Raith Rovers miss out on play-offs as season ends with a draw

Raith Rovers ended their season drawing 1-1 with Championship winners Kilmarnock as the improbable scenario of overtaking Partick Thistle in fourth spot failed to pass.

By Paul McCabe
Friday, 29th April 2022, 10:25 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd May 2022, 5:29 pm
Aidan Connolly scores for Raith. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Aidan Connolly scores for Raith. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Raith made three changes to the side which won on the road at Hamilton last weekend for the meeting with the Ayrshire side which was televised live on BBC Scotland.

David McKay took his place on the bench - where manager John McGlynn could only name four outfield players - whilst Ross Matthews and Ethan Ross dropped out completely; in came Sean Mackie, Brad Spencer and Dario Zanatta.

The first attempt on goal came from Raith when Dario Zanatta cut in from the left on six minutes and had a go but his shot was too direct and Killie keeper Zach Hemming saved comfortably.

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The home side were seeing plenty of the ball and had two glorious opportunities to take the lead in the 23rd minute but failed to capitalise on either.

A Dario Zanatta corner pinged around the Killie box and eventually came to Matej Poplatnik but the striker didn’t have time to control the ball and Hemmings was able to save.

Within seconds the same player found himself with just the keeper to beat but hit his shot straight at him and the chance was gone.

Just short of the half hour mark Raith opened the scoring with a goal that had a huge dose of good fortune about it.

Aidan Connolly shot from around 20 yards and his effort took a huge deflection off a Killie defender and ended up in the net.

Within seconds of the restart a shot from the visitors’ Oli Shaw went narrowly wide whilst at the other end Hemmings pulled off a good save from Zanatta.

Hemmings saved again from a Poplatnik header but the forward was injured in the process and was replaced by Ethon Varian.

Just before half time Raith passed up another great chance to score when Connolly dragged the ball wide of the goal from around the penalty spot after being teed up by Sam Stanton.

Half time arrived with Raith deservedly ahead but probably should have had more than just a single goal to show for it.

Killie looked more aggressive from the off as the second half got underway and were level within five minutes.

Oli Shaw hit the bar with a header then was denied by a superb save from Jamie MacDonald as he followed up but just 60 seconds later he finally got his goal, finishing well after being played in behind the Raith defence by Blair Alston.

Just after the hour mark a wicked low shot from Reghan Tumilty was pushed wide by Hemmings and Connolly was just too high with a free kick as Raith pushed hard for a winner.

Tumilty had another shot go wide, Connolly crashed one off the bar and McKay headed narrowly over but a second goal proved elusive as the game - and Raith’s season - came to a close.