No goals as Raith and Dunfermline share the points

Raith and Dunfermline drew for the third time this season as the New Year Fife derby ended in a stalemate.

Sunday, 2nd January 2022, 6:06 pm
Rangers loanee Ben Williamson made his Raith debut in the derby draw. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The match, played in a strong wind in front of just 500 home fans due to Covid-19 regulations, was a drab affair.

Raith have now having gone three games without a win in the Championship and this was yet another below par performance.

Rovers boss John McGlynn made three changes after the disappointing Boxing Day defeat at Ayr.

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In came debutantes Ben Williamson and Sam Stanton, with striker Matej Poplatnik joining them in what was an attacking line-up with two strikers up front.

Aidan Connolly, Dario Zanatta and Dylan Tait, in his last match for Raith before moving to Hibs, all dropped to the bench.

The first opportunity of note came on 19 minutes when a free kick from Ethan Ross came to an unmarked Tom Lang just eight yards from goal, but he misjudged his headed attempt and it went wide.

A minute later Matthew Todd was just inches away from connecting with a free kick at the other end.

On 25 minutes Rovers’ first attempt on target came via Williamson but his free kick went straight at Owain Fôn Williams who saved easily.

The visitors should have taken the lead on 28 minutes when Lewis McCann was played clean through at an angle but Jamie MacDonald was able to block his tame effort.

Raith passed up a chance of their own just before half time when Poplatnik tried to play in his strike partner Varian but underhit his attempt and the chance was cleared.

It was the last sniff at goal in an underwhelming first half, during which McGlynn had cut a frustrated figure on the sideline at times.

The second half’s first shot on target came from Stanton on 53 minutes but Fôn Williams saved before the Pars’ McCann headed narrowly wide just after the hour mark.

Ross Matthews played a neat one-two with Varian on 65 minutes but his shot was deflected wide for a corner from which Lang seemed to be impeded when going for the ball, but referee David Munro waved aside his claims.

On 74 minutes Ross went close with a free kick which narrowly cleared the Dunfermline crossbar, 12 minutes later Lang headed wide from a corner floated in by sub Aidan Connolly.

Neither side came close after that so it ended with Rovers dropping another two points in what seems to be a mid-season mini slump.