Raith Rovers draw a blank in stalemate with Partick

Raith's Ethon Varian battles with the Partick defence. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)Raith's Ethon Varian battles with the Partick defence. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith's Ethon Varian battles with the Partick defence. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith Rovers and Partick Thistle shared the points in a 0-0 draw at Stark’s Park.

It saw Rovers’ winless run in the Championship stretch to 10 games but it was a much improved performance from John McGlynn’s men who were unlucky not to emerge victorious.

Plus, with the other sides in the top four all drawing over the weekend, it meant that Raith didn’t lose any ground in the battle for a play-off place, even though a win would have seen them go into third place in the table.

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Raith made four changes to the side that lost away at Kilmarnock last time out.

Frankie Musonda, Sean Mackie, Ethan Ross and Jamie Gullan dropped out in favour of captain Kyle Benedictus, Dario Zanatta, Ethon Varian and Aidan Connolly, with the home side starting the match with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The game began with the sides evenly matched before the first opportunity fell to Raith on 13 minutes when birthday boy Reghan Tunilty played in Varian but the forward scuffed his attempt across the face of goal and the chance was cleared.

A Tumilty shot was blocked on 21 minutes as Rovers began to take control of the match, another attempt from Ross Matthews followed shortly after but was too direct and Jags’ keeper Jamie Sneddon saved comfortably.

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On 32 minutes a low corner from Connolly was fired over by Sam Stanton as Raith kept the pressure up.

Just 60 seconds later Ben Williamson passed up a good chance when he found himself unmarked with his back to goal but stumbled as he attempted to turn and shoot, Robbie Crawford then stung the palms of Jamie MacDonald at the other end.

Referee Willie Collum waved away appeals for a penalty after Zanatta was barged in the back, before an attempt from Varian was blocked.

With half time looming, Stanton hit a low angled drive narrowly past the Thistle goal, before MacDonald saved from Alex Jakubiak.

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The interval arrived with the sides locked at 0-0 but it was an improved showing than of late from McGlynn’s side, who looked much more like the team that had started the season so well - all that was missing was the goal their play deserved.

Raith started the second half on the front foot and Stanton came close to getting on the end of a Zanatta cross, before Thistle went close at the other end.

Cammy Smith hit an attempt at goal into the ground and half time sub, former Rover Brian Graham, was inches away from poking the ball in at the far post.

Tumilty went close with a shot on 57 minutes before Sneddon saved from a Zanatta strike just after the hour mark.

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Four minutes later Graham hit a shot on the turn narrowly over the Rovers bar before MacDonald saved a rasping drive from Stephen Hendrie.

With 20 minutes to go Zanatta saw a shot blocked before a great move between the forward and Tumilty ended with the ball just evading Williamson at the back post.

Partick’s Kyle Turner was booked for a dive in the box with five minutes to go then the last chance of the match went to Raith, with Connolly curling an effort just too high over the Glasgow side’s goal.