Dunfermline 4 Raith Rovers 1Wednesday, 3rd Feb 2021
Scottish Championship: Banks started in place of Whittaker. Declan McManus (44) 1-0: Aaron Comrie (51) 2-0: Brad Spencer (64) 2-1: Fraser Murray (66) 3-1: Fraser Murray (87) 4-1
Raith Rovers visited East End Park for the first time since April 2017 in this weather delayed fixture. Following the postponement on 2nd January due to a frozen pitch, this Wednesday night meeting was played on a soggy night.
The Rovers return came with them occupying second place, ahead of the Pars on goal difference. Being the halfway point of the 27 match season this match could proved to be an important factor in the chase for the optimum play off spot.
Stevie Crawford made one change from the side that played Hearts on Saturday, the on loan Crystal Palace player, Scott Banks replacing Steven Whittaker who was on the bench.
Raith too made one change from the starting eleven that faced Dundee, the injured Kyle Benedictus being replaced by Iain Davidson. After a one minute silence to remember two former players - Eddie Connachan and Barrie Mitchell - it was the visitors who kicked off attacking the goal at the McCathie Stand end.
It was a cautious start from both sides before a Dan Armstrong cross forced Lewis Mayo to concede a tenth minute corner. Euan Murray turned the first of Lewis Vaughan’s deliveries behind for another and the Pars defence held for Fraser Murray to clip away the danger.
Three minutes later a swift break up the right allowed Dow a good cross into the Rovers box but the offside flag was raised against Declan McManus who was just too anxious to get on the cross.
In 17th minute Dow broke again down the right and this time McManus met his cross only to be blocked by Frankie Musonda but no corner. Timmy Abraham conceded a free kick 35 yards out on the left and when Fraser Murray flighted the ball into the Rovers box Euan Murray headed the ball down for Paul Watson to crash a shot from 20 yards out that soared narrowly over the crossbar.
Two Pars corners were forced on the left and when the ball was defended out F Murray had an attempt from 25 yards that went off target. Dunfermline were putting in great efforts to break the Raith defences and it was 35 minutes before McManus teed up F Murray. He had a great chance and you felt he had to score even though he was on the edge of the box but alas his effort went wide right.
At the other end Abraham got in from the left to fire a shot on target but Owain Fôn Williams held. Abraham sprinted away with the ball after intercepting a Pars pass in his own half. Josh Edwards did well to get back and force the Rovers striker to exchange a pass which then lost him possession and he was duly booked for a dive on the right edge of the Pars box.
A Dow cross was headed behind by Reghan Tumilty but the 43rd minute corner was again defended. But then a great move from Dow in his own half picking out Iain Wilson who then from inside his own half, spread a fine pass up the right channel for McMANUS who found the net with a good right footed strike that beat the keeper at the near side.
It had been an even first half in terms of possession, corners and shots but that important goal gave the home side a lead that they warranted at the interval because of their total commitment.
Half time: Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0
On loan Hibs player Jamie Gullan was a Raith sub for the second half with Lewis Vaughan being withdrawn. The half started slowly with stoppages for injuries to Euan Murray and then Dylan Tait. Ryan Dow went down in the centre circle with another injury as COMRIE intercepted a Musonda pass and broke away up the right to pick his shot. The ball whacked the left post and landed in the right side of the Raith net. The 51st minute goal really was something to celebrate on the full back’s 24th birthday. 2-0
Unfortunately Ryan Dow was unable to continue and he was stretched off to be subbed by Kevin O’Hara. Faith also took the opportunity during the five minute stoppage to replace Dylan Tait with Adam King.
Dunfermline pushed forward and O’Hara gathered a Wilson cross to deliver a really good ball deep into the Raith box but the defence cleared ahead of McManus.
Raith’s Brad SPENCER sent a fine shot from 30 yards out to hit the left side of the Pars net to make it 2-1 in 64 minutes but the home side would hit back within two minutes.
When Banks was fouled 25 yards out just right of centre Fraser MURRAY dispatched a great effort from the free kick over the four man wall to enter the opposition net off the underside of the crossbar. 3-1
Banks hit a free kick into the Raith wall and O’Hara forced a 73rd minute corner but when Banks sent the ball over from the right it was cleared. The sub was then withdrawn to be replaced by Kerr McInroy for the final 15 minutes. Wilson won a corner on the left and then McManus another on the right. The newly introduced sub sent the second one in but the referee blew up for pushing in the six yard box.
