Raith Rovers surrender two goal lead in Fife derby draw

Manny Duku opens the scoring (Fife Photo Agency)Manny Duku opens the scoring (Fife Photo Agency)
Manny Duku opens the scoring (Fife Photo Agency)
Raith Rovers threw away the chance to take the bragging rights in the Fife derby after losing a two goal lead.

The home side were leading 2-0 thanks to goals from Manny Duku and Frankie Musonda, but two goals in sixty seconds from Fraser Murray and Declan McManus ensured that the first league meeting between the sides since 2017 ended all square.

Rovers started against the Championship leaders with the same starting XI as their previous outing against Inverness a fortnight ago and almost stunned their rivals with a goal after just two minutes.

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A short corner was passed to Ethan Ross and he curled a shot that had Owain Fon Williams completely beaten but it smacked against the post and rebounded to safety for the Pars.

Rovers took control of the match in the opening stages with the bulk of possession but it was the visitors who almost opened the scoring against the run of play on 17 minutes.

Ryan Dow cut in a hit a shot which was saved by Jamie MacDonald, the rebound went back to Dow and despite being at a tight angle, he should have done better with the goal gaping but hit his shot wide.

Raith still looked more likely to open the scoring and did so on 26 minutes.

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A Dan Armstrong cross was met by an unmarked Duku. His header was saved but he made no mistake with the rebound to put Rovers into a 1-0 lead.

On 32 minutes some neat interplay from Raith ended with an Armstrong shot being well saved by Fon Williams.

Rovers were deserving of their lead but a moment’s slackness in defence almost saw Dunfermline snatch an equaliser

MacDonald shouted to his defenders to leave a long through ball but he was beaten to it by Kyle Turner, but fortunately for the keeper his lob went wide of the goal.

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There was no more scoring so Rovers went in at the the break looking good for their single goal lead.

It had been a poor showing from Dunfermline and they started the second half in determined fashion, taking control of the game and looking more menacing in attack.

The visitors had passed up a couple of half chances but it was Rovers who almost doubled their lead – a Musonda header crashed against the bar and went over on 57 minutes.

However just six minutes later, with Dunfermline still in the ascendancy, the same player did indeed make it 2-0.

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A Rovers corner was played short, Regan Hendry crossed and Musonda took advantage of poor marking again in the Dunfermline box to head in the second goal.

This seemed to knock the visitors but to their credit they played their way back into the match.

McManus flashed a header narrowly wide on 71 minutes, before they levelled the scoring with two goals in the space of a minute.

Fraser Murray hit a low shot into the bottom corner of MacDonald’s net on 73 minutes before McManus superbly volleyed in a second just 60 seconds later.

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Rovers, to their credit, refused to crumble and both sides made efforts to grab what would surely have been a winner, but neither keeper was seriously troubled in the final 10 minutes and it would finish all square.

Rovers will be disappointed to have thrown away a commanding lead, but in the end a draw was a fair result in what was an excellent advert for Fife football.

It’s just a shame the fans weren’t there to see it...