Whilst it wasn't without a scare or two, Raith Rovers made it through to the second round of the Irn Bru Cup in midweek, with their second straight 3-0 win, and they'll be looking for a repeat of that kind of scoreline, when Gary Bollan's Forfar Athletic side visit Stark's Park.

The two teams met last year in the Irn Bru Cup, with Raith on the receiving end of a 3-2 defeat. Mark Stewart put Rovers in-front after 20 minutes, but it was a goal which came very much against the run of play, with Lewis Milne equalising, before two goals from Josh Peters gave the Loons a 3-1 lead. Declan McManus did get Rovers back into it with just over 20 minutes remaining, but despite Rovers pressure late on, Forfar deservedly took their place in the next round.

Bollan's team would eventually earn promotion via the playoffs last term, although they led the way for the vast majority of the season, losing out on the title to fierce rivals Arbroath on the last day of the season.

Despite last season's success, a number of players have left Station Park over the summer, most notably Danny Denholm, Gavin Swankie, Josh Peters and Tom O'Brien, but Bollan has brought in a huge number of new faces to bolster his squad.

Former Rovers players, Simon Mensing and Scott McBride have both been brought in, while Dylan Easton was acquired after he left Clyde, while Ouzy See could start up front after he left Edinburgh City.

Marc McCallum is staking his claim to be the Loons number one, after leaving Plymouth Argyle, and former Falkirk central midfielder, Mark Millar has also been signed after a spell with Peterhead.

Forfar finished bottom of their League Cup section, but they did win their opening league match against Airdrie, it went down to Ayr last week by three goals to nil.

The two sides haven't shared a division since the 2006/07 season, and while Rovers didn't lose any of the four meetings, they were all close, with two 2-1 wins and two draws.

Despite that unbeaten sequence, Rovers and Forfar have identical records over the last ten league meetings, with four wins and two draws apiece.

Saturday's match referee will be Alan Newlands.

Head-To-Head League Record At Stark's Park:

Raith Rovers Wins: 23 | Forfar Athletic Wins: 10 | Draws: 4

Raith Rovers Goals: 84 | Forfar Athletic Goals: 52

Current Form:

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

Forfar Athletic: D-L-L-W-L-L

Top Goal Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Lewis Vaughan 8 | Liam Buchanan 3

Forfar Athletic: Mark Millar 4

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 8/15 | Forfar Athletic: 5/1 | Draw: 10/3


Rovers Winning Run Continues

Raith Rovers made it three wins on the trot with a hard fought 3-1 win against Forfar Athletic at Stark's Park this afternoon.

In what was the first league clash between the sides in over a decade, Rovers certainly deserved the three points, although the home fans had to wait until the final minutes before the win which sent the club to second in the league was secured.

Rovers lined up with 18-year-old Rory Brian in goal, and Ian Davidson partnered Kyle Benedictus in central defence.  Otherwise, the side had a familiar look as Barry Smith's men looked to build on their promising start to the league campaign.

Within sixty seconds Greig Spence was presented with a half-chance, but the ball was caught up under the striker's feet and the chance was lost.  Following a neat interchange of passes in midfield, Bobby Barr rushed down the right flank, and his swirling cross called for an alert fingertip save by Loons custodian Marc McCallum.

For all Rovers enjoyed the lion's share of possession, the visitors looked dangerous on the break, and after ten minutes Brian punched a corner high into the air, before looking lively to claw away the ball from the resultant shot.

Forfar midfielder Mark Millar was then cautioned by the referee, though the reason for the game's first yellow card was unclear.  Not that the former Falkirk player was particularly troubled by this, as he opened the scoring with a free-kick after fifteen minutes.  Davidson had given away a needless foul about 22 yards from goal, and Millar smashed his shot into the top corner of the net, giving Brian no chance.

Liam Buchanan almost equalised within two minutes, but McCallum blocked the Rovers striker's shot from close range.  Spence then had a similar opportunity, but again Adam denied the home side.

Rovers continued to press forward, and after half an hour in-form striker Lewis Vaughan restored parity with an excellent goal.  Latching on to the ball around halfway, the young forward burst deep into the Forfar half, and as the defence backed off, he lashed a low shot into the net from twenty yards.

Buoyed by the equaliser, Rovers poured forward, and Barr tried his luck with a low shot from distance which failed to trouble McCallum.  A Kevin McHattie cross then found Buchanan, but the striker's shot was easily gathered by the keeper.

The game then saw a pivotal moment when the visitors were reduced to ten men.  With acres of space in front of him, Buchanan drove towards the Forfar defence with purpose, only to be crudely fouled by Jamie Bain, who as the last man of defence fully warranted the red card brandished by the referee.

Rovers then forced a series of corner kicks although the Forfar defence stubbornly held firm until half-time.

The Rovers faithful were looking for increased urgency to go with the territorial dominance being enjoyed by the home side, and Jason Thomson came close to putting Rovers ahead, although the right back hesitated when McHattie's inviting cross from the left wing fell invitingly for him, and the ball was cleared.  Ross Callachan then zipped a shot narrowly wide of the target from 20 yards, before Spence was once again denied by a brave smothering save by McCallum.

McHattie was next to try his luck with a shot from outside the box, though the defender's shot was horribly miscued and flew high into the home stand.  Rovers pushed hard to get their noses in front, but Forfar's crowded defence meant they were largely reduced to shooting from distance, and a sense of frustration began to creep into their play.  The fans in the home stand appeared to be worried that perhaps this would not be their day.

Forfar's David Cox did little to endear himself to the home fans when he picked up a caution, then shortly afterwards slumped dramatically to the ground when he was caught by the arm of Scott Robertson, though the Loons forward was substituted shortly afterwards.