O’Hara had an 80th minute shot saved by keeper Jamie Macdonald after having been supplied on the break by McInroy. Two further Dunfermline corners came and went but McManus had a fantastic chance as he burst through on the left in 84 minutes that he pulled just wide right.
The visitors weren’t giving up and expecting possibly nine minutes of added time introduced Manny Duku for Daniel Armstrong. It was the Pars however who struck again with yet another brilliant Fraser MURRAY strike. The scorer cut in from the left and crashed a great 87th minute shot that deflected off Davidson into the net. 4-1.
Another stoppage resulted in Euan Murray being replaced by Steven Whittaker although it was Mayo who dropped back into the back four. It ran out a fine win for the Pars, thoroughly deserved with some excellent goals.
SUBS NOT USED: Lewis McCann, Kyle Macdonald, Kyle Turner, Cammy Gill (GK)
SCORERS: McManus (44), Comrie (51), F Murray (66, 87)
YELLOW CARD: Wilson (62)
RAITH ROVERS: Jamie Macdonald: Reghan Tumilty, Frankie Musonda, Iain Davidson (c), Kieran Macdonald: Daniel Armstrong (Manny Duku 83), Brad Spencer, Dylan Tait (Adam King 56), Kai Kennedy: Lewis Vaughan (Jamie Gullan HT): Timmy Abraham.
SUBS NOT USED: Fernandy Meney, Jack Smith, Quinn Coulson, Robbie Thomson (GK)
SCORERS: Spencer (64)
YELLOW CARD: Abraham (39), Tumilty (60)
REFEREE: Colin Steven
WEATHER: Cold, sleet 1°C
NEXT MATCH: Scottish Championship (away) v Arbroath, Saturday 6th February 2021, 3.00pm kick off at Gayfield Park behind closed doors
50/50 Draw - Order Number 100012702 won £310
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Dunfermline 4-1 Raith Rovers
Wed, 3rd Feb 2021
Stevie Crawford post Raith Rovers
Wed, 3rd Feb 2021
Aaron Comrie post Raith Rovers
Wed, 3rd Feb 2021
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Preview Raith RoversWednesday, 3rd Feb 2021
Scottish Championship (home) v Raith Rovers Wednesday 3rd February 2021, 7.45pm kick off behind closed doors at East End Park.
Wednesday will be just the third Raith Rovers visit to East End Park on league duty since 2nd January 2013. Every Derby match is important but with the Kirkcaldy side sitting level on points but above the Pars on goal difference and with a game on hand, a home win would be very welcome.
At the midpoint of the shortened 2020-2021 season both the Pars and the Rovers sit in play off places and so this is an important fixture in the context of the season’s ambitions. It is the 100th Scottish League match between Dunfermline and Raith with Dunfermline ahead with 41 wins to the Rovers 33 with 25 drawn.
The best result was a 6-0 win in September 1962 when George Peebles hit a hat trick, Charlie Dickson a double and Alex Edwards scored. This scoreline was repeated on New Year`s Day 1968 when both Bert Paton and Hugh Robertson notched hattricks.
Milestones v Raith Rovers (home)
Last Home Victory | 08/04/17 | 1-0 | Championship
Last Home Defeat | 20/08/13 | 0-2 | Ramsden Cup
Best Home Victory | 08/09/62 | 6-0 | Division One (old)
Best Home Victory | 01/01/68 | 6-0 | Division One (old)
Worst Home Defeat | 19/11/27 | 0-4 | Division One (old)
Last Goalless Home Draw | 05/11/16 | 0-0 | Championship
First Ever Home Meeting | 10/02/23 | 0-3 | Scottish Cup
Raith Rovers have not won a league match at East End Park since August 2009, that’s eight league fixtures back. In the last twelve meetings Dunfermline have won six, Raith three and three have been drawn.
