10 man Raith take the points with last-gasp win in seven goal thriller

editorial image

3-1 down with four minutes to go, away from home, down to 10 men and yet Raith Rovers still came away from Airdrie’s Penny cars Stadium with all three points.

No-one but no-one saw it coming.

It was an astonishing end to what had been up to then a fairly unremarkable match.

Rovers had made a promising start with two early corners, but from the second found themselves a goal behind in only six minutes.

The ball was cleared from the Airdrie box to Joao Victoria. The big forward picked the ball up on left and cut across the Rovers box before curling a right foot shot past Kieran Wright to give the Diamonds an early lead.

Victoria’s powerful running was giving the Rovers defence a torrid time and after winning his side a corner on 15 minutes Conroy shot just passed the post

On 26 minutes Rovers lost striker Matthews to injury with Duggan coming on to play through the middle with Nisbet going wide right.

Five minutes later and Raith were two down; Airdrie left back MacDonald ran into the box unchallenged and played the ball to Victoria. The big striker got to the byline and crossed it for Carrick to tap in.

It looked a long way back for Rover but to their credit they came out for the second half and were noticeably improved, finding spaces to play in and with much better control of the ball.

Five minutes in and from a corner the Kirkcaldy side hit the bar with a deflection. Benedictus headed the rebound over in was injured in the process and had to go off. McKay came on as his replacement and Rovers were soon back in the match.

A short pass back latched onto by Buchanan who slotted it home through the keeper’s legs. Game on.

However any chance that Rovers may have had to get back on level terms were severely undermined when Davidson – just back from suspension – received a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident on 72 minutes.

And if that wasn’t bad enough Victoria, a thorn in the Rovers’ side all match, turned in the box on 83 minutes and smashed a shot in off the underside of the bar.

3-1 to Airdrie and seemingly game over – but Rovers weren’t done yet.

On 87 minutes Buchanan pulled a goal back and four minutes later a Nisbet free kick from the edge of the box made it all square and Rovers had saved a point – or so we thought.

With 94 minutes on the clock an almighty scramble in the box saw the ball end up in the back of the net, with Liam Buchanan sportingly admitting after that Kevin Nisbet probably got the final touch,

This was an incredible win for the Rovers which Barry Smith said was a testament to their team spirit.

“Anyone who questioning the commitment or the desire of the players were proved wrong today,” he said.

I think their character and strong mentality showed.

“We went down to 10 men and to go and find a winner means they deserve tremendous credit.”