Stark’s Park plays host to a top of the table clash this Tuesday evening, as first placed Raith Rovers tackle second placed Falkirk.

The Bairns are just a point behind Raith going into this one, with both sides missing a golden opportunity to strike a significant blow in the battle for the title.

John McGlynn’s men went down 1-0 to Dumbarton, in a weather affected battle at the C&G Systems Stadium, while Falkirk suffered their first league defeat under Lee Miller and David McCracken, as they lost out by the odd goal in five to Clyde.

This will be the fourth time the two have met this term, and Rovers have yet to taste defeat in any of them.

The first was back in September, when two goals from the penalty spot from Regan Hendry put Raith into the fourth round of the Challenge Cup with a 2-0 win, although it was far less straightforward the next month, when Falkirk were again the visitors to Kirkcaldy.

Louis Longridge and Connor Sammon handed Falkirk an early two goal advantage, but a second half fightback from the home side saw the game end two each, with Michael Miller and Daniel Armstrong getting on the scoresheet.

The last meeting between the two was back in December, a game which featured two goals and three red cards.

Jamie Gullan headed Rovers in front in the first period, after Charlie Telfer was dismissed in the 14th minute. Declan McManus then restored parity early in the second half, before Kyle Benedictus was dismissed for Raith, although the game didn’t remain 10-a-side for too long, when Morgaro Gomis was sent packing with a little under 10 minutes remaining.

Rovers have a poor record in the most recent fixtures between the sides, with just two wins and four draws from the last 10 meetings.

Tuesday evening's match referee will be Peter Stuart.


Head-To-Head Home League Record Versus Falkirk:

Raith Rovers Wins: 29

Draws: 21

Falkirk Wins: 29

Raith Rovers Goals: 118

Falkirk Goals: 116

Current Form:

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

Falkirk: W-D-L-W-W-L

Top Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Kieron Bowie 9, Jamie Gullan 7, Lewis Allan 6

Falkirk: Declan McManus 21, Conor Sammon 10

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 19/10

Falkirk: 23/20

Draw: 13/5


Vital Clash Ends All Square

It’s as you were at the top of League One, after Raith Rovers and Falkirk played out an exciting 1-1 draw at Stark’s Park. 

Steven MacLean blasted the home side in front at the start of the second period, only for Declan McManus to equalise midway through the second half, in a game which could have been won by either side in the closing stages. 

Rovers manager, John McGlynn made two changes from the side which went down so disappointingly to Dumbarton at the weekend, with John Baird and Tony Dinwall dropping to the bench, to be replaced by MacLean and Kieron Bowie. 

Falkirk co-bosses, Lee Miller and David McCracken had went with a bold, attacking line up in this one, and they’d clearly been told to press the home defence at every opportunity, with the front players snapping into challenges and pressurising the Raith defence every time they had possession in the opening stages. 

The opening 15 minutes were fairly even-Steven, with Raith shading possession without creating too much of note, although Falkirk felt they had a good shout for a penalty after quarter of an hour, when McManus went down under pressure from Iain Davidson, only for referee, Peter Stuart to wave play on, leaving a frustrated McManus to slap the turf. 

The game’s first big chance came in the 25th minute, when Falkirk won a corner down Raith’s right, and from Longridge’s inswinger, McManus inexplicably managed to scoop high and wide of the goal, despite being no more than two-yards out, albeit he was under close watch from two Rovers defenders. 

Falkirk were just starting to make their mark in the game though, with Louis Lonridge and Paul Dixon causing some amount of anxiety for the home side down their right-flank. 

Morgaro Gomis was the next to try his luck, when a Falkirk set-piece was headed clear of the penalty area, allowing the Bairns midfielder to stride onto the ball and strike a fierce drive a yard over Robbie Thomsons’s crossbar. 

It was far from one way traffic, with Regan Hendry and Daniel Armstrong both diligently probing the Falkirk backline, but other than a couple of scrambles in the Bairns box, Rovers had failed to test Falkirk keeper, Robbie Mutch, as the first half of a cagey match came to a close. 

Raith maybe hadn’t created anything clear cut in the first half, but it didn’t take them long to create something in the second. 

A perfectly weighted pass from Ross Matthews played through MacLean, and he leathered the ball past Mutch and in off the underside of the bar to open the scoring. 

Rovers now looked very much in the mood, and they almost exposed slackness at the back to make it two, but Bowie blasted wildly wide with Spencer in support, who wasted no time in telling off his colleague for not supplying him with a pass. 

Falkirk had started to look a little brighter since the goal, but it was almost 2-0 after an hour, when Armstrong’s free-kick from 25-yards appeared to be heading in, but for Mutch clawing the ball away from under the bar and out for a corner. 

