Thistle stung as Raith Rovers take the three points

Raith Rovers picked up their first home league win of the season as they triumphed with the odd goal in five over Partick Thistle.

By Paul McCabe
Sunday, 26th September 2021, 6:41 pm
Kyle Benedictus (r) celebrates with Liam Dick after putting Raith 2-0 up against Partick Thistle. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Kyle Benedictus (r) celebrates with Liam Dick after putting Raith 2-0 up against Partick Thistle. (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

But it wasn’t all plain sailing as, after racing into a three goal lead thanks to Dario Zanatta and a double from Kyle Benedictus, they faced a nervy end when the visitors pulled back two late goals through Brian Graham and Zak Rudden.

Manager John McGlynn made just one change to the Rovers side which started in the Premier Sports Cup tie against Celtic on Thursday night, with Blaise Riley-Snow dropping to the bench to be replaced by Brad Spencer.

Raith started the brighter of the two teams, Zanatta pulling a shot wide after five minutes, but it was Partick who almost took the lead five minutes later when Kyle Turner crashed a shot against the Rovers bar.

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A flurry of activity 10 minutes later would end with Raith taking the lead.

A Reghan Tumilty cross almost deceived Thistle keeper Jamie Sneddon who managed to push it wide. From the resultant corner Christophe Berra hit the post and the ball was scrambled clear.

A second corner saw Zanatta play it short, take the ball back, cut inside and rifle home to make it 1-0 to the home side.

The visitors’ Ross Docherty went close then former Raith striker Graham headed wide as Thistle chased an equaliser, the latter also forcing Jamie MacDonald in to a good save on 41 minutes.

Raith captain Bendictus flashed a header wide just before the break as Rovers headed for the changing room a goal to the good.

Six minutes into the second 45 Jags keeper Sneddon pulled off a superb save from a rasping Tumilty drive which looked netbound all the way.

Shortly after Partick had two loud claims for a penalty in two minutes, for a handball and a trip, waved aside by referee Andrew Dallas. The Jags boss Ian McCall claiming that the man in the middle got both decisions wrong after the match.

On 59 minutes a Cammy Smith shot went narrowly wide as Partick took control of the match but it was Raith who would extend their lead against the run of play.

Zanatta attempted a chipped pass in the Jags box which hit the arm of Smith. Captain Benedictus stepped up and made no mistake from the spot.

Eight minutes later and the defender added the second of an unlikely double from a corner.

Zanatta crossed, Berra headed the ball back across goal, Aidan Connolly knocked the ball down and Benedictus side footed home to give Raith a commanding lead.

But, as they did in the first game of the season against Hamilton, with Rovers on Easy Street they allowed their opponents back into a match which they should have seen out comfortably.

With five minutes to go Graham pulled a goal back and deep into injury time Rudden cut the deficit to just one goal.

Thankfully, the visitors ran out of time and Raith held on the take the win which saw them leapfrog their opponents to fourth place in the Championship table.