Match Preview: Raith Rovers

Match Preview: Raith Rovers
by Jonathan Mitchell

ladbrokes-championship

Raith Rovers versus MORTON

Saturday 15 April 2017

Stark’s Park, Kirkcaldy

Kick-off 3pm

Match Preview

Morton travel through to the Kingdom of Fife to face Raith Rovers today searching for a positive response following Tuesday night’s derby defeat at the hands of arch-rivals St Mirren.

This afternoon’s performance will need to be the total antithesis of that which saw them suffer a 4-1 home reverse against the Saints in midweek.

That display was totally out of keeping with what this group have brought to the table in what seems like each and every other fixture this term.

One only has to look back to their last visit to Stark’s Park, in February, for that much-vaunted character and spirit, when skipper Lee Kilday’s second-half header saw Ton emerge victorious from a gruelling Ladbrokes Championship outing.

And claiming a point or three from a Raith side sat ninth in the table, two points off bottom and fighting for their second-tier survival will require another Herculean effort.

Manager’s Thoughts

Jim Duffy told gmfc.net: “In this game we’ve got make sure we that we get back to understanding the kind of qualities that have served us well this season so far and get back to being a team that works hard for each other, first and foremost.

“A week ago we showed it against Hibs when we came back from a goal down but on Tuesday against St Mirren it was evidently missing in all aspects.

“So, we need to understand that we need to have that teamwork and togetherness in every, single game. We can’t be as far off the pace as we were on Tuesday.

“There is an air of disappointment amongst the players about their performance, which you can understand, and there is a determination to get back to what we’ve been doing all season.

“We didn’t have a big, in-depth meeting or anything like that. Obviously it [the derby] was referred to, but the players knew themselves.

“You know them and get a sense of how they are and how they feel, and they were bitterly disappointed in their own performance, as you would expect. From that point of view, it’s a case of dealing with it now.

“We’ve had a lot of plaudits this season, and there was a bit of criticism after Tuesday. You have to understand and accept you deserved that at that particular time.

“But we move forward now and we’ve just been looking forward to today’s game against Raith Rovers, which we fully understand will be a test of character for us really in terms of what’s going to be required to get the result.

“I’m looking for a response from my team. We’ve got to do our bit; we’ve got to play to our strengths, and if we play to our strengths then I think we’re capable of taking points anywhere.”

Team News.

Besides long-term absentees Conor Pepper, who went under the knife last week, and Jai Quitongo, manager Jim Duffy has a clean bill of health for the visit to Stark’s Park.

Current Connections

Striker Declan McManus spent three separate and successful loan spells with us here at Cappielow, scoring 23 goals, laying on eight assists, and picking up the PFA Scotland Player of the Year award in the League One title winning campaign.

The 22-year-old returned on loan from Fleetwood Town in January and went on to make 20 starts and score four goals as Jim Duffy’s men finished fifth in the Championship.

Winger Bobby Barr was snapped up from Brechin City last year and spent a solitary season on Sinclair Street, making a positive contribution during 37 starts and five substitute appearances, before agreeing a pre-contract with Raith Rovers.

Goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert spent three seasons between the sticks at Cappielow between 2008 and 2011, making 58 appearances over the course of his stay.

Recent Meetings

Sat 27 Feb 2016: Raith Rovers 3-2 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 1 Oct 2016: Morton 1-0 Raith Rovers (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 14 Jan 2017: Morton 2-0 Raith Rovers (Ladbrokes Championship)

Tue 7 Feb 2017: Raith Rovers 0-1 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Last Time Out

Morton got back to winning ways at Raith Rovers in February with a hard-fought 1-0 victory that saw them leapfrog Falkirk into third in the Ladbrokes Championship and home boss Gary Locke pay for the defeat with his job.

The Cappielow club came into the match off the back of a disappointing 3-0 defeat at Queen of the South that put paid to their seven-game unbeaten run and saw them slip behind the Bairns on goals scored.

But they bounced back in the best way possible by showing tremendous character to grind out a narrow victory on a horrible night away at Stark’s Park against a Rovers side desperate to end a 13-match search for a win.

Officials

Referee: Alan Newlands

Assistant one: Andrew McWilliam

Assistant two: Steven Traynor

Supporters Notes

Entry is pay at the gate and admission prices are:

Adult – £15

Junior (Under 16 when accompanied by an adult) – £5

Junior (12-16 when unaccompanied) – £8

Senior Citizen (Over 65) – £8

College/University Concession – £10

Jobseeker Concession – £10

Disability & Carer Concession: Disabled person £8 with Carer – Free

  • Please note, all concession tickets must be purchased at the pod from 2pm onwards and must have photographic proof at the point of purchase and the turnstiles.

 

Image: David Bell