Rovers look to win a domestic trophy for only the third time in their history this weekend as all roads lead to Airdrie for the SPFL Trust Trophy Final against Queen of the South on Sunday.

© Craig Watson

John McGlynn’s side go into the game buoyant, despite recent results and have only lost two of their last six games as they look to have turned a corner after a sticky patch at the turn of the year. 

The appointment of Wullie Gibson appeared to give Queens a brief boost as they won three games on the bounce at the end of February and into the beginning of March, but their fortunes have since changed as four defeats on the spin including a 1-0 defeat to Rovers have saw them slump back to the bottom of the Championship, three points behind Dunfermline. 

Rovers on the other hand, go into the game hoping that lifting the trophy will act as a platform to go and help them secure the last play-off spot going into the final five league games. 

© Craig Watson

The two sides have met four times this season and it has been a fixture that Rovers haven’t found too much success in, having won once, drew twice and lost once against then manager, Alan Johnston’s side and they’ll be looking to change their fortune by grabbing their second victory of the season against the Doonhamers. 

Rovers won the last encounter between the two sides, with Matej Poplatnik’s first half strike securing the three points at a sunny Palmerston and that strike has since seen him go on a run of scoring a goal a game against Inverness and Arbroath. 

Both the management and the players will have the added motivation of not being able to participate in the last final, which was never able to be played and resulting the shared award of the 2020 Tournament, which will hopefully mean they can have the trophy for keeps this time around. 


Head-To-Head Record: 

Queens Wins: 15  Raith Rovers Wins: 13  Draws: 5 

Current Form: 

Raith Rovers: D-L-W-L-W-D

Queen of the South: L-L-L-L-W-W 

Top Scorers: 

Raith Rovers: Dario Zanatta 9, Aidan Connolly 7, Matej Poplatnik 6 

Queen of the South: Lee Connolly 7, Ruari Paton 3 

Referee: Grant Irvine 


The Rovers class of 2022 etched their names in the history books after two bullet headers courtesy of Matej Poplatnik and an Ethan Ross finish saw John McGlynn’s side ease past Queen of the South 3-1 to lift the SPFL Trust Trophy.

The Slovenian’s double coupled with Ross’ 78th minute strike saw off a courageous Doonhamers performance as John McGlynn’s side looked to give themselves a massive boost going into the final five league games as they look to salvage a play-off place.

It looked like it would be a nail biter of a tie when Queens came out all guns blazing in the first period and Rovers could well have been a goal behind on two occasions inside the first ten minutes after Ally Roy couldn’t make the most of Rovers slow start. Firstly, the Northern Irishman was played in behind Dick on the right, who couldn't get back goal side of his man, allowing the forward to cut in from the right onto his left foot and see his shot from 20-yards headed over for a corner

Roy was played in behind yet again five minutes later, getting in between Musonda and Dick but his shot from 20-yards out was saved by MacDonald in the middle of the goal.

2 goal hero and Player Of The Match Matej Poplatnik

However it would be man of the moment Matej Poplatnik who put Rovers ahead with a quarter of an hour played with a fantastic bullet header from six yards out. Some great play in the middle of the park from Ross Matthews saw him evade Cochrane and play a great ball down the right channel for Tumilty to chase and cut back on the byline into the six-yard box for Poplatnik to fling himself at, putting his head on the line to power the ball into the top right corner with a quarter of an hour played. The Slovenian's 4th goal in as many matches came at the expense of an accidental boot to the side of the head which required a dressing to his right ear (secured by a large bandage) to be in place for the remainder of the match.

Queens weren't out of the tie by any stretch and player/manager Wullie Gibson thought he was going to get his side on level terms with 25-mins played. Some great play from Josh Todd saw him allow Cochrane’s pass into the box run through his legs for Cooper to run onto and lift into the box over everyone for Gibson to run onto and volley over the bar and into the stand.

Ruari Paton thought he’d volleyed his side level with 28 minutes played. A high ball into the box was won by the Irishman on the left hand side of the box, who’s volley into the ground bounced over the head of everyone and cannoned off the post, back into the path of Roy, who couldn’t sort his feet out as the ball was hacked away for a corner.

As the two sides continued to trade blows Rovers could’ve doubled their lead nine minutes before the break as Ross went close. Musonda’s diagonal from the right was won and headed over Gibson by Varian on the left apex of the box for Ross to touch down and take to a tight angle but his shot through the legs of Rae was deflected over.

