Raith Rovers beat derby rivals Dunfermline in Premiership play-off

Raith Rovers beat Dunfermline 2-0 to go through to the Premiership play-off semi-final.

By Paul McCabe
Saturday, 8th May 2021, 6:16 pm
Lewis Vaughan scores Raith first goal (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Lewis Vaughan scores Raith first goal (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Second half goals from Lewis Vaughan and Gozie Ugwu gave John McGlynn’s side a 2-0 aggregate lead to secure a famous win against their Fife rivals.

There was one change from the Raith that started in the 0-0 draw in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw at East End Park – Dan Armstrong replacing the injured Kai Kennedy.

Not surprisingly in a game with so much at stake it was a tight, nervy affair with little in the way of goalmouth action in the first half.

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Dunfermline were the first to have an attempt at goal. A long ball hit off the back of Rovers’ captain Kyle Benedictus and landed at the feet of Kevin O’Hara whose shot from distance was saved by Jamie MacDonald but the wet ball squirmed out of his hands and almost crossed the line.

The keeper pushed a Dom Thomas shot over the bar on 13 minutes before coming to his team’s rescue 15 minutes later.

Pars’ striker Craig Wighton was put through on goal but, as he has done so many times this season, MacDonald spread himself to pull off what would prove to be a crucial save.

Dan Armstrong headed over on 32 minutes before Rovers had a let of shortly after when Benedictus sliced a clearance narrowly over his own bar.

A Kieran MacDonald drive pushed clear by Owain Fon Williams was the last attempt on goal in what had been an under par performance form the home side.

Into the second 45 and Raith came out and played with a bit more purpose and were rewarded with the opening goal on 63 minutes.

A thundering shot from right back Reghan Tumilty was saved by Fon Williams but Vaughan pounced on the ball to dink it over the keeper to make it 1-0.

Dunfermline pushed for an equaliser but in truth, MacDonald wasn’t troubled for the remainder of the half. In fact, it was the home side who came closer to adding to their lead through a fine curling effort from Jamie Gullan and another attempt from Vaughan.

With just two minutes to go they eventually got the goal that would secure the win and it came in some style.

With Dunfermline pushing men forward a long clearance was chested down and blasted into the net from 25 yards by sub Gozie Ugwu.

It was a superb way to wrap up a famous victory.