Raith and Dunfermline derby ends in stalemate

Raith and Dunfermline drew a blank in the first leg of their Premiership quarter-final play-off at East End Park.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 10:09 pm
Kyle Benedictus heads over from a Regan Hendry corner (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The match ended all square in a tight contest where the hosts had more attempts on goal than their local rivals but in truth neither side created anything that was really clear cut.

Raith boss John McGlynn made two changes to the team which lost to Hearts in the last Championship game of the season last Friday night.

Ross Matthews returned from injury to take his place in the starting line-up alongside Kai Kennedy with Fernandy Mendy and Adam King dropping to the bench.

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Rovers had the best of the opening half hour but it was Dunfermline who came closest to scoring.

On 17 minutes Jamie MacDonald pulled off a superb one-handed save from a Kevin O’Hara angled drive then Decaln McManus fluffed a chance 10 minutes later when he had been teed up by Craig Wighton after some slack play in the Rovers defence.

On 35 minutes Lewis Vaughan was just inches away from getting his head to a cross from Kai Kennedy, which was a closest Raith came in the first half.

Into the second 45 and McGlynn’s side were far more effective in attack, with left back Kieran MacDonald putting an effort over the bar just two minutes in.

Dominic Thomas and McManus both had shots easily saved by MacDonald before Vaughan forced Pars’ keeper Owain Fon Williams into a good save with a drive at goal on 64 minutes.

Arguably, the best chance of the match came in the 90th minute when O’Hara somehow failed to connect when he tried to head the ball inside the Raith six yard box.

It ended 0-0, a result which suits Raith more and they are well placed for the second leg this Saturday at Stark’s Park.