With ten minutes remaining, Barry Smith replaced Robertson with Jonny Court, and the move paid quick dividends as Rovers upped the ante going forward.  Lewis Vaughan sprinted down the left wing, and his low cross was steered into the far corner by Liam Buchanan, to the delight and relief of the home fans.

Buchanan was then replaced by Ross Matthews, presumably in a bid to shore up the midfield area and protect the lead for Rovers.  However, a raking pass from Callachan was missed by Simon Mensing, allowing Spence to nip in and prod the ball past McCallum from six yards.  Having wrapped up the points with his goal, Spence should then have added gloss to the final score when presented with a clear sight of goal, but his close range shot was somehow cleared by a defender who in truth knew little about his block.

In the end, Rovers were rewarded for their patience in a game which, in truth, could and should have been won long before the final minutes.  However, win they did, and this result leaves the club sitting pretty in second place in the table, behind Ayr United.  The season may be in its infancy, but it looks as if these two clubs will be pushing for top spot further down the line.




RaithTV spoke with the gaffer after the 3-1 win against Forfar

Live Updates

Welcome to a sunny, blustery Starks Park for Raith v Forfar on Rovers Retro day. Certainly plenty shirts of the past being worn today.
Welcome to a sunny, blustery Starks Park for Raith v Forfar
It's Rovers Retro day and there are plenty shirts from years gone by on show
Still waiting for teams to come out
Spence kicks the game off
Free kick to Raith after a foul on Spence
Some neat play between Callachan and Vaughan
Barr tried to play the ball onto Vaughan but the pass was weak and Forfar intercept
Davidson is down injured in the Raith box but ref played on
Davidson is back up on his feet
Great save from Brian
Corner Forfar
Free kick Raith after a foul on Spence deep in Forfar half
Vaughan with the free kick over the wall and just wide of goal
Booking for Forfar's Millar by the looks of it
Free kick to Forfar after Buchannan fouls
A high ball into the box but Thomson heads to clear it
Davidson fouls Easton about 20 yards out from Raith goal
Goal Forfar
Millar takes the free kick it goes up and into the top corner of net
Forfar keeper down injured
Long ball into box from McHattie to Spence but the Spence couldn't quite control it and keeper gathers
Barr tried to go for a shot inside the box but it crosses the goal and out for a goal kick
Buchanan collects the ball from Callachan runs towards goal but keeper comes out and gathers the baĺl
Vaughan picks the ball up deep in Faofar half and goes for a run takes it into the box and slots it home
Long ball from Callachan to Spence but the wind carries the pass out of play
Buchanan passes the ball to Barr who tries for a shot on the edge of the box but it's too soft and keeper gets down to save
Red card to Forfar's number 2
Buchanan is brought down on edge of box by Bain. Ref shows Bain ref card
Vaughan takes free kick but it goes just wide
Forfar sub off Easton on Travis
Free-kick Raith as Spence is bundled to the ground
Corner to Raith
2nd corner in a minute to Raith
Ref blows for half time
A fairly even half but with Forfar now down to 10 men hopefully Raith can use that to their advantage
Second half is under way
A corner from Vaughan but McCallum comes out to collect
McCollum clears but ball goes out of the park
Thomson tries to slam the ball home but it's blocked
A bit of a stramash. Cox snaps Barr then squared up to Vaughan
Cox booked
Long ball to Spence but the wind carries it out of play
Robertson collects the ball from Cox bit Cox goes down holding his face
Cox is soon up on his feet
Good ball from Barr to Vaughan who tries to shoot it home but keeper comes out to gather
Thomson with an up and over ball to Callachan but his first touch too heavy
A minutes applause for George Sutherland
Bene struggles to keep the ball in play
Vaughan collects the ball goes for a run but bounces off Mensing as Mensing makes a tackle
Good passing between Rovers ending in Vaughan trying to chip the keeper who punches it over the bar
Corner to Rovers
Vaughan with the ball into the box but headed clear
Free kick to Rovers after McBride clips Buchanan's heals
McHattie takes on Cox and ball blocked but goes off anothe Forfar player for a Corner
Long ball from Callachan to Vaughan but latters first touch to heavy
Free kick to raith
Spence taking it. Good ball in but keeper palm saves then collects
Vaughan tries to go for goal 25 yards out it takes a deflection off Mensing and keeper has to get down to save
A lot of passing play from Rovers but they are strugling to find a way through
Forfar Cox on Cregg
Good ball from Robertson to Spence who tries to head home but it goes over the bar
Rovers corner
Good ball into box from Vaughan but keeper comes out to save
Confusion between Robertson and Davidson in defence and Forfar pick up the ball but Robertson rectifies
Raith sub off Robertson on Court
Again another ball from Vaughan from a free kick into the box but keeper again comes out to collect
Malone booked
Forfar Lister on See
Vaughan plays the ball into the box Buchanan picks it up and fire it home from close range
Raith sub off Buchanan....on Matthews
Ball is played to Spence.. .goes one on one with Mensing but Spence puts it home
Nearly number four as Spence plays the ball to Court but he's tackled
Man of match to Buchanan
Mensing tries to play the ball back to his keeper but doesn't weight it well and goes out for a corner
+1 long ball to Vaughan who plays on Thomson passes to Spence who fluffs it in the box
+2 ref blows for full time.
+2 Raith 3 (vaughan, Buchanan and Spence) Forfar 1
+2 with 7 mins to go 1-1 and Raith struggling to break through. Goals from Buchanan and Spence & 3pts to Raith