Saturday, 2 April 2011

Walker Wonder Strike Keeps Rovers In The Hunt

Click here or read below for my match report of this afternoon's fixture between Raith Rovers and Dundee. It was published on the official Raith Rovers website.

Raith Rovers 2 v 1 Dundee

Raith Rovers managed to keep themselves just two points behind league leaders Dunfermline Athletic after a last minute 25-yard Allan Walker strike at Starks Park this afternoon.
Raith dominated the majority of the game and deservedly went in at the break a goal to the good thanks to a fabulous Gregory Tade volley.

However, Dundee hit back on the 71st minute when Stephen O'Donnell squeezed the ball home from the tightest of angles.

The teams
The Dees looked to have stolen a point until Walker stepped up and drilled home in unstoppable fashion.

The first half was almost entirely dominated by the home side, but it was not until the 13th minute that they managed an attempt on goal. A Scott McBride long throw found Tade who managed to loop a header over Rab Douglas, only to see the ball land on top of the goal.

Two minutes later Rovers should have taken the lead. An Allan Walker corner was flicked on to Iain Davidson at the back post and with Douglas floored, the midfielder somehow managed to blaze over the bar.

Dundee were sitting deep and the Kirkcaldy side were struggling to break through as Douglas mopped up long range attempts by Walker and John Baird.

However, with just a minute remaining in the first period, Raith broke through. Baird knocked a freekick into the path of Tade who volleyed home from the edge of the box superbly.

Despite having little to do in the first half, Raith goalkeeper Andy McNeil was forced off at the break with a back problem and gave way to David McGurn.

Dundee managed their first shot on goal almost immediately after the interval when Davidson brought down Gary Harkins at the edge of the box, but McGurn was more than equal to the playmaker's effort.

Despite their early pressure, Dundee were forced back again and Baird went close with a scissor kick after Kevin McBride curled a shot just wide of the target.

Action in front of the South Stand
On the 60th minute Kevin McBride was causing more problems as he had a strike deflected wide for a corner. From the set piece Dougie Hill just failed to convert at the back post.

Dundee however, were not going to go down quietly and started to fight harder to keep their unbeaten run going. Raith manager, John McGlynn sensed the change and replaced Davidson with Mark Ferry.

Despite the substitution, disaster struck five minutes later for the Starks Park side. Connor Rennie filtered a ball through to O'Donnell who brushed off Hill and stroked the ball past McGurn at the tightest of angles.

McGlynn responded by changing from a 4-4-2 system to 4-3-3, taking off Scott McBride for Graham Weir.

Dundee were struggling to keep possession and on the 84th minute were in more trouble as Craig McKeown brought down Baird and earned himself a second yellow card.

The visitors were now camped in their own half and Raith should have re-taken the lead on the 84th minute. Walker swung a corner into the box which was flicked on by Grant Murray but somehow Baird couldn't find the net at the back post.

With Dunfermline winning away at Cowdenbeath it looked as if Rovers would end the day four points behind their closest rivals, however, they were not done yet.

A freekick was cleared by the Dundee defence only as far as Walker who, from 25 yards out, smashed a ball at goal with it dipping just at the right time, clipping off the underside of the bar and into the back of the net, leaving Douglas helpless and Dundee's unbeaten run in tatters.

It was a thoroughly merited three points for Raith but credit must be given to the heavily weakened Dundee team for a phenomenal 23 game unbeaten streak.

Rovers next match is a Fife Derby against Cowdenbeath at Starks Park next Saturday and a win against Jimmy Nicholl's men would take them back to the top of the league due to Dunfermline's spare weekend.

written by Will Lyon

No comments:

Post a Comment