Match Preview: Raith Rovers


Raith Rovers versus MORTON

Tuesday 7 February 2017

Stark’s Park, Kirkcaldy

Kick-off 3pm

Match Preview

Morton travel through to Fife tonight for a rescheduled Ladbrokes Championship fixture against Raith Rovers as they look to get back to winning ways after Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Queen of the South.

The Ton suffered a disappointing defeat in Dumfries to bring a halt to their seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions, and they will head to Kirkcaldy fired up to get right back on track.

Gary Locke’s side, though, will be going all out for the victory on home turf having gone 13 matches without a win in all competitions.

Jim Duffy’s side are currently sat fourth in the table, level on points with third-placed Falkirk, and a positive result in this game in hand would see them leapfrog the Bairns.

And their efforts have been boosted by the arrival of Celtic forward Luke Donnelly, whose emergency loan was confirmed earlier this afternoon.

Manager’s Thoughts

Jim Duffy told “Having a game so soon after Saturday’s defeat is only good if you do well. After the Queens game, the players are aware that if their standards do drop any level at all then the opposition is liable to punish you.

“Saturday’s result showed that’s exactly what happens, so hopefully the players will understand that and understand what’s required in each and every game – and go and put on a performance that is more like them, come tonight.

“The players should be hurt and wanting to react, but you’ve got Raith Rovers in exactly the same situation: they lost 3-0 to Dundee United on Saturday evening so they’ll be hurting the same as us and wanting to get back on track.

“That’s football for you; you’ve got to react as positively as you can and the next game is always the most important one, so from our point of view, you can’t guarantee winning football matches but our performance levels dropped on Saturday.

“That is something we’ve got to look at, and if we can get the performance right, that work ethic and determination, then more often than not that will be enough to get you something from the game.”

Team News.

Long-term absentees Conor Pepper, Jai Quitongo, and Kudus Oyenuga remain sidelined while Gary Oliver is also out as he awaits a scan on the knee injury suffered against Queen of the South.

Ross Forbes is a doubt but hopes to have recovered from a dead leg suffered at Dumfries, and new loan signing Luke Donnelly has been registered with the SFA and is available to make his debut.

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

Fri 18 Dec 2015: Morton 1-2 Raith Rovers (Ladbrokes Championship)

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)

Last Time Out

New signing Lawrence Shankland scored a debut goal as Morton beat Raith Rovers 2-0 at Cappielow last month to open up a nine-point gap in the race for the promotion play-offs.

Jim Duffy’s side came into the game third in the Ladbrokes Championship, six points clear of the fifth-placed Kirkcaldy outfit and seven ahead of Dunfermline Athletic in sixth.

And a fortuitous goal from Ross Forbes and Shankland’s second-half header saw the Ton pick up another precious victory to open up a considerable cushion on the clubs outside the top four.

The win also meant that the hosts had extended their impressive unbeaten home record, that stretches back to last March when Rovers triumphed in Greenock, to 16 outings in all competitions.


Referee: Gavin Duncan

Assistant one: Stephen Mitchell

Assistant two: David Dunne

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 6.45pm onwards and must have photographic proof at the point of purchase and the turnstiles.


Image: David Bell