Saints march in & Rovers exit Scottish Cup

SSFF 1014026 raith falkirk 'Liam Fox (hidden) & Joe Cardle celebrate with John Baird after he scores - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
SSFF 1014026 raith falkirk 'Liam Fox (hidden) & Joe Cardle celebrate with John Baird after he scores - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

As the fans made their way down Pratt Street at full-time, a dad explained to his young kid: ‘‘If you’re going to support Raith Rovers you have to get used to getting beat ... unfortunately.’’

A Scottish Cup quarter-final tie brought an early buzz to town, but it was spent by mid afternoon thanks to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of SPL St Johnstone.

Who knows how different it may have turned out had they taken one of two golden chances - both headers from inside the box with the net an inviting target. Alas...

A crowd of 3700 - pretty much a 50-50 split between the two stands behind the goals - watched the game which was also screened live on Sky Sports.

And it got off to the worst possible start as Saints netted with the first shot of the game.

Inside the box, Gary McDonald found no defender moving to close him down and he simply picked his spot, drilling the ball into the corner of the net.

Rovers’ defensive shortcomings have been well documented in 2014, but one thing this club can do is score goals, and they levelled with an absolute cracker from Joe Cardle in the 21st minute.

Thirty yards out, he picked up a loose ball, powered forward with purpose, and unleashed a stunning shot which bulleted its way into the net.

That gave the Kirkcaldy side new heart and they really took the game to Saints for the remainder of the half.

How they will rue Dougie Hill’s mnissed header in 38 minutes, and Callachan’s effort three minutes later -two chances which should have been converted. The heads held in hands in the dug out said it all...

The second half saw Raith play into what was effectively a wind tunnel - it swirled down and round the park, curving goal kicks out over the dug outs -but they did themselves no favours conceding in the first few minutes and, again, the defence waas culpable as they allowed Nigel Hasselbank to stride through unchallenged bnefore netting with ease.

Their cup run then ended 11 minutes from time as Steve Anderson turned home a corner kick at the near post for 3-1.

A slightly harsh scoreline perhaos, but one which underlined the importance of taking your chances.

One of those two headers hitting the net might have allowed a wee boy to dream about cup glory ...