Football returns after the international break this Saturday, with Rovers welcoming Stranraer to Stark’s Park.

John McGlynn’s side currently sit four points behind top-of-the-table Arbroath, and just a point ahead of in-form East Fife, with this weekend’s game signalling the start of the second quarter of the campaign.

Last time out saw Rovers draw 1-1 with Arbroath at Stark’s Park, with Kevin Nisbet grabbing his 10th goal of the season with a late equaliser, following Bobby Linn’s opener.

Stranraer go into the game on the back of a ding-dong victory over Dumbarton, with goals from Grant Anderson, David Brownlie and PJ Crossan eventually handing The Blues a 3-2 win, after Dumbarton had twice pegged them back through Ross Forbes and Dom Thomas.

It was a result which brough Steve Aitken’s tenure to a close at Dumbarton, with The Sons now on the lookout for a new boss, but for Stranraer, the result kept them just a point behind Brechin City, who occupy the final playoff position.

That fifth place has been acquired largely through their home form however, with 10 of their 12 points coming at Stair Park, although Rovers have already dropped more points at home this season than they did in the whole of last term.

The two sides have met once already this season, back on the opening day, with Grant Anderson cancelling out Liam Buchanan’s opener, in a 1-1 draw.

Rovers have a strong record in this match up, with seven wins and two draws from the last ten meetings.

Saturday’s match referee will be Steven Kirkland.

Head-To-Head Home League Record Versus Stranraer:

Raith Rovers Wins: 17 | Stranraer Wins: 3 | Draws: 7

Raith Rovers Goals: 54 | Stranraer Goals: 26

Current Form:

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

Stranraer: W-L-W-L-D-W

Top Goal Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Kevin Nisbet 10 | Liam Buchanan 4 | Lewis Vaughan 3

Stranraer: Grant Anderson 3 | David Brownlie 2 | Luke Donnelly 2

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 4/6 | Stranraer: 4/1 | Draw: 3/1


Ten Men Grab Three Points

Raith Rovers ground out an important 2-1 win over Stranraer this afternoon, but it was a hard fought victory, after Euan Murray was dismissed at the end of the first half.

Two goals from Kevin Nisbet, either side of a Luke Donnelly equaliser was enough to seal the points, but for long periods of the second 45, Raith were hemmed in by their hosts, although a superbly disciplined and obdurate performance kept the deficit to Arbroath to four points at the top of the table.

John McGlynn made two changes from the 1-1 draw with the Red Lichties, with the two Lewis’, Milne and Vaughan dropping out through injury, and Ryan Stevenson and Ross Matthews coming in in their stead.

With Raith shorn of attacking options, different players were going to have to grasp the nettle, and Murray was the first to step up to the mark, gallivanting down the right flank before aiming a useful cross into the box which Nisbet couldn’t quite get under control, with a defender touch tight behind him.

The in-form striker didn’t have too long to wait before getting on the scoresheet however, as he grabbed his now customary goal in the sixth minute.

Teed up on the left-hand side of the penalty area by Nathan Flanagan, Nisbet composed himself and picked his spot, curling a superb finish past Max Currie and into the right-hand top corner.

It was the ideal start for the home side, who have all too often this season struggled to break teams down.

Stranraer almost replied within 10 minutes however, when a low free-kick from Andrew McDonald whizzed under a jumping wall, but despite seeing it late, Robbie Thomson was able to smother the shot down to his right.

Stranraer had actually settled well since going behind, and while they weren’t exactly laying siege to Raith’s goal, the flow of the match was generally towards Thomson, although the Raith rear-guard were dealing with everything which came their way, while a few long distant efforts were proving ineffective.

That all changed in the 27th minute however, when they away side grabbed a deserved equaliser.

Jamie Hamill’s free-kick from the left flank was headed back into a crowd of players, and with no defender on hand to clear, Donnelly had time to smash an effort into the roof of the net from ten yards.

It was almost worse two minutes later, when PJ Crossan was able to cut in from the right and wriggle his way into the penalty area, before wrong footing Thomson, but sliding his shot just past the post.

Rovers had struggled to create very much since the opening goal, but they should have moved ahead again on the half-hour mark, when a Flanagan cross fell to Stevenson at the back post, but he delayed his shot a fraction too long, giving the defence time to get goal-side and block his close-range shot.

McGlynn’s men were starting to reassert themselves again, and they got their noses in front in the 39th minute, when a clever through pass from Flanagan allowed Nesbit a run in on goal, and the prolific forward needed no invitation to slot past Currie and into the bottom corner for his 12th goal of a productive season.

The celebrations had barely died down when Stranraer missed a gilt edged chance to equalise, when another set-piece into the area wasn’t dealt with by the home team, with David Brownlie reacting quickest, glancing a header just past the far post with Thomson again beaten.

The half ended on a sour note for Raith though, when Murray, who’d only just been booked, went down in the opposition penalty area, which referee, Steven Kirkland deemed theatrical, and brandished a second yellow card, and the inevitable red.

With the game finely balanced and Stranraer looking dangerous, it was a far from ideal end to the first period.

With Rovers reshuffled and a man down, it was key that they started the half well, but they almost got off to the worst possible one, when Thomson was forced into making a fine stop, scooping out a header from Grant Anderson which must have been inches away from crossing the line.

Perhaps realising that action needed taken, McGlynn made an instant substitution, swapping Stevenson for Jamie Watson.

As you’d perhaps expect with the numerical disadvantage, Rovers were struggling in the opening quarter-of-an-hour or so of the second period, with a Flanagan shot that was just too high their only attacking effort, in a half where Stranraer were looking increasingly dangerous.

