Raith and Ayr draw a blank in entertaining match at Stark’s Park
Raith and Ayr United drew 0-0 for the second time in the Championship this season.
But the scoreline doesn’t reflect the true nature of the match which saw both sides create numerous chances to score and both deserve credit for keeping up a fast pace throughout.
Those who were in the ground would have seen way duller scoring games than this one in the past.
The visitors, with coach Davie White in charge as they search for a replacement for the departed Mark Kerr, arrived in Kirkcaldy on the back of an excellent and morale-boosting win away at Arbroath on Saturday.
Rovers were idle after the Fife derby was called off due to a Covid-19 outbreak at East End Park and manger John McGlynn named the same starting XI from their last outing – a 3-1 win over Alloa.
It proved to be an entertaining first 45 with both teams creating good opportunities to score.
Luke McCowan pulled a shot narrowly wide of Rovers’ keeper Jamie MacDonald’s goal after just three minutes, whilst Manny Duku sliced the ball wildly past the Ayr goal from a promising position on six minutes.
Ross Matthews and Brad Spencer played a neat one-two on 12 minutes, finishing with a low shot from the latter which hit the side netting, then just two minutes later Ayr keeper Viljami Sinisalo pulled off a good save from a Duku header.
The Rovers striker went close with another header on 20 minutes and just sixty seconds later was inches away from connecting with a Regan Hendry flick.
15 minutes later and a great curling drive from Ayr’s Cammy Smith took a slight deflection which was enough to see it go just past MacDonald’s goal.
The last chance of the half fell to Ross Matthews who hit an angled shot narrowly wide after a one-two with Duku.
It seemed incredible that neither side had scored as we went into the break and it seemed only a matter of time before a goal would arrive, but Ayr tightened up at the back in the second 45 making it harder fro Rovers to make that breakthrough.
Matthews, Regan Tumilty and Duku all had efforts on goal but the closest they came was a header form substitute Gozie Ugwu who hit the post with a header on 64 minutes – his first touch of the ball – just seconds after coming on.
Thereafter, Rovers struggled to create any openings, though kept pushing to the death, but it was the visitors who almost stole all three points.
Deep into injury time Tom Walsh had a clear sight of the Raith goal but his shot was too straight and MacDonald, who had been a virtual spectator for the second half, was alert enough to make the block and seal a point for the home side which now sees them clear in second spot in the Championship table.