Raith Rovers put on convincing display with win over Peterhead

Raith Rovers goalkeeper Ross Munro (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Raith Rovers goalkeeper Ross Munro (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Raith Rovers were convincing winners in their penultimate Betfred Cup Group D match against Peterhead.

Two goals in the first half from Kieron Bowie and Michael Miller were added to in the second half by Lewis Allen before a defensive lapse from substitute Fernandy Mendy saw Peterhead pull back a late consolation through Ben Armour.

Rovers boss John McGlynn made two changes from Saturday’s line up against Inverness; with Mendy and Grant Anderson dropping to the bench with Bowie and Joao Victoria starting as an attacking pair just behind Allen in a 4-3-2-1 formation.

Rovers fell behind to an early goal in the Highlands on Saturday, this time it was the turn of the outfit from that region to do the same as the Kirkcaldy side took the lead after just three minutes.

Ross Matthews played the ball into the box from the Rovers left and it was slotted in by 16-year-old Kirkcaldy boy Bowie for his first senior goal.

This early lead gave Rovers a much needed confidence boost after two straight defeats and in truth they rarely looked troubled for the rest of the match.

Early on every time Rovers went forward, with plenty of neat, short passing on display the visitor’s defence looked troubled.

Brad Spencer shot narrowly wide on 14 minutes but the much deserved second goal came seven minutes later and it was one to remember.

Regan Hendry played the ball forward to Bowie who passed it out wide to Michael Miller who had advanced from right back. He hit a superb right foot shot from the angle of the box which flew past Greg Fleming in the Peterhead goal into the opposite top corner.

Just three minutes later Rovers almost added a third which at this stage of the match would have been well deserved but Brad Spencer’s neat chip past Fleming after he was played in by Allen crept agonisingly wide of goal.

On 28 minutes Bowie came close again when the ball fell to him after Matthews had been crowded out in the box, but it went over the bar.

The youngster had a superb match with a confidence, touch and ability to read the game that belies his tender years.

For all their dominance Rovers could have found the scoreline deficit halved on 42 minutes. The defence which had been watertight up to this point went to sleep and Jack Leitch found himself in plenty of room in front of gaol but scooped his poor shot well over the bar.

To Peterhead’s credit they came back into the match briefly at the start of the second half, without troubling the Rovers defence unduly and the home side were soon back on top.

It took until the 79th minute for the third goal to arrive which settled the match and it was no surprise that teenager Bowie was involved again.

He crossed for Allan to cushion a looping header over Fleming to make it 3-0.

Kieran MacDonald had been a thorn in the Peterhead’s defence all afternoon with a series of runs and crosses in the visitor’s box and it was from one that Hendry could have made it four on 85 minutes but he fluffed his shot.

Peterhead pulled a goal back on 88 minute when substitute Mendy inexplicably tried a long pass back to keeper Ross Munro without looking.

Armour pounced upon it and scored but it mattered little – Rovers were well worth their win.