Celtic are too strong as ten-man Raith Rovers exit Premier Sports Cup

Raith Rovers were knocked out of the Premier Sports Cup as they went down 3-0 away to Premiership side Celtic.

Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 9:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd September 2021, 9:50 pm
Blaise Riey-Snow vies with Tom Rogic. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

And it was a defeat that saw them end the match with ten men as Dario Zanatta was red carded in the second half.

Raith kicked off with one change from the side which won away at Morton on Saturday - Aidan Connolly replacing Brad Spencer who dropped to the bench after picking up a knock in Greenock.

It was no surprise that Celtic dominated possession early on and they went close after only three minutes, when striker Albian Ajeti curled an effort just wide with Jamie MacDonald at full stretch.

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Rovers responded with a side footed effort from Dylan Tait shortly after but it lacked pace and direction.

The home side were seeing lots of the ball in the first 20 minutes, but the Raith rearguard stood up well and didn’t allow them to trouble MacDonald’s goal until the 25th minute when Celtic made the breakthrough.

James McCarthy played a superb defence-splitting pass to Jota who scored his first goal for the Hoops.

Aidan Connolly had an effort on goal which Joe Hart saved comfortably but Rovers were struggling to see much of the ball or to match the home side’s pace and the Glasgow side added a second with 39 minutes gone,

Jota got the better of Reghan Tumilty, his shot was well saved by MacDonald but Liel Abada nodded in the rebound.

Celtic were now rampant and almost permanently camped in the Rovers half.

Another effort by Jota was too high and it was a relief for Raith when referee David Munro brought the first half to a close.

It was looking like a long way back for John McGlynn’s side.

The second half began with Rovers facing the proverbial mountain to climb and before they even made their first steps it was game over after just a minute.

David Turnbull picked up the ball in midfield and with too much room was able to stride forward and curl a lovely effort into the Raith net.

Rogic had a shot which MacDonald saved on 48 minutes and for Raith it was now all about damage limitation.

And their task was made even harder when Dario Zanatta was sent off after receiving two yellow cards after needless challenges on Tom Rogic and Anthony Ralston, just four minutes apart.

The game petered out after that amid a flurry of substitutions, with Celtic also taking their foot off the gas, though to their credit Raith never gave up trying and were still full of running when they could have easily let their heads drop.

Raith gave a good account of themselves but the difference in quality was clear to see and the game ended with Celtic as worthy winners.