Raith too strong for Highland League Buckie

9 Liam Buchanan makes it 1-5
9 Liam Buchanan makes it 1-5

Raith Rovers made light work of Highland League Buckie Thistle in the Betfred cup, despite an early scare from the home side.

The visitors were first to trouble as Greg Spence crossed to Liam Buchanan who took the effort on the full volley and fired well over the cross bar.

Raith were holding the ball up well but the tenacious Buckie midfielders were making it difficult.

The Highland League champions had their captain Kevin Fraser back after he had been on trial with Inverness Caley Thistle.

However, it was Fraser who gave Raith the chance to open the scoring when he brought down Jason Thomson inside the box.

Lewis Vaughan stepped up and sent the ball into the bottom left corner, sending Ross Salmon the wrong way.

The visitors were looking the more dangerous but it was Buckie who equalised on 26 minutes as a Sam Urquhart cross fell kindly to John McLeod on six yards who hooked the ball into the far corner.

Urquhart looked keen to impress against the full-time opposition but he held on to the ball too long in his own half and was pick pocketed by Greg Spence.

The winger drove forward but was only able to fire wide from 20 yards.

Spence had been Raith’s danger man in the first half with a number of good crosses into the box but found himself on the end of a Vaughan cross on 40 minutes.

With his back to goal Spence was able to make the connection at the back post with an over head kick which left salmon with no chance.

Rovers should have scored again three minutes later when Ross Matthews found Liam Buchanan in acres of space inside the box.

The striker had his body in an awkward position and in the end his header was well over the bar.

Raith did have their third just one minute later though, Lewis Vaughan caught the keeper off guard with a free kick from 25 yards which was rifled into the top left corner.

The opening encounters of the second half were quiet, Buckie with a few half chances but nothing to trouble Lennox as Rovers absorbed the pressure.

Liam Buchanan, who had a quiet first half, sprung into action on the hour mark as he chased a ball down the right, cut in, beat two men but was cut out at the last second by a diving tackle on the by-line.

From the resulting corner the ball was headed around and half cleared before coming back in to Ross Callachan who shot narrowly wide from the edge of the box.

Buchanan had another chance on 63 minutes, again terrorising the Buckie defenders and beating his man, he was able to round the keeper but from a difficult angle his effort came back off the post.

Only one minute later though he was rewarded with his goal as the Buckie defence again failed to properly clear the danger and the striker swiped the ball in from close range.

Thistle couldn’t handle Buchanan and he got his second shortly after when he slid the ball past Salmon and in at the back post but this goal was all bout the fabulous through ball from Ross Matthews.

It was Buchanan’s last action of the game as he was subbed of shortly after.

Ross Matthews then capped off a fine performance of his own with a pile-driver from long range to make it 6-1 with five minutes left of normal time.

In the end it was an efficient performance from Raith with Spence, Vaughan and Buchanan all starring.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to progress to the next round.