In pictures: Nine of Raith Rovers’ most recent derby games against Cowdenbeath
Raith Rovers play their first competitive fixture of the new campaign this coming Saturday, July 10, and kicking off proceedings this time round is a Fife derby against Cowdenbeath in the Premier Sports Cup.
That league cup group-stage fixture is an away-day for the Kirkcaldy side, but Cowdenbeath’s Central Park ground being just nine miles west of Stark’s Park, it’s almost certain to be their shortest journey of the season ahead.
That proximity means the form-book will go out of the proverbial window, as is often the way with derbies, and what might normally be expected to be a formality for a top-three Championship side playing a team two tiers below them could well prove to be nothing of the sort.
Recent results certainly haven’t gone all Raith’s way despite their League Two rivals having only avoided relegation to Scottish football’s fifth tier by a whisker in both 2017 and 2018 and having ended up second bottom last time round.
Altogether, according to the website soccerbase.com, Rovers have won 49 of the 109 games the two teams have played since 1906, with the Blue Brazil prevailing 36 times and honours ending up even on the other 24 occasions.
The two sides’ last three meetings were in the league cup too, with Raith winning 1-0 away last November, losing 2-0 at home in July 2018 and prevailing 2-0 at home in July 2017.
An away league challenge cup tie in July 2015 was won by Raith 1-0.
Their preceding eight fixtures were in the Championship prior to Cowdenbeath’s relegation in 2015 and subsequent drop down a further level to their current home in League Two.
Four of those games went Raith’s way and three Cowdenbeath’s, with one, in December 2013, being a 3-3 draw at home.
Rovers won 1-0 away in January 2015, 2-1 at home in November 2014, 3-1 away in August 2014 and 4-3 away the August before, losing 3-1 at home in April 2015, 2-1 at home the April before and 1-0 away in February 2014.