Raith Rovers will be looking for their third consecutive win this Saturday, as they start the second quarter of their league campaign.

Last Saturday's 2-0 win over Arbroath lifted them five points clear at the top of the table, after Ayr United drew 2-2 with Airdrieonians, and Barry Smith's side will be hoping they can extend that further, with a win at Stair Park against Stranraer.

It'll be their first trip to the venue since 2009, when a 3-0 win for the away side condemned Stranraer to relegation to the fourth tier, after goals from Iain Williamson, Robert Sloan and Steven Hislop.

There doesn't seem to be too much prospect of Steve Farrell's side being dragged into trouble this term, however with the Blues sitting sixth in the table, just one point behind the playoff spots, after last weekend's 2-0 win over Alloa Athletic.

This will be the sides second meeting this term, with Rovers running out 3-0 winners in August, with Lewis Vaughan grabbing a brace and Greig Spence scoring the other.

Since then, however, Stranraer have lost just three times in ten matches, with defeats coming against Ayr United, Arbroath and Dumbarton in the Irn Bru Cup.

Raith have a good record against Stranraer, with seven wins and two draws from the last ten meetings.

Saturday's match referee will be Gavin Ross.

Head-To-Head Away League Record at Stranraer:

Stranarer Wins: 6 | Raith Rovers Wins: 15 | Draws: 6

Stranraer Goals: 36 | Raith Rovers Goals: 61

Current Form:

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

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

Top Goal Scorers:

Stranraer: Scott Agnew 8 | Ryan Wallace 5

Raith Rovers: Lewis Vaughan 17 | Liam Buchanan 7 | Greig Spence 6

Match Odds:

Stranraer: 3/1 | Raith Rovers: 5/6 | Draws: 29/10


Match Abandoned At Sodden Stair Park

Raith Rovers and Stranraer will have this fixture to do all over again, after a saturated Stair Park eventually fell prey to the inclement conditions, with a first-half abandonment.

The game was finely balanced at 1-1 at the time, and whilst it was disappointing that Lewis Vaughan’s magnificent free-kick will be wiped from the record books, the biggest losers on the day were the Rovers fans, who embarked on a such a lengthy journey for less than one half of action.

That’s not to say referee Gavin Ross made the incorrect decision though, because although the park seemed borderline playable at three o’clock, incessant rain eventually made conditions somewhat farcical.

Manager Barry Smith made one change from last weekend’s 2-0 win over Arbroath, with Liam Buchanan returning to the fold as Ross Matthews dropped to the bench.

It only took a couple of seconds for everyone in the ground to realise what they were up against.

Raith kicked off, with the ball being played back immediately to Iain Davidson, who punted the ball forward in the general direction of Stranraer’s goal, a decent achievement considering he skited on his backside whilst doing so, a sign that the playing surface might be struggling to cope with the copious amounts of water that had, and was landing on it.

It was abundantly clear that the conditions were making matters challenging at best,  with splashes and splishes every time a kick or step was made, and the ball getting bogged down at every move. Indeed, it appeared that only way the ball could be sent forward any great distance, was if someone had a spare cannon to fire it out of.

However, despite the dreich conditions, Rovers took the lead with a superb goal after 11 minutes.

Grant Anderson gave away a free-kick 25-yards from goal with a tackle that was 50% caused by his mistimed lunge, and 50% caused by him sliding through a massive dub.

Such is his form, there was a sense of expectation as Vaughan stood over the ball, and he didn’t disappoint, lashing a wonderful set-piece past Cameron Belford to put the away side a goal up.

From a Rovers perspective, the worry at this stage was that the game would be now be called off with them in the driving seat, but considering the conditions were akin to what forced Noah to nip to B&Q for some lumber and tools, the expectations that the game would last the course were minimal.

There was a different concern after 20 minutes, when Graeme Smith went down after a head knock, but the goalkeeper was fine to continue after some lengthy treatment.

The game was struggling to take any great shape at this point, although it was clear that the only way either team could gain any great advantage of proceedings, was if they could develop gills.

Rovers almost doubled their lead after half an hour, when Vaughan’s free-kick was headed over by Buchanan from around 12-yards out, but their advantage was cancelled out after 37 minutes, with an equaliser that made the cancellation of the fixture more straightforward.

A Stranraer corner-kick was nodded down into the area by Scott Robertson, which allowed Scott Agnew, a man who has a knack of scoring against Rovers, to prod home from close-range.

The goal almost immediately saw the referee signal for a five minute respite to test the corner areas of the park, although considering the aforementioned patches were approximately 20,000 leagues under the sea, there was little surprise when the game was brought to a thoroughly sodden halt.

Rovers next, hopefully dryer game is also on the road, as they travel to the Angus region to take on Jim Weir’s Forfar Athletic next Saturday.


©Eddie Doig 2017


Live Updates

Welcome to a very wet Stair Park for this afternoon's match against Stranraer.
Grounsdman is out forking parts of the pitch. The rain has been relentless for quite a while now
Raith get the game underway
Not sure how the game is going to pan out. Players are slipping and the ball isn't moving well on the ground
Stranraer with a high shot to Smith who catches
Thomson with an ambitious pass deep from Raith half
Smith has to come out and gather the ball as Stranraer get into the Raith box
Buchanan gets the ball into the Stranraer box and is tackles and it's a Raith corner
Vaughan gets the ball into the box but it's headed clear
Free kick Raith 25 yards out
Vaughan from the Free kick up and over and into the back of the net
Robertson limping but trying to run it off
Robertson is struggling
Ref has halted play whilst Robertson receives treatment
Robertson back on the pitch
Spence tries to get the ball at the edge of Stranraer box but the ball gets stuck
Pitch is unplayable in many parts. Players are struggling to play the ball
Corner Raith
Vaughan played the short ball to Spence, gets the ball into the box but it's cleared
Smith is knocked out play halted
Brian stripped. Smith is sitting up just waiting to see what is happening
Smith back on his feet and will play on. Drop ball in Raith box
Raith play the ball up the park. Barr gets the ball into the box but nothing can be converted
Free-kick Raith.
Vaughan again with a good ball into the box. Buchanan heads but the ball goes over the bar
Ball sticking and not getting a chance to run freely on the pitch for either set of players
Raith with a throw in deep into Stranraer half
GOAL Stranraer
Raith struggle to clear the ball from a corne
Raith kick off but ref has blown the game to a halt
He's having a chat with both managers
Players have been called in MATCH ABANDONED
No match abandoned for 5 minutes ..sorry guys... no idea what is going on
Ref has now officially declared MATCH ABANDONED