SFL Div One: RAITH ROVERS 1 DUNFERMLINE 1 : Date: 16/03/13 :
For the trip to Starks Park Jim Jefferies rung the changes as Andy Geggan and Jordan McMillan returned from suspension. Stephen Jordan was fit again and Joe Cardle and Andy Kirk both started meaning Ross Millen, John Potter, Alex Whittle, Chris Kane and Craig Dargo dropped out.
Simon Mensing,Grant Anderson and Josh Watt came into the Rovers side that had lost to Livingston the previous Saturday with Pat Clarke, Grant Anderson and Joe Hammill relegated to the bench.
After the generous offer from Raith to return entrance money for those Pars fans attending in excess of 2000 there was much interest as the West Fifers crowd steadily built. It didn't look as though all 3200 seats were going to be filled up but there was a large Pars travelling support no doubt boosted by Raith's gesture.
The teams were led out by Roy Barry and Gordon Wallace and ahead of the kick off there was a show of appreciation for Ian Lister who sadly died at the beginning of February. The Pars cup winner in 1968 played for both teams.
Dunfermline kicked off through Kirk and Wallace attacking the goal at the beach end. The pitch looked remarkably good despite it needing a 1.00pm pitch inspection. First shot at goal came in the third minute when Jason Thomson was released down the right but his shot was sliced well wide right.
Play switched back to the edge of the Rovers box with Cardle pumping in a cross for Kirk and then Wallace trying a run that failed to penetrate the home defence. Gallacher was at full stretch when Greig Spence got a shot in that escaped wide left. Josh Watt then supplied him with another chance but this time sent his eighth minutre header wide right.
Thomson blocked Cardle's shot after he had cut into the Raith box but Wallace's corner from the left was defended. Raith continued to try to find a route through the Pars defence too with Stuart Anderson swinging a dangerous cross in and then Spence shooting another effort over the bar.
In 17th minute Mensing chopped down Callum Morris as he forged forward after intercepting a Raith pass but Wallace's free kick from 35 yards failed to find a Dunfermline head in the box. It looked like another Wallace free kick again from the left was going to yield nothing but Morris produced a fine overhead kick from 20 yards but unfortunately straight into David McGurn's hands on the goalline.
Midway in the first half cries of woo met Gallacher's hold on a lofty Spence pass as the Pars keeper fell over as he tracked backwards to catch. Then an Allan Walker free kick from the left touchline was nodded on by Spence but Brian Graham at the far post failed to convert.
A Wallace corner from the right in 28 minutes was met by Geggan but his header slipped over the crossbar. There was drive from Geggan that McGurn held before Rovers pushed up forcing a corner and then in 39 minutes a Graham cross from the left was turned in by SPENCE for the opener. 1-0
The Pars tried to counter straight away when Thomson supplied Kirk on the left and his chip to the far post dropped just beyond the far post. Then an even better chance when a long ball out of defence sat up nicely for Cardle to carry it into the Raith box only to be brushed off the ball by Thomson. Play on said referee Beaton but when play did come to a halt Joe saw yellow for his protestations.
Half time: Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline 0
The floodlights were on for the start of the second half with both sides playing towards their own fans. Dunfermline had plenty of possession but Cardle couldn't finish when Morris picked out Wallace on the left for him to tee up his team mate with a 52nd minute chance.
But in 58 minutes the Pars got the goal that they had threatened. Jordan deep down the left, swung a high ball to the far side where Wallace headed back to the near post and GEGGAN stuck the ball past McGurn for the equaliser. Only his second goal for the Club, his other was also against Raith on 2nd January. 1-1
The Pars had the impetus and Wallace tried a drive but his shot deflected off Thomson. Raith countered with Stuart Anderson getting around Thomson to cross from the left and Graham was desperately close when he rose to send his header narrowly wide right. Chris Kane then replaced Ryan Thomson as Jim Jefferies made his first substitution of the afternoon in 71 minutes.
Geggan headed away a Walker free kick in 79 minutes and then there was another Rovers chance when Mensing got a shot on a loose ball in the box but Gallacher held when the low shot was driven through a ruck of players.
Wallace then created a great chance for the Pars linking with Geggan on the right before sending the ball across the face of the goal with a pass that was returned and then kept out. It was Kirk's attempt that was kept out by a diving defender on the goalline and then another ball flashed through the box with again Kirk just failing to get the touch. Allan Smith replaced the luckless Kirk with four minutes remaining.
RAITH ROVERS: David McGurn; Jason Thomson, Grant Murray, Laurie Ellis, Eddie Malone, Stuart Anderson, Allan Walker, Simon Mensing, Josh Watt (Grant Anderson 62), Greig Spence (Pat Clarke 80), Brian Graham
SUBS NOT USED: Ross Laidlaw (GK), Dougie Hill, Joe Hamill.
SCORER: Spence (39)
YELLOW CARD: Mensing (26), Malone (64), S Anderson (66)
DUNFERMLINE: Paul Gallacher; Jordan McMillan (c), Andy Dowie (c), Callum Morris, Stephen Jordan; Andy Geggan, Ryan Thomson (Chris Kane 71), Stephen Husband, Joe Cardle (Alex Whittle 89); Andy Kirk (Allan Smith 86), Ryan Wallace,
SUBS NOT USED: John Potter, Michael Hrivnak (GK).
SCORER: Geggan (58)
YELLOW CARD: Cardle (43), McMillan (84), Husband (94)
REFEREE: John Beaton
WEATHER: Damp 3C
NEXT MATCH: (home) IRN BRU First Division v Dumbarton
Saturday 23rd March 2013, kick off 3.00pm
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