Raith Rovers lift the SPFL Trust Trophy

A Matej Poplatnik double and a goal from Ethan Ross saw Raith Rovers triumph 3-1 in the SPFL Trust Trophy Final over Queen of the South.

By Paul McCabe
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 8:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2022, 1:23 pm
Raith Rovers celebrate winning the SPFL Trust Trophy. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith Rovers celebrate winning the SPFL Trust Trophy. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Roared on by a noisy travelling support from Kirkcaldy at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium, John McGlynn’s men survived a sticky first half to take the match in the second 45, spurred on by a man of the match performance from striker Poplatnik, who has scored five goals in his last four matches for the Stark’s Park club.

But it was the Dumfries outfit who were the better side in the first half and were unlucky to fall behind in the 15th minute, though it was a goal of real quality from Rovers.

Captain Ross Matthews played the ball forward to Reghan Tumilty who swung in a peach of a cross for Poplatnik to bullet a header past Queens’ goalie Josh Rae, bravely taking a boot to the head in the bargain.

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Matej Poplatnik heads in Raith's second goal. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

But despite falling behind, Willie Gibson’s men fought back and were unlucky not to equalise with both Darragh O’Connor and Euan East hitting the woodwork.

Rovers had a chance for a second when an Aaron Connolly shot was parried by Rae and Poplatnik should maybe have done better with his header than put it over the bar.

The Raith forward was having a fine match and had another effort on the turn which cleared the Queens goal.

However, Poplatnik's heroics aside, it seemed a goal was coming for the on top Queens and it duly arrived on the stroke of half time.

An almighty stramash from a corner saw the ball hit both posts before Ally Roy bundled the ball home.

Raith keeper Jamie MacDonald was called into action twice in the space of a minute, saving well from both Josh Todd and East, before Rovers sub Dario Zanatta curled an effort just too high.

But with just over 20 minutes to go, Rovers and Polatnik grabbed a second when the Slovenian striker headed in from a Connolly corner.

And in the 77th minute Rovers made sure with star man Poplatnik involved yet again.

He played the ball wide to Sean Mackie who crossed to Ross and the 20-year-old coolly slotted the ball low past Rae to send the Rovers fans into delirium and seal the win.