Pre Season Friendly: Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 1 : 04/07/18

The second pre season friendly of the season saw Dunfermline Athletic travel back to Bayview but this time to meet Raith Rovers. Manager Allan Johnston made one change to his starting eleven rewarding 17 year old Lewis McCann for his work on Saturday and fitting him in place of Aidan Connolly.

Raith Rovers will be playing their home fixtures in Group C of the Betfred Cup at the Locality Hub Bayview Stadium due to pitch works at Stark`s Park. So this friendly, if there ever could be one when these Fife rivals meet, was something of a familiarisation exercise. A well known face in the Rovers side was Nat Wedderburn wearing number 22 and former Par Liam Buchanan led their attack.

Rovers were first to endanger the scoreline when after 80 seconds Grant Gillespie swept a 27 yard out free kick over over the four man wall and wide left of Cammy Gill’s goal. After just three minutes Danny Devine went down on the edge of the Rovers box and required the physio’s attentions but was fit to return after Kallum Higginbotham’s corner from the right was defended.

Lewis Martin earned a corner with a run up the left and a cut along the bye line before in 13 minutes Andy Ryan was placed in a position to shoot from a good pass from Louis Longridge but he was off target.

Rovers took the lead on the quarter hour when Trialist no.15 had an effort blocked and GILLESPIE followed up to smack the ball past Gill from ten yards out. 1-0

A Dunfermline equaliser took just five minutes to come. Louis Longridge took advantage of a loose Wedderburn pass, raced away and squared the ball for McCANN to slot away from the edge of the box. 1-1

There was a distinct lack of goalmouth action until after half an hour a fine pass from Higginbotham split the defence and let L Longridge in on goal. Closed down there was a kind rebound but the ball ended up in the keeper’s hands.

L Longridge then became provider picking out McCann with a cross from the left. The youngster tried a shot with left that got blocked then found the keeper with a right footed shot. Higginbotham swung the ball right for Williamson and he quickly returned it into the path of L Longridge who was unlucky to see his low drive curl just outside the far post.

Raith were awarded a penalty in 36 minutes when Mark Durnan was adjudged to have pinned down young Euan Valentine. Andrew Dallas had no hesitation in awarding the spot kick but when Buchanan stepped up to send the ball to the keeper’s left, Gill parried it away only to have Ross MATTHEWS follow up to belt the loose ball home. 2-1

Jackson Longridge tested the keeper two minutes later with a good effort at an angle from the left and there was a wild effort at the other end when Trialist no.15 shot high over the bar.

Half time: Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 1

Matty Todd came on to replace Louis Longridge and Rovers Chris Duggan for Liam Buchanan. Matthews put in an early shot at the Forth end and McCann fired an off target shot at the other. In fourth minute of the half Trialist keeper Robbie Thomson’s hands must have stung when he stopped a well struck effort from Higginbotham.

Next it was James Craigen who tried to score with a left footed effort from 20 yards but he was wide right. Then a move across field from Longridge through Todd to Williamson allowed a cross and when the ball broke back out Todd fired a 22 yard shot that Thomson held.

Raith’s Iain Davidson produced a good ball out of defence to put Duggan away up the right in 56 minutes and the sub forced a good solid save out of Gill with a shot from the right side of the box.

Durnan turned a 60th minute cross away for a corner on the left but when that can in Devine headed clear. Then in 63 minutes there was mass substitution in 63 minutes with the Pars fielding a new eleven with the exception of Todd.

The second string showed composure and defended well until they got to grips with the game. Josh Robertson won a 74th minute corner on the right but Rovers got the ball away when Lewis Crosbie sent the setpiece in.

Raith youngster Ryan Stevenson took charge of a 78th minute free kick and with the opposition packing the top of the penalty box the defence held firm forced the ‘home’ side to over hit their delivery. The Pars keeper beat away a shot from an acute angle by Trialist no.15 and then fisted away the resultant corner.

Above: when Nat met Matt - Matty Todd gets close up treatment from former Par Nat Wedderburn

Robertson and Todd showed some urgency with good control but it was Brandon Luke’s 83rd minute cross that won a corner on the right. Unfortunately Thomson came out and clutched Crosbie’s cross. Connolly made a nippy run that took him to the left beeline but his firm cross got no takers.

Despite showing some good passing moves at times the Dunfermline team could not find the route to goal and it ended up with a Rovers win.
RAITH ROVERS: Trialist: Jamie Watson, Iain Davidson (David McKay 63), Ewan Murray, Kyle Benedictus, Grant Gillespie (James Berry 68), Liam Buchanan (Chris Duggan HT), Ross Matthews, Trialist, Euan Valentine (Ryan Stevenson 63), Nat Wedderburn (Trialist 63)
SCORERS: Gillespie (15), Matthews (36)

DUNFERMLINE: Cammy Gill: Danny Devine, Mark Durnan (c), Lewis Martin: Ryan Williamson, Kallum Higginbotham, James Craigen, Louis Longridge (Matty Todd HT), Jackson Longridge: Lewis McCann, Andy Ryan. From 63 minutes: Trialist: Josh Robertson, Gregor Jordan, Stuart Morrison, Kieran Swanson: Lewis Crosbie, Matty Todd, Paul Allan, Brandon Luke: Trialist, Aidan Connolly,
SCORERS: McCann (20)

REFEREE: Andrew Dallas

NEXT MATCH: Pre Season Friendly v Tranmere Rovers, Saturday 7 July 2018, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park

Half time draw ticket no.107580 won £72.50

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