Kyle Turner was next to try his luck, striking a bouncing ball on the volley from 25-yards which Thomson was thankful to watch bounce just wide.

With Arbroath and East Fife both winning, Rovers could have done with the comfort of a two goal cushion, but with their limited crosses into the area being wasted, it was frustrating, and nerve wracking second half for the home fans.

Stranraer were continuing to threaten though, and after Donnelly’s shot made its way past Thomson, Iain Davidson was on hand to block the shot on the line.

It was now very much a backs against the wall scenario for Raith, and with less than ten minutes remaining, the task was now to hold onto what they had.

It appeared the home side had survived the worst of it, but in the final minute, Mark Lamont’s cross found Innes Cameron unmarked at the back post, but he failed to find the target, and Stranraer’s final chance went begging.

Raith’s next match will be at Station Park, when they travel to face Jim Weir’s Forfar Athletic side.




Raith Rovers Manager John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after the 2-1 win at Stark's Park

Live Updates

After a wee break, welcome to today's game Raith v Stranraer. Its dry and still. Ryan Stevenson makes it into the starting line up
The teams have emerged from the tunnel and now on the pitch
Nisbet for Raith gets the game under way. Raith shooting towards the McDermid stand
Raith mainly in possession at the moment, passing throughout the park
Nisbet the scorer. Flanagan nicks the ball from Stranraer who passes to Nisbet the latter strikes the ball into the net
Nisbet the scorer. Flanagan nicks the ball from Stranraer who passes to Nisbet the latter strikes the ball into the net
Nisbet the scorer. Flanagan nicks the ball from Stranraer who passes to Nisbet the latter strikes the ball into the net
Nisbet the scorer. Flanagan nicks the ball from Stranraer who passes to Nisbet the latter strikes the ball into the net
Nisbet the scorer. Flanagan nicks the ball from Stranraer who passes to Nisbet the latter strikes the ball into the net
Benedictus comes running across to clear the ball from Donelly
Free-kick Stranraer approx 25 yards out Matthews came in to give away the free kick
Ball gets thoughts wall low, Thomson sees and gets down low to save
Crane loses the ball in the box but thankfully it's headed clear. Stevenson picks the ball up and tries for a long pass. Hamill clears
Anderson tries to score from a tight angle but hits the side netting
Benedictus keeps up with play and clears the danger from Crossan
Hamill wastes Stranraer's free kick as Crane intercepts before the ball reaches Donelly
Free-kick Raith at half way line. It's taken quickly
Good play between Hendry, Stevenson and Flanagan. The latter gets the ball to the centre spot but no one there
Stranraer equalise
Free ball in the box, Donelly picks it up for Stranraer and scores
Crossan comes close for Stranraer as no one closes him down. Ball goes just wide
Long ball Benedictus to Flanagan who knocks the ball across into the box, goes behind Nisbet but Stevenson there but his shot blocked
Anderson looking for a free-kick as Hendry fairly tackles him
Nisbet again. Good play between Flanagan, Matthews and Nisbet. Flanagan passes across, Matthews gives a wee flick on. Nisbet picks it up and scores
Murray dubiously booked after stepping in front and getting ball. Crossan goes to the ground.
Red card Murray. He claims he was tackled in the box. Second booking for diving
+1 Red brings first half to a close. Raith 2 Stranraer 1
Stranraer get the second half underway
Thomson already called into action as he makes an outstretched one hand save
Raith look as tho they are making an early substitution
Raith sub off Stevenson on comes Watson
Hamill for Stranraer tries to chip a shot home. It doesn't trouble Thomson as he collects
Hendry tries to feed the ball to Flanagan but the latter is too slow to react
Nisbet looks good to score but is brought to the ground at the edge of the box. Raith says no foul
Anderson booked for a foul on Thomson
Nisbet is down
After some treatment Nisbet is back on the park and game resumed
Thomson punches clear a Stranraer corner
Donelly for Stranraer booked for a foul on Matthews who was clear on a run down the field
Flanagan tries for a shot as he takes the ball into the box. His shot is too high
Play stopped as Benedictus is down and requires treatment
He's back up led to the sidelines and play gets back under way
Wedderburn booked for a foul on Crossan
Stranraer sub off D Smith on comes Lamont
Free-kick Raith as Hamill brings down Nisbet.
Cummins booked for a foul in Nisbet. Free-kick Raith
Stranraer sub off Anderson on comes Layne
Hendry takes the free kick. Gets the ball to Benedictus who comes close
Matthews feeds a good ball to Hendry but Hamill is able to just intercept
Flanagan passes a good ball to a fast Crane thundering down the wing. Sadly his cross into the box goes out
Free-kick Raith in their own box as Davidson is fouled
Crossan can't find a way through as the Raith defence hold.
Turner booked
Raith sub off Flanagan on comes Buchanan
Raith slow to get out as the home support and Thomson urge the players up the park
Turner fouls Hendry the ref doesn't present any card
Stranraer sub off Turner on comes Diver
Benedictus with a great vital tackle in the box
Raith sub off Nisbet on comes Berry
Crowd 1285 with 30 Stranraer fans
Man of the match is two goal scorer Nisbet
Diver comes so so close for Stranraer as his header is inches wide of the post
Hendry and Hamill tussle in the corner. The latter raises his hands to Hendry's face and is booked
Not sure why Wedderburn was told he had fouled
95 min and the game continues
Ref brings the game to a close Raith 2 (Nisbet 4,38) Stranraer 1 (Donelly)