Pre-Match vs Morton and a review of the Dunfermline match

Credit: Lesley Fleming Photography

Today's game against Morton should offer an immediate chance for the Rovers to try to right the wrongs of Wednesday night: It was the same old story for the Kirkcaldy club as they put in another underwhelming midweek performance following a stellar outing the previous Saturday. Fans went into the derby against Dunfermline with a degree of optimism but a game played out in horrendous conditions saw the Pars walk away comfortable winners.

The first half was a relatively even affair: both teams struggled to get to grips with a game played out in howling winds as the sleet rained down from the sky. Timmy Abraham looked lively off the ball but his over-exuberance meant that he was gifting away a high number of fouls. It wasn't a surprised when he was booked later in the half for diving in a performance where he failed to carve out many opportunities.

The pressing play Rovers fans are used to was non-existent as both teams played out a cagey affair. It was the hosts who broke the deadlock minutes before half time: the centre back combination of Davidson and Musonda had a staggered line and a long ball over the top found Declan McManus who fired past Jamie MacDonald. It was a disappointingly simple goal to concede.

After half time, things only got worse for McGlynn's side. Musonda misplaced a pass right into the feet of Aaron Comrie who surged into acres of space. With Kieran MacDonald out of position, Comrie raced towards goal before slotting the ball home for a second goal. The visitors had paid the price dearly for their carelessness. It was a night to forget to Musonda who had probably his most difficult evening since joining in the Summer.

They were offered a ray of hope when Brad Spencer reduced the deficit near the hour mark. The midfielder was quick to pounce and took the ball of Iain Wilson before firing a strike past Fon-Williams from the edge of the box. Spencer put in a good shift throughout the game and was one of the few players who looked comfortable. Any cause for optimism would be immediately snuffed out.

Kieran MacDonald gave away a free kick 25 yards from goal. Hibs loanee Fraser Murray stepped up and crashed home a free kick right into the top corner. It was a crushing blow and you knew it wouldn't be our night. Murray would compound the misery by adding a fourth goal with minutes to go when his deflected shot ended up in the net. What should have been an even encounter turned into a one-sided affair. While Rovers were missing multiple key players through injury it's difficult to accept such a one-sided performance - the visitors looked pedestrian and didn't give a good account of how they can perform where the hosts looked aggressive and comfortable in possession.

It's understandable to see frustration among the ranks of Rovers fans. To lose a derby is never nice but to lose it in such a haphazard manner is incredibly annoying. While Dunfermline were worthy winners you can't help but feel many of our goals were of our own doing - there were too many individual mistakes during the goals in a match which was relatively even until Fraser Murray's excellent free kick. In a team littered with players who can be game changers on their day there were was a lack of collective performance.

Many fans have already picked up on the Jekyll and Hyde nature of this team - while poor winter form looks to be a thing of the past the new trend is that midweek performances seem to be our new Achilles heel - in 5 games we've lost 4 and drawn just 1. Fortunately, Rovers don't have any further games scheduled for a Tuesday or Wednesday night any time soon.

Today's match sees a visit to Cappielow to face Greenock Morton. The last time the two teams met Rovers ran out to a comfortable 5-0 victory with Armstrong, Ross, Mendy and Matthews (x2) all scoring. Since that match, David Hopkin left the managers job and has been replaced temporarily by Anton McElhone. Midfielder Jim McAllister also left the Greenock club having opted to retire - a decision which has been met with some confusion by fans. McElhone has bolstered his squad by bringing in Kaziah Sterling (Tottenham) and goalkeeper Jamie Butler (Sutton United) to add some depth.

The Ton have played 7 games at home this season winning 3, drawing 2 and losing 2. Their form over the last 5 games is almost identical to Rovers (with the Kirkcaldy club winning 1 more game). Their last victory at home came against Queen of the South back on 19th December and since then they've drawn with Dunfermline and Caley Thistle before losing to Arbroath.

Going into the match, it's unclear how the injury picture will look for Rovers. Lewis Vaughan left the field on Wednesday with a hamstring problem and there's still question marks over Ross Matthews, Gozie Ugwu and Kyle Benedictus. The return of Regan Hendry should be a welcome sight though.

Saturday's game can be purchased here on the Morton Website. Tickets cost £14 and there's also an option to buy 50/50 tickets along with your match pass.

13 views0 comments