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Saturday September 23, 2017

Ladbrokes League One

Raith Rovers

Jason Thomson 74

Dario Zanatta 89

A decent display by a very young Airdrie side wasn't enough to break Raith's dominance at the top of League One.

The Kirkcaldy men continued to pile the heat on their promotion challengers courtesy of two goals in the final 16 minutes.


Airdrie’s defence stood up against much of what the Starks Park side could bring to them for the bulk of the match while also providing a threat at the other end, as borne out by the match statistics.


The reshuffled Airdrie side saw Dean Cairns come into the middle of the park in place of Ryan Conroy while Cammy Russell came in for Ryan Tierney as Sean McIntosh replaced the suspended Jake Hastie.   


Willis Furtado put in an excellent shift throughout the ninety minutes. After only three minutes he was alert to force keeper Graeme Smith to save with his legs.


Raith's Murray tested Rohan Ferguson six minutes later, the Airdrie goalie diving low to gather the striker's 20-yard shot.


Furtado gathered a long ball down the channel in 16 minutes, took on his marker then fired an angled shot from the right into the side netting.


At the other end a minute later Lewis Vaughan went closer sending his shot from inside the penalty box against the crossbar.


Furtado tested Smith on 19 minutes with a shot across goal, and the keeper dived low to turn the ball away for a corner.


Vaughan was booked seven minutes later for simulation while Ferguson was equal to the threat of Liam Buchanan’s driven cross from the right, clutching the ball low.


In the final five minutes of the first half Airdrie threatened on four occasions without breaking the deadlock.


Furtado and Stewart combined on the right side with Furtado forcing Smith once more to turn the ball away for a corner, Luke Watt then fired a 20-yard shot over the bar


Tom Fry sent a similar effort wide of goal before Cairns headed the ball from Fry’s delivery over the bar.


The visitors were giving as good as they were getting from the league leaders.

After the interval the home side threatened through Greig Spence’s cross but Jordan McGregor cleared.


Furtado continued to test Smith as the former Peterhead man pushed an angled shot onto the post in 51 minutes, with Fry also having another effort from 20 yards that was off target in 54 minutes.


The home made changes for the final half hour.


An attempted overhead kick by John Herron was wide of Ferguson’s goal in 64 minutes however a second Rovers player, substitute Dario Zanatta, was also booked for going down easily in the box minutes later.


Furtado was getting no reward for his efforts and in 71 minutes another strong run ended with a low shot into the side netting. 


Raith broke the deadlock moments later. A Vaughan corner from the left saw Ferguson only partially clear and defender Jason Thomson latched on to the loose ball to send it into the net.


The goalscorer went close to adding a second goal with an 88th minute header which grazed the woodwork, but a second goal did come for Rovers a minute from time after Zannatta curled the ball past Ferguson from the edge of the box.


A very decent Diamonds showing in spite of all the changes.     


Referee: Mr Mat Northcroft

Attendance: 1,726

John O'Brien at Stark's Park.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full size.

Raith Rovers

1. Smith

2. Thomson ⚽

4. Herron

5. Murray

8. Robertson

7. Spence 🔽 (60)

11. Barr

12. Matthews 

14. Davidson

9. Buchanan 🔽 (88)

10. Vaughan 

3. Watson

6. Berry 🔼 (88)

15. Osei-Opoku

16. Court

17. Brian

18. McKay

19. Zanatta 🔼 (60)  ⚽


1. Ferguson

2. McIntosh

3. MacDonald

4. Brownlie

5. McGregor

6. Watt

7. Cairns

8. Fry

9. Furtado

10. Russell 🔽 (77)

11. Stewart

12. Tierney

14. Allan 🔼 (77)

15. Edwards

16. Truesdale

17. Kerr

18. Cowie

19. Thomson

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