Queens’ luck looked to be out as Euan East was the next one to pass up an opportunity to level things up shortly before the interval. An out - swinging Lee Connolly corner from the right hand side was met by East at the front post, who’s towering header cannoned off the crossbar from close range, before MacDonald could react but some acrobatics from Frankie Musonda saw the ball hacked away.

Queens would find themselves on level terms two minutes into first half stoppage time as Ally Roy put any past grievances to bed. A ball into the box from the left wasn’t defended well enough as the No.9’s initial header from six-yard cannoned off of the right hand post, landing back to East who’s first time effort was saved from point blank range but parried back to the Northern Irishman who poked the ball beyond MacDonald to level things up.

Rovers had to deal with a ten minute spell of wave after wave of Queens attacks in the opening period of the second half but nearly found themselves back in front 11-minutes after the restart as Frankie Musonda header over the bar from Connolly’s corner.
The winger was left to hold his hands up after Connolly was dispossessed in the middle of his own half which allowed Cochrane to play in Paton, who in turn ran away with the ball who tried to roll the ball across the face of goal from distance, but his effort trickled wide.

It would be Rovers who regained the lead through that man, Matej Poplatnik, once more as he bulleted yet another header for his fifth goal in four games. Some great pressing from Aidan Connolly saw him win the ball out on the right, playing it across the face of the box for Poplatnik to win the ball and lay it off for Zanatta who’s shot from a tight angle was blocked for a corner. The Canadian’s cross was won by the Slovenian at the far post who arrowed the ball into the top right corner for a second time with 20-minutes to play.

Ethan Ross would make it game, set and match with 12-minutes left after some great hold up play from Poplatnik on the left hand side saw him lay it back for Zanatta, who in turn sent him scampering down the left wing, to again hold off Gibson, play it inside the full-back for Mackie to run onto and cut back for Ross who’s touch didn’t let him down and he obliged by poking the ball into the bottom left hand corner to seal the SPFL Trust Trophy victory, becoming only the third Rovers team to bring a trophy back to Starks Park.


Pictures from a perfect day at the SPFL Trust Trophy Final

Photographs © Jim Foy & Cameron Goodsir-Maguire.


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John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after winning the SPFL Trust Trophy:


Man of the Match Matej Poplatnik spoke to RaithTV after winning the SPFL Trust Trophy:


Ethan Ross and Captain Ross Matthews spoke to RaithTV after winning the SPFL Trust Trophy:


Zambian Internationalist Frankie Musonda spoke to RaithTV after winning the SPFL Trust Trophy:

Live Updates

Only two hours until the SPFL Trust Trophy kicks off. Raith Rovers v Queen of the South
One hour to go folks… still awaiting team sheets
Team sheets out… three starting line up changes… MacDonald returns in goals, Musonda returns from international duty and Ross back in the starting eleven.
30 minutes until kick off and the ground is filling up. A number of Rovers supporters already in
15 minutes to go and many more Rovers fans in and they are making their voices heard
Excellent warm reception given to the Rovers players as they come across to the fans for their final warm up before kick off
Teams are making their way on to the pitch
Teams are making their way on to the pitch
Formalities done… players getting into their starting positions
QoS get the game underway
Todd for QoS thumps the ball forward, it's ambitious and MacDonald comfortably collects
Todd for QoS thumps the ball forward, it's ambitious and MacDonald comfortably collects
Paton passes to Roy but he is well offside
Ross tries to charge through the middle but is intercepted
QoS have gone for a shot, take a Deflection ..corner Qos
Ball placed into the box, MacDonald clears
Ball placed into the box, MacDonald clears
Todd to Cooper who tries to get the ball into the centre of the box but Musonda clears
Ball played to Roy he has Liam Dick beside him, he takes a shot, MacDonald gets down to save
Poplatnik to Ross but the latter is fouled, free kick Raith approx 30 ish yards out
Connolly takes it, ball swings in but Raith can't put a head to it
Free kick Raith just in their half after Stanton fouled
Tumilty from the throw in gets the ball to Connolly who takes it in, passes to Mackie who has a pop but ball well wide
Tumilty had the ball at the byline, he crosses it in and POPLATNIK is there to thump home Raith's first goal of the afternoon
Sadly Raith fans have put a flare on the pitch
Connolly has Tumilty screaming down his right but he looks up and decides to go for a shot. Keeper splls but he can gather comfortably
Stanton to Connolly who wants to go for a run up the right wing but ball goes out of play
Musonda to Stanton he's jostled by Cooper but ball goes off the latter for a throw in Raith
Poplatnik feeds the ball to Connolly but too many QoS players around and they steal the ball away
QoS think they are through when Todd crosses the ball into the Raith box. QoS get a head to it but it goes off kilter, ball falls to another QoS player but ball blasted high
Poplatnik goes for a run through the middle he has Stanton to his left, he passes but Stanton's shot is direct to the keeper
Free kick QoS after Stanton fouls
Oooofftt Varian clears off the line
Ball played through to Varian but it's just a bit too far away for him to make an impact
Musonda with a great ball to Tumilty he tries to cross it in to the box but it isn't lifted high enough and QoS intercept
Connolly has a thump towards goal forcing Rae to palm save, Poplatnik is there but his effort is wide
Tumilty to Poplatnik the ball falls just behind but Poplatnik quicker to react he tries to drive forward but his touch is a bit heavy
Corner Raith
Poplatnik with another effort but ball is high
5 minutes to go QoS corner
Ball falls to a QoS player he heads down ball hits off the bar and down and somehow stays out of goal
Tumilty booked
MacDonald punches the ball clear
Two minutes added time
+1 free kick QOS after a foul by Mackie
+2 QoS score… don't know how many times it bounced off the bar but it was a scramble and they score
+2 ref blows for half time entertaining first half Raith 1 (Poplatnik 15) Queen of the South 1 (Roy 45+2)
Raith get the second half underway
Don't seem to be any changes at half time
QoS first corner of the second half
Connolly for QoS swings the ball in but looked as though Todd heads out, goal kick Raith
Mackie picks up the ball he goes forward he has Poplatnik in the box but his cross is intercepted
Poplatnik to Stanton in the box but QoS intercept
Gibson with the ball into the box but Tumilty clears
QoS corner
MacDonald saves
Free kick QoS but should the ref have played advantage
Yellow for Varian after a foul on O'Connor
Raith subniff Varian and bring on Zanatta
Ross to Connolly who has a shot but it's blocked
Zanatta wins a corner for Raith
From the corner ball is placed into the box but Musonda's header is too much
Poplatnik is taken out but no booking for QoS
Connolly whips the ball in Mackie and Musonda are there but the ball screams passed them and out for a goal kick
Zanatta has a pop but his ball hasn't curled early enough and it's past the far post
QoS. cross the ball into the box MacDonald is out stretched and collects
Paton has a shot on goal but it's weak and wide
Mathews to Tumilty who does well to keep control, he thumps the ball low but keeper saves
Oooh tense time with Raith Ends with Zanatta having a go and corner won
It's POPLATNIK who slots home goal number two for Raith
He celebrates taking his shirt off and is booked
Corner QoS
Poplatnik heads the ball clear
Connolly with the long ball to Zanatta but it doesn't reach
Liam Dick receiving treatment in the middle of the pitch after a head knock
He's being checked over by the medics and he's been given the okay to continue
Rovers fans in loud voice singing we've got McGlynn
QoS sub off Paton and Connelly and bring on McKechnie and Soares Jr
Raith sub off Dick and bring on McKay
Raith pushing forward looking for goal number four
5 min to go and Raith holding on to the ball
Ethan Ross getting the fans to make some noise
Mackie with a excellent string challenge
QoS corner
Ball played into the box no Zanatta clears
Fans all sing Poplatnik
Throw in Raith deep in QoS end
Zanatta looks for goal but his touch is too heavy
Corner Raith
Raith 3 (Poplatnik 15', 70' Ross 77') Queen of the South 1(Roy 45')
Players come over to meet the fans Musonda and Zanatta have their respective flags
Players make their way down the pitch to meet the fans further down the stand
Molli Hancock places the trophy on the stand ready for the presentation
QoS get their medals first
Ref and linesmen get their medals
Raith make their way to collect their medals and MOLLI HANCOCK hands over the trophy which is coming back to Kirkcaldy
Raith Rovers hold the cup aloft….SPFL Trust Trophy winners