Rovers Impress With Hamilton Win

A swashbuckling first-half performance from Raith saw them win their second straight pre-season friendly, with an impressive 3-2 win over Hamilton Academical. 

Goals from Regan Hendry, Kieron Bowie and an own-goal from Johnny Hunt saw Rovers race into a three goal lead, and despite a far stronger second half showing from the Premiership side, Raith held on to claim the victory.

John McGlynn made five changes from the side which defeated Stirling Albion. 

David McGurn made his return to the team in goals, while Kyle Benedictus made way for Iain Davidson at centre-half. There was also a change in the right-back berth, with David McKay replacing Jamie Watson. 

In midfield, Brad Spencer made his first start since joining from Forfar Athletic, while Grant Anderson dropped to the bench, vacating the lone striker role for Rovers latest signing, Lewis Allan. 

Despite being Hamilton’s first pre-season exercise, they looked by far the brighter side at the start of the match, and Fernandy Mendy must have breathed a sigh of relief after just eight minutes, when a low cross from the right by Blair Alston, saw him swipe at a clearance, which went just over the bar from close range. 

Rovers were keen to play a patient, possession based game, and while the ball was being zipped around impressively, it wasn’t getting them up the park too much, with a 20-plus passing move only getting the team as far as the halfway line, before one errant pass ended the move with Hamilton gaining a throw-in just inside Rovers half. 

However, Rovers had the first real crack at goal after 20 minutes, 

Ross Matthews did well to deliver a good ball in from the right, which teed up Hendry, who flashed a volley just wide of Owain Fon Williams left-hand-upright. 

A match which had started slowly had now become an end-to-end affair, and Accies almost took the lead in the 24th minute, when Alston’s cross was clattered against the crossbar by the head of George Oakley. 

Barely 60 seconds later however, Rovers had the lead, and just like Saturday, it came from the penalty spot. 

Once again, it was awarded after Hendry was fouled in the area, this time by an onrushing Williams after being slipped through by McKay, and just like at the weekend he made no mistake, sending the ball to the ‘keeper’s right with Williams diving the opposite way. 

It was almost two just three minutes later, when Spencer’s corner kick found Mckay in space in the penalty area, but from 12-yards out, the defender could only side-foot the ball over the bar. 

Rovers didn’t have to wait too long for their second goal, and when it did come in the 33rd minute, it was a cracker. 

New signing Allan did well to win possession deep inside Hamilton’s half on the left-hand side, and after picking out Kieran Bowie 20-yards from goal, the 16-year-old did excellently to pick his spot and curl the ball past Williams and into the right-hand side of the net. 

Rovers were well on top at this stage, and they had chances galore to make it three as the half drew to a close. 

McKay was the first to try his luck, venturing up from the right-back slot before bringing a diving save out of Williams from 25-yards, then Bowie almost got his second, diverting a Kieran MacDonald cross just past the post. 

Joao Victoria was the next Rovers player to try his luck, latching on to a MacDonald pass, but seeing his shot from inside the area beaten away by the rapidly overworked Williams. 

Rovers got a deserved third just before the interval though, although there was a huge dollop of good fortune attached to it, when Ross Matthews shot didn’t appear to be troubling Williams, but a large deflection off Accies defender, Johnny Hunt wrong-footed the Welshman, who could only watch as the ball nestled into the net behind him. 

As much as it was just a summer kick about before the real thing kicks off in a few weeks, Rovers first half performance had been excellent, and could easily have seen them going in at the interval with more than a three goal cushion. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Hamilton came out with a little more about them in the second period, and after Mendy backed further and further off Alston, the midfielder should have done better than send a shot meekly over McGurn’s bar. 

However, the visitors got themselves back into the match in the 56th minute, when Oakley found himself one-on-one with McGurn, and he coolly slotted past the ‘keeper to reduce the arrears. 

Rovers barely had enough time to catch their breath and it was reduced further, when Aaron McGowan’s cross from the right was nodded home by Ronan Hughes

A capitulation suddenly seemed a real possibility, but Bowie was continuing to be a bright spark for Rovers, and he linked well with Allan before heading into the area at an angle, and sending a shot which was just too straight at Williams, allowing the former Inverness custodian to scramble away. 

After the shock of conceding two goals in quick succession, Rovers had started to find their feet again, keeping possession well and spreading play in a similar fashion to the first period. 

Indeed, they could very well have scored a fourth with a little over 20 minutes remaining, when a blocked shot from Miller fell to Allan, but despite having time to pick his spot from inside the area, he could only curl an effort high and into the stand. 

