Raith Rovers and Kelty Hearts draw in pre-season Fife derby

Raith Rovers drew 1-1 with Kelty Hearts at New Central Park on Saturday afternoon.

By Paul McCabe
Saturday, 2nd July 2022, 6:02 pm
Raith's Greig Young in action at New Central Park against Kelty Hearts. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith's Greig Young in action at New Central Park against Kelty Hearts. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

It was the Kirkcaldy side’s third pre-season friendly, with a closed doors match scheduled for next week at Stark’s Park before the League Cup campaign kicks off.

Boss Ian Murray said he was pleased with his side’s performance, calling it a much improved showing on Wednesday’s 2-1 home defeat to Queen of the South.

Raith kicked off with Scott Brown and captain Liam Dick forming the central defensive duo, up front Jamie Gullan was paired with trialist Kareem Isiaka.

Rovers had a half chance on 13 minutes, Connolly perhaps could have done better than to shoot wide after he got on to the end of a cross from Gullan.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action from either side in the first 45, the Raith defence coping well with whatever Kelty threw at it, before they took they managed to take the lead.

A Connolly header from an Ethan Ross corner was blocked and fell to Gullan just a couple of yards from goal who bundled it home on 33 minutes.

Shortly before half time Raith almost had a second when Connolly helped the ball forward to Isiaka who was unlucky to see his effort go slightly off target..

The second half was a slightly more eventful affair, with Kelty taking control in the early stages and soon scoring a deserved equaliser

On 55 minutes Alfredo Agyman turned inside Rovers' left back Greig Young and curled the ball past Robbie Thomson who had just come on as a replacement for Jamie MacDonald.

It was the home side’s first effort on goal.

Just after the hour mark Raith almost retook the lead when Dylan Easton chipped a ball to the back post where it was met by the in-rushing Ross Millen but his effort was just off target.

A goal bound effort from Gullan was blocked on the line before the striker then hit a shot narrowly wide with just over 10 minutes to go.

Kelty’s Thomas Reilly had the ball in the net late on but was flagged for offside.