Friendly win for Raith Rovers as the fans come back

Raith Rovers beat League Two Stranraer 4-1 in the first of their pre-season friendlies.

Saturday, 26th June 2021, 5:24 pm
Aidan Connolly scores (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The visitors took the lead but goals from Aidan Connolly, Lewis Vaughan Brad Spencer and Kieran Mitchell secured the win.

New signings Christophe Berra, Connolly, James Keatings and Dario Zanatta all started as did two trialists; one at left back with the other in centre midfield.

A small crowd was allowed into Stark’s Park - the first time spectators have been in the ground since March 7 last year - and were given an appreciative round of applause by the Raith players before kick off.

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Lewis Vaughan puts Raith into the league (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The game started and it was the visitors under new boss Jamie Hamill who got the opening goal.

After just seven minutes a Josh Walker free kick was floated into the Rovers box and headed in by Craig Ross.

Five minutes later Rovers made their first attempt on goal when Vaughan turned well on the edge of the box but his shot went narrowly wide.

On 19 minutes Stranraer went close via the same route as the opener - a Walker corner was scooped just over the bar by Ross.

Two minutes later Vaughan had another attempt for Raith, but his shot from a Keatings pass was straight at keeper Greg Fleming who was able to block before Kyle Benedictus headed wide from a Keatings corner on 28 minutes.

On 31 minutes Matt Yates played Josh Rennie through but Jamie MacDonald saved his attempt on goal and the Raith number one was called into action four minutes later, once again saving well after a great bit of play from Joseph Moore.

Into the second half and two goals in a less than five minute spell turned the match in Rovers’ favour.

A superb low cross across the face of goal from Vaughan on 49 minutes was turned in at the back post by Connolly.

Four minutes later and Vaughan himself chested in a cross just seconds after hitting the bar with a backwards flick after a cross from Trialist C

On 61 minutes Raith made a double substitution. Spencer and Aaron Arnott replaced Trialist A and Vaughan and within seconds Spencer had headed the ball into the net with his very first touch, from a free kick from Keatings.

Zanatta and Connolly were replaced by Trialist B and Quinn Coulson before Spencer passed up a glorious chance to bag his second on 65 minutes.

The midfielder was teed up by Vaughan but with the goal at his mercy from close range he hit it straight at Fleming who saved.

On 72 minutes Rovers’ latest signing from the Fife Elite academy, Kieran Mitchell, replaced Keatings.

Five minutes later, the home side passed up another one-on-one with Fleming. This time it was youngster Arnott whose shot was too straight.

Man of the match Dylan Tait was replaced by Luke Mahady before Trialist B had a good effort on goal which was well saved.

In the last minute Mitchell scored after making room for himself, turning and hitting a low strike into the net.