There was an injury blow for Raith after 63 minutes however, when Thomson went down in a heap in the penalty area with apparently no-one near him, meaning he had to be replaced by Ross Munro. 

It was Mutch who was under scrutiny a moment later though, when he failed to deal with a high ball, and although MacLean was quick to gather the ball in, he was unable to turn and get his shot on target. 

However, a little against the run of play, Rovers were pegged back in the 69th minute.

A ball was swung deep into Raith’s six-yard area, and from close range, McManus was able to force it home to bring the scores level. 

The game was now swinging from end to end, and Falkirk had a remarkable escape in the 71st minute, when Raith hit the the frame of the goal twice in a matter of seconds. 

From a corner kick, the ball was swung into a congested area, from which the ball was eventually turned onto the post, and from the rebound, Benedictus was unfortunate to see his effort also hit the woodwork. Despite an abundance of Raith players in the area, none of them were able to get the vital touch. 

You felt the game had a third goal in it, and Hendry chanced his arm from distance, but while his effort fizzed, it lacked accuracy, slinking wide of Mutch’s left-hand post. 

Falkirk roared straight back though, and almost took the lead through a defensive calamity. 

The ball was gifted away just outside their own area, and after playing the ball across goal, substitute Lee Miller blazed high over the bar from eight yards out. 

With time ticking down, either side could have won it, with Bowie almost steering a cross home which just dribbled the wrong side off the post, before Lee Miller just failed to guide a header on target, as both sides had to settle for a point. 

With just the final quarter of the season to go, it looks like it’s going to be a fascinating run in, with both teams capable of taking the title. 


Photos © Tony Fimister



John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after the 1-1 draw at Stark's Park

Live Updates

Good evening from a cold, but not too cold, Stark's Park.
Team news in Baird sits on the bench tonight.
Benedictus is first out of the tunnel. It's almost time...
Falkirk kick off, shooting into the South Stand.
Quite noisy in both stands tonight.
Huge Armstrong cross from the right somehow lands at Bowie's feet in the box. Too difficult to control properly though.
MacDonald wins a corner for Raith.
Miller impeded. Free kick Raith.
Big challenge from MacDonald. Raith fans loved that. Nice.
Great move by Falkirk. Striker sliding in should have scored. Linesman's flag went up afterwards, so wouldn't have counted.
Armstrong down in the box. Would have been very soft. Play on...
Falkirk foul. Free kick will be taken by the corner flag.
Rovers clear the danger.
Not the most flowing of games.
Corner Falkirk.
Longridge takes. Good cross headed out for another corner.
Ref having a word with Miller after one foul too many. Card stays in his pocket though.
Pinball in the Falkirk box, but Raith can't get a solid foot on it.
Gomis lets rip. Ball flies over the post. Half chance there.
Hard to tell from this angle, but Armstrong either hit the post or his volley went sideways and backwards.
Lovely run from Hendry sets up Armstrong. His cross was good, but cleared away.
Corner Raith.
Another good run down the right from Armstrong. He's been a stand out this half.
Half time - Raith Rovers 0-0 Falkirk
Decent first half for Raith. They've had the better possession without creating lots of chances.
Thomson is out early for a warm up with McGurn.
Spencer starts the Second half.
What a start! MacLEAN weaves his way into the box and smashes a left foot shot that shaved the underside of the bar.
Bowie this time. Left foot shot that clears the bar. It got an 'ooooooooh...' though, so not far off.
Getting niggly now!
Bowie wins a corner.
Spencer to take...
First booking of the night for Falkirk. Raith have a free kick 25 yards out.
Armstrong curls over the wall and it takes a good save to put out for a corner.
Spencer picks up a yellow for a fair clatter on the left wing.
Thomson is down. He's coming off.
Munro replaces Thomson
Falkirk keeper drops the ball, but MacLean wasn't expecting it and can only lift the ball over the bar.
Gomis replacd by L Miller.
McManus rises to head home a free kick.
Corner Raith.
Cross bar for Raith!
Corner Falkirk.
Been a great Second half!
Hendry one two with MacDonald. Low cross cleared.
A couple of long range shots in a row from Falkirk. Both well wide.
Looks like Tait might be coming on.
Tait replaces Spencer
Good work from Bowie. Corner.
Munro slow to react, but just gets to it.
Bowie passes back to a Falkirk striker. He passes in front of goal and a great chance for Falkirk clears the bar.
Corner Raith.
Some game!
Benedictus just heads over.
Bowie takes a sore one.
He's back up though.
Att 3,225
A great chance for Raith, then Falkirk within a minute. It's end to end.
Full time - Raith Rovers 1-1 Falkirk
Incredible Second half there.