Raith Rovers squander two-goal lead to Arbroath

Raith Rovers threw away a two-goal lead at home to Arbroath in the Championship.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 6:08 pm
Dan Armstrong scores his second goal against Arbroath (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The Stark’s Park side were two goals to the good thanks to a Dan Armstrong double, but goals from Jack Hamilton and Ricky Little meant that the sides ended up sharing the points.

And with Dundee drawing with Morton it meant that Hearts were crowned Championship winners.

In truth the draw did neither side any favours, though with all matches in the division ending all square, Raith still look like securing a play off spot.

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John McGlynn made two changes to the side who lost to Livingston in the Scottish Cup last weekend, Kieran MacDonald and Armstrong replacing Iain Davidson and Jamie Gullan – suspended and injured respectively.

The match almost got off to an explosive start as both sides came close to scoring in the opening minutes.

With just 90 seconds gone the visitors went close when a Ben Williamson shot took a deflection and squirmed narrowly wide of Jamie MacDonald’s goal.

Rovers went straight back up the pitch and almost scored themselves when Regan Tumilty crossed and Dylan Tait was close to connecting.

Raith had the better of the play but failed to put much pressure on the Lichties’ goal until they took the lead on 28 minutes.

Regan Hendry took a pass from Dylan Tait. His shot was well saved by Derek Gaston but the rebound fell to Armstrong who couldn’t miss and put Rovers in front.

Lewis Vaughan tried to score direct from a free kick from out wide on 33 minutes but Gaston saved and the keeper did well once again four minutes later when he denied Armstrong from close range.

Half time arrived with Raith deservedly in front but the second half saw them come out rather flat and it was the visitors who were the better side.

Ricky Little went close with a header on 53 minutes as Dick Campbell’s side pushed for an equaliser but it was the home side who scored next against the run of play.

On 70 minutes Armstrong cut in from the right and hit the ball low into the opposite bottom corner to put Rovers into a commanding lead.

But McGlynn’s side failed to capitalise and found their two-goal lead halved just two minutes later.

A ball into the Rovers box was only partially cleared and Jack Hamilton smashed a great shot from the edge of the box high into the net.

If there was to be another goal it would be a crucial one and that’s how it proved as Arbroath equalised with 10 minutes to go.

The Rovers defence once again failed to properly clear a free kick into the box and the ball fell to defender Little whose low shot gave MacDonald no chance.

Raith will be frustrated that they passed up the chance to take all three points but with all five matches in the Championship finishing in draws they didn’t lose any ground an still look in a good position to claim a play-off place.