to feel their way into the match, but there was a scare for the visitors in the third minute, when an attempted clearance from Jamieson struck Jamie Barjonas as he closed the custodian down, but despite the ‘keeper appearing temporarily panicked, there wasn’t a Raith player in close enough vicinity to take advantage.

It was a tentatively encouraging opening for Rovers, and they almost took the lead in the eighth minute, when Callum Crane’s cutback found Tony Dingwall inside the area, but his first-time effort from close range was deflected over the crossbar.

It was one of the game’s few chances in its opening 20 minutes, but while it lacked goal scoring opportunities, it did feature a fair few meaty challenges, with neither side giving an inch in what was a tense first quarter.

Arbroath demonstrated that they don’t need a host of chances to score however, taking the lead with their first chance in the 27th minute.

Jason Thomson’s cross to the back post found Bobby Linn, and his shot from an acute angle was well saved by Lyness, however, with the Raith defenders standing stock still as the rebound rolled towards the edge of the area, Hamilton needed no further invitation to place the ball through a glut of players and into the net.

It should have been two just four minutes later, when Linn’s set piece from the right found Greig Spence in a worryingly large amount of space just a few yards out, but he got a poor connection on his finish, appearing to shin the ball over the crossbar.

Raith looked rattled at this point, and with their forward promptings being easily dealt with by the away defence, a second goal for Arbroath looked far likelier than an equaliser.

Linn in particular was proving too much for the Raith defence to handle, and his sprint to the bye-line and cut-back was only just cleared for a corner.

Rovers had completely fallen out of the game, and it took them until the 38th minute until their next attempt at goal, when Nathan Flanagan cut inside and sent a shot past an untroubled Jamieson’s left-hand post.

Rovers were starting to keep possession a little better, but it was all taking place in front of the Arbroath backline, with a Crane header which was straight at Jamieson from a Euan Murray cross the last piece of action in a half which Rovers lacked ideas and were second best.

McGlynn made one change at the interval, with Iain Davidson being replaced by winger, Craig McGuffie.

That meant Grant Gillespie moved to the right back position, with Murray moving infield to partner Kyle Benedictus.

With Rovers desperate to get back into the match, they started the second period with a little more zip and energy, forcing two corners in quick succession, but they were largely for nought, as the maroon backline easily dealt with the crosses.

They were at least on the front-foot at last though, and a pass into the area from Gillespie picked out Crane, but his cross-come-shot across the face of goal was a touch too heavy as it floated wide of target.

It was as close as Raith would come in the game, with the early urgency they’d shown ebbing away, with Arbroath easily keeping them at arm’s length, as the forward players struggled to make any impact on proceedings.

Liam Buchanan was introduced for Nathan Flanagan with 20 minutes remaining, but it made little difference to the momentum of the match, as Arbroath continued  to look comfortable.

With a few minutes remaining, McGlynn made his last throw of the dice, bringing on Jack Smith for Kevin Nisbet, but there’d be no grandstand finish to the match, as Arbroath eased to the three points, and took the adulation of their large travelling support at full-time.



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Live Updates

Welcome to Starks Park for our league encounter with Arbroath, it's 9 degrees and sunny.
Rovers playing towards the South Stand.
Barjonas charges down a clearance from the Arbroath keeper but Jamieson recovered.
Little and Barjonas treated on the pitch after a challenge.
Both players return to the field.
Linn flattened in a challenge with Davidson.
Whatley with a lob into the box, Lyness collects.
Dingwall shoots from 18 yards and gets a corner which is cleared.
Nisbet playsa nice ball into the path of Flanagan who is denied by the diving Jamieson.
O'Brien blatantly brings down Flanagan, Mr McKendrick who was perfectly sighted, waves play on.
O'Brien blatantly brings down Flanagan, Mr McKendrick who was perfectly sighted, waves play on.
Flanagan denied again by Jamieson. Nathan went clear and tried to latch on to the pass but it was just beyond him.
Spence and Davidson getting in a tangle, the latter coming out on top.
Latest score, Raith Rovers 0-0 Arbroath
Goal Arbroath. Lyness denied Linn from a tight angle but the rebound fell to Hamilton who hit the back of the net from 12 yards.
Gold received a warning after a challenge on Dingwall.
A poor clearance rebounded into the box but Jamieson was on the spot to deny Barjonas.
Spence shoots jump over the bar from 20 yards.
Spence shooting from a tight angle, Lyness spills then recovered the ball.
Crane with an angled ball watches it go out at the back post, nowhere near it's intended recipient.
Flanagan takes the ball fora walk down the right, cuts in and shoots just wide from the edge of the area.
Dingwall, Flanagan and Gillespie chapping at the Arbroath door but neither could get a telling shot away.
Murray crosses from the right but Cranes header is gathered by Jamieson.
+1 Half time
Half time substitution. Davidson off, McGuffie on.
Half time substitution. Gold off, Kader on.
Murray taking Davidsons place at the back and Gillespie slotting in at RB
McGuffie free kick from 25 yards drifts tamely out of play.
Dingwall and Flanagan working well, the latter sees his shot flagged offside.
A delightful ball from Gillespie beats the Arbroath defence and alas the outstretched Nisbet.
Gillespie with a low pass finds Crane who hooks his shot wide of the back post.
Linn yellow for scything down Gillespie.
Nisbet gets on the end of a Crane pass but goes to ground.
Spence down under a challenge, now up and limping.
Swankie yellow for a trip.
Spence off, Wallace on.
Crane yellow for a trip.
Linn off, Denholm on
Wallace recieves a lecturer from Mr McKendrick
Flanagan off, Buchanan on.
Buchanan making an impact will a run and cross to Nisbet.
Mr McKendrick having another chat, this time with Murray.
Another cross is cancelled out by Jamieson.
I realise its a wee bit windy but the Rovers passing today has been lamentable.
Nisbet finds himself clear in the but heads wide across the face of goal.
Buchanan against O'Brien, Buchanan coming second every time.
Nisbet off, Smith on.
Attendance 1937 (428 award supporters )
Benedictus about to be yellow carded for a foul. He is on the deck at the moment injured.
A stretcher is on for Benedictus.
+2 the remaining moments of the games see the Rovers down to 10 men.
+5 McGuffie yellow for a trip.
+6 The last kick off the game came from an Arbroath free kick which drifted low and wide of goal. Full time.
Full Time score. Raith Rovers 0-1 Arbroath ( Hamilton 25' ) Attendance 1937