Pre Season Friendly: Raith Rovers 3 Dunfermline 0: 10/07/17
The Pars third pre season friendly took them east to face near rivals Raith Rovers. For the League One Raith this was manager Barry Smith`s first home match and it came on the back of away fixtures to Edinburgh City and Clyde. After a 1-1 draw and a 2-1 win this Fife Derby was sure to raise the Rovers game.
Nicky Clark and David Hopkirk were missing from the Dunfermline starting eleven but Declan McManus makes his Pars debut against his former club. Lee Ashcroft was on the bench and both Michael Paton and Joe Cardle started. Apart from those recognisable from last season, the Raith Rovers side included former Par Liam Buchanan now completing the feat of playing for all four Fife clubs.
After only 75 seconds Kallum Higginbotham swung over a ball from the right that Aaron Splaine got his head to but the ball dropped nicely for the young Rovers keeper to hold. Play continued towards the home goal with Cardle creating problems on the right side of the box for Ryan Williamson to get a chance that he drove into the sidenetting.
Higginbotham delivered corners from both sides in eighth minute and there was a loud cheer from the home fans as M`voto got his head to a Higginbotham cross a minute later, only to head over the bar from six yards out.
Rovers first attempt on goal took until the quarter hour mark when Buchanan turned on the edge of the box to fire a shot that spun up off M`voto for Sean Murdoch to take. The home side were able to get some passing moves together and five minutes later a Bobby Barr cross from the left corner flag was held by Murdoch as Buchanan raced in.
At the midway point Callum Morris did well to steal the ball away from Greig Spence as it was clinically played into the Pars box. Unfortunately as the Pars skipper scoped the ball away up the left it was collected by Thomson who set up Spence for the cross and Barr knocked the ball back across the face of goal both Vaughan and Buchanan were unlucky not to get the necessary touch.
The warning had been given and in 24 minutes slackness in the Pars defence let Barr in on the left and when he crossed BUCHANAN slotted in the opener. 1-0
The response almost came right away with McManus delivering from the left and Higginbotham firing narrowly wide right. Instead it was the Rovers who scored the second goal of the evening. Barr was wide right to send an inviting ball in and Lewis VAUGHAN hooked the ball past Murdoch. 2-0
There was a let off in 42nd minute when Jason Thomson`s low ball into the visitors box was swept strongly narrowly outside the near post by Vaughan.
Next a Buchanan cross was aimed at Vaughan outside the left post and Williamson was happy to concede a corner. Fortunately when that came over M`voto powerfully headed away the danger.
Half time: Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 0
17 year old striker Callum Smith replaced Aaron Splaine for the restart while the Rovers went with the same eleven. McManus headed a Higginbotham cross towards the near post but the keeper held with relative ease. In 52 minutes Cardle sent over a ball from the right that Martin sped in to turn into the keeper`s hands.
When Wedderburn fouled Buchanan in 55th minute the Rovers had an opportunity to lob in a free kick from the left and Murdoch did well to divert the ball away from the predator Spence.
There was more play deep inside the Pars penalty box requiring Martin and then Morris to clear. Two Dunfermline corners taken from either side by Higginbotham were successfully dealt with by the home defence and when Rovers broke on the counter Buchanan was taken down by Morris as Spence slipped the ball inside.
The 62nd minute setpiece was fired over the bar from 28 yards out off the boot of Vaughan. Scott Lochhead replaced Declan McManus before a Higginbotham free kick was headed back down across the goalmouth by M`voto and Morris made the Raith keeper pull off a necessary save.
As the Pars pushed up there was room for Spence to burst through and shoot narrowly wide from 25 yards out. A 74th minute corner was hooked away by Morris and a free kick down at the left corner flag three minutes later was cleared by Paton.
Rovers had more shots on goal with Murdoch holding from Spence and Callachan seeing his effort blocked in the box. Higginbotham and Cardle both had attempts but it was the home team who grabbed the 89th minute goal. Ross MATTHEWS drilled in the third goal from the edge of the box to polish off a horrid night for Allan Johnston`s team.
The crowd dissipated to the lyrics "its a beautiful day" but for the 493 strong travelling support there was not a lot for them to take out of this friendly.
RAITH ROVERS: Trialist: Jason Thomson, Iain Davidson (Trialist 84), Kyle Benedictus, Euan Murray: Greig Spence (David McKay 84), Ross Callachan (c), Scott Robertson, Liam Buchanan, Lewis Vaughan, Bobby Barr (Ross Matthews 53).
SUBS NOT USED: Aaron Lennox (GK), Jonny Court, James Berry, Trialist.
SCORERS: Buchanan (24), Vaughan (32), Matthews (89)
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch: Ryan Williamson, Jean-Yves M`Voto, Callum Morris (c), Lewis Martin: Kallum Higginbotham, Aaron Splaine (Callum Smith HT), Nat Wedderburn, Michael Paton: Joe Cardle: Declan McManus (Scott Lochhead 62).
SUBS NOT USED: Lee Ashcroft, Stuart Morrison, Conner Duthie, Brandon Luke, Cammy Gill (GK)
REFEREE: John Beaton
WEATHER: Cloudy 13C
NEXT MATCH: Betfred Cup (home) v Elgin City Saturday 15th July 2107, kick off 3.00pm at East End Park
Betfred Cup v Peterhead: Saturday 22nd July 2017, kick off 3.00pm