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Raith Rovers 1 - 3 Dunfermline: Red mist shrouds Rovers

Dunfermlines Stephen Husband celebrates the first of his two goals. Picture: SNS

Dunfermlines Stephen Husband celebrates the first of his two goals. Picture: SNS

  • by IAIN COLLIN
 

DUNFERMLINE won wearing Roy of the Rovers-style red strips but this Fife derby was more akin to a war movie than a football comic strip.

SCORERS:

Raith Rovers - Clarke 24

Dunfermline - Husband 37, 89; Cardle 47

Raith Rovers played the entire second-half with just nine men after a controversial opening 45 minutes, in which home skipper Allan Walker had been red-carded for a wild lunge at Ryan Wallace, concluded with an unseemly stramash as the players headed up the tunnel.

With Rovers assistant Paul Smith going nose to nose with Pars skipper Jordan McMillan, the touchline scuffle threatened to get out of control before referee Crawford Allan could be seen speaking to the police match commander as he went down the tunnel.

It was no surprise that it was then announced that Raith defender Dougie Hill, who had earlier been booked and had appeared to react violently during the interval contretemps, had been sent-off during the interval and Ryan Thomson cautioned.

“The referee came in and I think it was a policeman that got involved,” explained Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies. “What I’m hearing is that if the referee hadn’t taken any action, the policeman would have taken it out of his hands.

“To get involved in something going down the tunnel? I know it’s football and it’s passionate, but you’ve got to be above that. I’m sure I would have been angry if it had been my team.”

Forced into a 4-3-1 formation, Joe Cardle’s curling effort for Dunfermline 90 seconds into the second period was the last thing Rovers needed as they attempted to hold on to the parity ensured by Pat Clarke’s first-half opener and Stephen Husband’s equaliser. Husband’s second in the 89th minute was only surprising in how late it came.

Raith manager Grant Murray was clearly irked by the red card dished out to Walker but was determined not to be drawn on the display of referee Allan.

“In a derby you need things to go for you on the day and a lot of things didn’t go for us,” he said. “I don’t know what happened at half-time. Ask the referee. Did the discipline let us down? No, not at all. Until I know exactly what happened I can’t really answer that.”

While it was Rovers who suffered numerically, both sides were guilty of charging headlong into tackles they had no right to win and while the players displayed all the passion expected from the stands, anyone waiting for football to break out had to wait until the red cards had turned the second-half into a desperate backs-to-the-wall toil for the home side.

Things had looked different when Rovers took the lead midway through the first-half. Walker flung over a free kick from the right and Clarke rose above marker Andy Barrowman to head into Paul Gallacher’s bottom right-hand corner.

Hill then picked up what proved to be a costly yellow card for a foul on Wallace and Husband drilled home the free-kick low from 25 yards.

Cardle’s 47th-minute strike, cutting in from the left before finding the top corner with a superb effort, effectively ended the contest and Husband tapped in the closing seconds to add gloss to the final scoreline for the visitors.

 

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