Saturday, 30 April 2011

Raith Rovers 0 v 1 Queen of the South - Saturday 30th April 2011

Click here or read below for my match report of the fixture between Raith Rovers and Queen of the South this afternoon. It was published on the official Raith Rovers website.
Raith slump to sixth home defeat

An injury time Colin McMenamin strike was enough for Queen of the South to seal three points this afternoon at Starks Park.

The team sheet from the game
Rovers needed three points to give themselves a chance of remaining in the title race with Dunfermline Athletic, but with the Pars winning away at Greenock, a Rovers win would have been futile in any case.

The match at Kirkcaldy was a low-key affair, with the home side having most of the chances in the first half and the visitors controlling spells of the second. However, it was the Palmerston side that emerged victors, condemning Rovers to their sixth defeat at Starks Park in league business.

Rovers manager John McGlynn made five changes from last week’s defeat at East End Park, bringing David McGurn, Dougie Hill, Scott McBride, Iain Williamson and Graham Weir into the starting eleven.

Indeed, it was Weir and Williamson who were causing problems early on, both going close in the opening exchanges.

John Baird struck a shot wide for Rovers on the ninth minute, before Queens had their first real chance. A long ball was played to McMenamin who beat Hill and struck at goal, only for McGurn to divert onto the post. However, Main Stand Assistant Steve Pullar had spotted an infringement in the build up to the shot and play was brought back.

Nineteen minutes in, Raith should have taken the lead. John Baird latched onto a cross ball and smashed at goal, but Roddy McKenzie spread himself big and made a great save. The ball fell back at Baird’s feet but his second effort hit the bar and sailed away from danger.

The rest of the first half proceeded with little incident until McMenamin got the better of Hill once more and attempted an audacious lob over McGurn only for the ball to nestle on top of the Rovers goal.

Iain Davidson had a half chance at the start of the second half but his shot ended up comfortably over the bar.

Queens almost scored the opener on the 52nd minute when Mark Campbell slipped in the Raith box, followed by McGurn colliding with one of his own players, but somehow the Starks Park men managed to clear the ball to safety.

Seconds later, Queens broke quickly with Campbell again losing his footing, but a goal line block was made and once again Raith managed to sustain the pressure.

Raith hit back through McBride as he beat two men on the left and crossed a great ball to the front post with Weir connecting and sending his effort wide.

Raith kept up the offensive when Weir ran into the box, laying the ball to Williamson who saw his shot blocked and Baird’s follow up was also stopped in similar fashion.

Five minutes later Queens found themselves with a clear goal scoring opportunity. Davidson gave possession away from a short freekick and Ian McShane ran through on goal but after pulling the trigger, the ball bounced off the post and was cleared by the Raith defence.

Baird and substitute Craig Wilson both aimed efforts wide of the goal before fellow sub, Gregory Tade, tried an audacious scissor kick at goal.

The final fifteen minutes were played at a pace akin to a pre-season friendly but Queens were looking very dangerous on the break.

Two minutes into injury time, Grant Murray hauled down a Queens attacker, earning himself a yellow card but Bob Harris curled the free-kick inches wide of the post.

However, one minute later the Dumfries side claimed all three points as a vicious shot was swung across goal by Black, and McMenamin was all alone at the back post to force the ball over the line.
Falkirk suffered an injury time loss to Ross County and therefore Raith stay two points clear of the Bairns, but Rovers will be seeking to gain three points against Partick Thistle next week to cement second place.

written by Will Lyon

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