Raith Rovers still within reach of top of table after draw at home to Airdrie
It’s now six weeks since the Kirkcaldy club were beaten, by 1-0 away to Airdrie, and that was their first defeat of any description since August and their only loss in the Scottish Championship so far this season.
That’s a run of form that keeps the Fifers, on 24 points from 11 fixtures, within four points of the top of the table and with a game in hand on Dundee United.
The top two’s 1-1 draws did allow the chasing pack of Partick Thistle and Dunfermline Athletic to make up some ground on them, however, as both won, the former by 3-1 away to Arbroath and the latter by 2-1 at Greenock Morton.
Former Airdrie forward Callum Smith’s sixth goal of the current campaign, following an Aidan Connolly dummy, put the hosts in front just ahead of half-time but another ex-Dunfermline player, Nikolay Todorov, cancelled that goal out from a corner ten minutes after the break and that’s the way the scoreline stayed due to crucial saves by home goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski and opposite number Joshua Rae.
Manager Ian Murray wasn’t happy about the goal conceded by his side but was satisfied enough with a point against his previous club, telling Raith TV: “It was a tough battle. We expected that and that’s what we got. We knew it was going to be like that.
“This league is so unforgiving, every single game.
“I thought we were maybe a wee bit fortunate to be going in 1-0 up at half-time.
“I was disappointed to lose a goal from a set-play and not to manage to nick another one at the other end.
“We probably shaded the game but I wouldn’t say we definitely should have had the three points.”
Conceding goals at set-pieces was a trait to blame in part for Raith missing out on a play-off place last season and it’s one Murray doesn’t want to see recurring this time round.
“I wouldn’t say it was a wonderful delivery. It was just a hard delivery to defend,” he said. “Kevin couldn’t go for it because there were too many bodies in his way.
“We needed to try to make sure we got first contact on the ball, which we didn’t, and their player scored from close range.
“I was disappointed with that but I was probably more disappointed with how they got the corner. Our press wasn’t right. We were just that little bit away from being in the positions we wanted to be in and that led to the corner kick.
“There’s always something in the build-up that we have to look at as well.
“We have to work on set-plays because I just felt there was maybe a little bit of the old traits creeping in.”
Next up for Raith is a trip to Glasgow’s Hampden Park to take on Queen’s Park this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.
Their hosts are currently seventh in the table, on 13 points from a dozen fixtures, after drawing 2-2 at Ayr United on Saturday.