Rovers had McGurn to thank for preserving their lead in the 73rd minute, when he reacted well to push away a low drive to his left-hand side, before pouncing on the second ball, as the visitors appealed in vain for a pass back decision. 

Hamilton had the wind in their sails again, and with a plethora of subs for both sides appearing to do more for the visitors than the hosts, it looked a matter of time before Brain Rice’s side restored parity. 

However, Rovers weathered the storm in the closing stages, to make it two wins in less than a week, with Spartans next up on Saturday at Stark’s Park. 


Photos © Tony Fimister



Live Updates

Welcome to the second of our pre season friendlies, Raith v Hamilton. It's colder this evening but dry.
A few changes from Saturday, McGurn makes a return to goals, Davidson takes over captaincy from Benedictus, Allan debuts and Spencer and McKay make starts
Teams emerge from the tunnel
Hamilton get the game underway
Early block from Davidson as Alston tries for a low shot
Mendy tries for the long ball to Allan but it's a tad ambitious with two Hamilton players there to mop up
At the moment plenty of passing between the two teams as they try to find their way
Free kick Hamilton as Victoria is judged to have brought down McGowan
A long ball to Alston and he gets past Hendry. His pass into the box is met by Mendy who clears. Corner Hamilton
McCann's floating cross is close to being a goal as it bounces off the crossbar
Rovers comfortably holding on to the ball as they pass and switch it across the back
McKay tries the long ball to Victoria but his pass is intercepted
Hendry with a cunning long pass to Bowie. Fon Williams fluffs his catch and then quickly gathers
Hendry volleys from the edge of the box
MacDonald tries to charge down on the ball but McGowan gets a head start and gets the ball back to Fon Williams
Hamilton come close as Alston's pass meets the head of Oakley resulting in the headed ball bouncing off the cross bar
Penalty Raith as Hendry is brought down in the box by Fon Williams
Hughes' powerful incoming shot is headed away by Davidson
MacDonald feeds the ball into the box Matthews isn't there to receive but KIERAN BOWIE is. He takes a touch and ball hammers home
McCann comes close for Hamilton. He turns in the box, shoots and a falling McGurn saves
McKay tries for a low shot as Hendry lays the pass on to him
Davidson goes in for the challenge and wins the ball away from Oakley
A cross into the box from MacDonald meets the head of Bowie but his header doesn't come to fruition
Victoria goes for a powerful shot and its body saved by Fon Williams and deflected for a corner
GOAL ASSIST from Matthews as he goes for a shot its deflected off a Hamiton defender and keeper struggles to save
Half time Raith 3 (Hendry 24, Bowie 35, O.G 42) Hamilton 0
Second half gets underway
A great ball into the box to the back post from Hendry to Bowie but the latter can't quite connect to head home
Allan pass the ball to Matthews. He takes it forward then lays it back to Bowie. He can't quite get round his man. Good play between them
Hamilton sub off Hamilton on comes Gogic
Hamilton sub off McKenna on comes Want
Goal Hamilton..Oakley
Hamilton sub off Cunningham on comes Ogkmpoe
Allan with a low shot which goes just wide as it crosses the goal mouth
Victoria tries to get to the ball but a out charging Fon Williams gets to the ball just before him and clears
Alston again tries for a cheeky flick on but his effort is just wide of goal
Hamilton goal...Mimnaugh
Hamilton sub off Mimnaugh on comes Smith
Screams from the home crowd as Bowie is judged to have been bundled off the ball
Allan passes to Bowie who charges on his shot is saved
Raith sub off Mendy, Hendry and Bowie on come Miller, Benedictus and Anderson
Hamiton also sub off two and on come Easton and McCann
Hamilton sub off Oakley on comes Miller
Raith sub off Victoria on comes Trialist A
Spencer tries for a shot its blocked, Allan tries on the rebound and it goes wide
Raith sub off MacDonald on comes Watson
Good save by McGurn
Hamilton sub off Alston on no name as no number
Hamilton sub off McGowan on comes Stanger
Miller gets a toe to the ball and clears a Hamilton attack
Benedictus this time stops the Hamilton attack. Corner Hamilton
Hamilton with most of the play (and substitutions) so far this half. Raith not quite powering forward like the first half
McGurn gets down to save another Hamiton shot
Tonight's crowd is 823 with 65 away fans...thanks
Matthews tries for shot but it's wide
Man of the match as chosen by the fans...Kieron Bowie
Fulltime Raith 3 (Hendry 24, Bowie 35, OG 42) Hamilton ( Oakley 55, Mimnaugh 59)
Please join Raith on Saturday 6th July when we meet Spartans in our third pre season friendly