Take two for Raith after derby storm

Last week's Petrofac Training Cup tie between Dunfermline and Raith was postponed after a sudden pre-match storm left the pitch unplayable, despite the best efforts of East End Park staff. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

Last week's Petrofac Training Cup tie between Dunfermline and Raith was postponed after a sudden pre-match storm left the pitch unplayable, despite the best efforts of East End Park staff. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

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Raith Rovers will attempt to get their season underway at the second time of asking this weekend.

Rovers warmed up for Saturday’s League Cup first round tie at home to Forfar Athletic with a closed doors match against Premiership side Kilmarnock at Stark’s Park on Tuesday.

The bounce game was quickly arranged in the aftermath of last Saturday’s Fife derby postponement, and finished in a 2-2 draw with Christian Nade and Calum Elliot both on the scoresheet.

Rovers manager Grant Murray told the Press: “The game against Killie gave the lads a good run-out.

“It was good of them to bring a strong team through, which gave us a good competitive game.

“After Saturday’s game being cancelled we felt it would benefit us to get a game against a good calibre of opposition.

“It’s helped us get ready for Forfar on Saturday.”

Murray stressed there will be no complacency from his players against Dick Campbell’s League One side.

“It’s a big cup tie for us and we’ll prepare properly,” he said.

“There’s more pressure on us and we know how difficult these ties can be - Forfar put Rangers out at the same stage last year.

“East Fife knocked them out of the Challenge Cup last week but we won’t underestimate them at all.

“They’ll view it as an opportunity to come to Stark’s Park and take a scalp.

“If we want to progress we’ll need to be at our best by being a threat going forward and tight at the back.”

Rovers will have Calum Elliot and Grant Anderson available as their current one-game suspension applies only to the Challenge Cup.

They will therefore miss the re-arranged derby tie against Dunfermline at East End Park, which will now take place on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

Kevin Moon should also return to the squad on Saturday after playing 35 minutes against Kilmarnock.

Craig Barr and Dougie Hill, however, remained sidelined by injury with both expected to miss at least another two or three weeks.

Murray has not closed the door on any further new signings, but he is currently satisfied with the cover he has in his squad.

“With the cover we’ve got in midfield and defence we should be able to cope with two or three injuries,” he said.

“Once we get Dougie and Craig back we’ll have a squad of around 16 or 17 first team players and we’re happy enough with that.

“When everyone’s fit it will make us stronger than last year, and we’ll have more competition for places, which is important.”

Rovers and Forfar have agreed on reduced prices for Saturday’s match of £10 for adults and £5 for concessions although season tickets are not valid.

Meanwhile, Raith chief executive Eric Drysdale has been voted on to the Scottish Professional Football League board, alongside Ken Ferguson, the Brechin City chairman.

They have been chosen to replace Bill Darroch and Les Gray, the Stenhousemuir and Hamilton Academical chairmen, respectively.

Celtic director Eric Riley, Duncan Fraser, the Aberdeen chief executive, and Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson remain on the board, with Mike Mulraney, the chairman of Alloa Athletic.

Drysdale said: “I was heavily involved in the behind the scenes discussions that led up to reconstruction last year so I put my name forward and was voted in. “It’s done every year so it’s an annual appointment. It’s early days yet but it will be an interesting job and I’m quite looking forward to it.”

It has also been confirmed that Rovers first home fixture against Rangers will be broadcast live on BT Sport and has therefore been moved to Friday, September 12, with a 7.45p.m kick off.

The home match against Hearts on Saturday, August 23 has also been made all-ticket and details can be found on following link from the club’s official website - http://www.raithrovers.net/15525/hearts-match-will-be-all-ticket.htm.

The second round draw of the Challenge Cup was made this week and either Raith or Dunfermline will face Falkirk at home in the next round.