Raith Rovers 2-1 Falkirk: Raith leave it late to take points

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His parent club may be facing a period of turmoil, but the uncertainly at Tynecastle is not affecting David Smith. The loanee Hearts player scored one and set up the winner as a late goal again profited Raith.

A week earlier a last-minute Greig Spence equaliser kept the club in the Scottish Cup and manager Grant Murray was pleased with his team’s ability to keep fighting till the death.

“We kept going right to the end. The players have got that in them and it’s especially important for this division. It’s an even division where every team is capable of beating each other.”

Falkirk controlled the first half but ultimately paid the price for a sloppy second-half showing which had little in common with their play before the break. Manager Steven Pressley was unable to explain the capitulation.

“I was hugely encouraged by the first half. We told them at half-time that they would come at us and be fired up. They had to employ the same principles and they didn’t. It was very disappointing.”

Smith may have been the hero, but the first 45 minutes 
belonged to Falkirk top scorer Lyle Taylor. Two chances had already come his way before he impacted the score two minutes before the break.

Andy Howarth’s reverse ball found the striker free in the penalty area. An attempt to lift the ball over keeper Ross Laidlaw was denied but Luke Leahy was on hand to drive the loose ball into the back of the net.

After a similar Taylor scare at the start of the second half Raith took over, although the journey that led to three points started with a little bit of luck.

Smith was fortunate to receive the ball in the first place after teammate Allan Walker had been caught in possession. He took full advantage with an early shot from 25 yards, although the ball did find the corner of the net via the aid of a deflection.

The momentum from the goal should have carried them into the lead, but Spence wastefully passed the ball into the arms of Michael McGovern from ten yards out.

Spence atoned for the miss with a, somewhat inadvertent, hand in the winner. His pass out to the left was wayward but still found Smith streaking in behind the full-back. The ball across goal found Grant Anderson charging in at the back post and the midfielder finished at the second attempt, after McGovern had somehow denied his initial effort from three yards out.