A point apiece as Raith Rovers and Dunfermline draw

Raith Rovers and Dunfermline drew 1-1 in the Championship in an entertaining game at Stark’s Park.

By Paul McCabe
Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 10:05 pm
Dario Zanatta opens the scoring in the Fife derby (Pics by Fife Photo Agency)
Dario Zanatta opens the scoring in the Fife derby (Pics by Fife Photo Agency)

Raith took the lead in the first half through top scorer Dario Zanatta, with the visitors grabbing a second half equaliser through sub Kevin O’Hara.

It was a result that neither side will be truly happy with, both staying in their respective positions in the league - Rovers in fourth with Dunfermline still rooted to the foot of the Championship table.

Raith fielded an unchanged line-up from Sunday’s win over Partick Thistle, whilst Dunfermline gave a start to Kai Kennedy who spent the second half of the season on loan at Stark’s Park.

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Zanatta celebrates scoring.

The first 10 minutes passed with both sides fairly equal in possession, but just as the Raith faithful in the crowd of 2876 burst into a round of applause as a gesture of support for injured striker Lewis Vaughan, their team took the lead.

Zanatta broke free on the Rovers left and, as he has done more than once this season, cut in and hit a low right footed drive into the Dunfermline net, leaving keeper Owain Fon Williams with no chance.

It was the Canadian’s seventh goal of the season so far and it inspired Raith to take the upper hand in the match.

On 23 minutes an Aidan Connolly cross found Brad Spencer in plenty of room but the midfielder put his header wide.

Five minutes later Dunfermline had their first proper attempt on goal, a dipping shot by Reece Cole, but it was too high to trouble Jamie MacDonald in the Raith goal.

On 36 minutes Dylan Tait was inches away from connecting with a Zanatta cross whilst at the other end, a Dan Pybus drive was deflected narrowly wide four minutes later.

Half time arrived with Rovers well worthy of their lead and a chorus of boos from the Pars support.

With the second half just three minutes old Rovers almost added a second. Zanatta once again cut in on his right foot but this time his attempt was deflected over the Pars goal.

On 54 minutes a ferocious curling drive from Reghan Tumilty went close before Kennedy was booked for a dive in the Raith box.

On the hour mark Dunfermline sub Craig Wighton had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside, however it was a warning for the Raith defence with the visitors having the bulk of the possession at this point in the match.

On 63 minutes Tumilty nearly scored again, this time his shot going narrowly wide at the other side of the Dunfermline goal, but it was the visitors who would strike next.

With 12 minutes to go from out of nowhere Dunfermline equalised, when a ball across the face of the Raith goal from Josh Edwards was sidefooted in by sub Kevin O’Hara.

It was game on and, so late in the game, if there was to be another goal, it would surely prove to be the winner.

The equaliser seemed to spark Raith back into life and on 83 minutes they nearly went back in front but Fon Williams pulled off a superb save to deny Matej Poplatnik his first Raith goal after he flashed a header on target.

Zanatta then went agonisingly close to connecting with a low cross from Tumilty with just four minutes left which would prove to be the final effort on goal from either side.