Last Twelve League Meetings
05/12/20 | A | Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 2 | D | Championship
19/01/19 | A | Raith Rovers 3 Dunfermline 0 | L | Scottish Cup
08/04/17 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0| W | Championship
02/01/17 | A | Raith Rovers 0 Dunfermline 2 | W | Championship
05/12/16 | H | Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 0 | D | Championship
20/08/16 | A | Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 0 | L | Championship
05/08/14 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0 | W | Challenge Cup
20/08/13 | H | Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 2 | L | Challenge Cup
16/03/13 | A | Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline 1 | D | Division One
02/01/13 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0 | W | Division One
17/11/12 | A | Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline 3 | W | Division One
01/09/12 | H | Dunfermline 3 Raith Rovers 1 | W | Division One
Last time at East End Park
Saturday 8th April 2017, Championship
Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0
John Hughes was in charge of the visitors and Iain Davidson is the only participant on either side to still be at their respective clubs. Interesting to note one Declan McManus as an unused Rovers sub.
The only goal of the match came from the penalty spot four minutes into the second half. A Michael Moffat pass let Paul McMullan chase into the Raith box and when he was taken down by Jason Thomson, referee Andrew Dallas pointed to the spot. Kallum HIGGINBOTHAM used the same run up as against Hibs the previous week but stuck the ball away to the keeper`s left. 1-0
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Andy Geggan (c), Callum Morris, Lee Ashcroft, Jason Talbot: Kallum Higginbotham, Nat Wedderburn, Rhys McCabe, Paul McMullan (Joe Cardle 89): Michael Moffat, Nicky Clark.
SUBS NOT USED: Ryan Williamson, Michael Paton, Gavin Reilly, Lewis Martin, Lewis Spence, Cammy Gill (GK)
RAITH ROVERS: Pavol Penska: Jason Thomson, Jean-Yves Mvoto, Craig Barr, Kevin McHattie: Rudi Skacel (Jonathan Court 86), Iain Davidson, Jordan Thompson (Bobby Barr 78), Chris Johnston, Daniel Handling, Ryan Hardie
SUBS NOT USED: Declan McManus, Scott Roberts, David McKay, Conor Brennan (GK).
Dunfermline’s defeat at Tynecastle was just their second of the season and their first away defeat since 11th January 2020. They have drawn four of their last six matches.
Raith Rovers have had their ups and downs of late. After taking just two points from a possible nine they thumped Alloa 5-2 away from home. Then they lost at home to Queen of the South before going to Tynecastle and winning there. Hearts reaped their revenge in the midweek return but then they had an impressive home win over Dundee.
Hearts (A) L 0-1
Ayr United (H) D 0-0
Morton (A) D 0-0
Inverness Caley Thistle (A) D 1-1
Arbroath (H) W 1-0
Dundee (A) D 3-3
Dundee (H) W 3-1
Hearts (H) L 0-4
Hearts (A) W 3-2
Queen of the South (H) L 0-2
Alloa Athletic (A) W 5-2
Ayr United (A) D 0-0
Current League Stats
League Position: 3rd
League Points: 21
Goal Difference: +6
League Record: P13 W5 D6 L2 GF20 GA14
Last Six Match Form: DLDDWD
League Position: 2nd
League Points: 21
Goal Difference: +9
League Record: P12 W6 D3 L3 GF27 GA18
Last Six Match Form: DWLWLW
Above: Scott Banks made his Dunfermline debut midway through the second half at Tynecastle on Saturday
Last time Out
DUNFERMLINE (v Hearts): Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Lewis Mayo, Steven Whittaker (Lewis McCann 84): Ryan Dow, Iain Wilson, Fraser Murray (Scott Banks 68): Declan McManus (Kevin O’Hara 72)
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Kerr McInroy, Matthew Todd, Cammy Gill (GK)
RAITH ROVERS (v Dundee): Jamie Macdonald: Reghan Tumilty, Frankie Musonda, Kyle Benedictus(Iain Davidson 58), Kieran Macdonald: Daniel Armstrong (Adam King 72), Brad Spencer, Dylan Tait, Kai Kennedy: Lewis Vaughan: Timmy Abraham (Manny Duku 78)
SUBS NOT USED: Fernandy Meney, Jack Smith, Quinn Coulson, Robbie Thomson (GK).
Referee will be Colin Steven
Other Championship Fixtures on Wednesday
Arbroath v Inverness Caley Thistle
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