Raith Rovers 1-1 Ross County: Staggies held by old First Division foes
New Raith Rovers player/manager Grant Murray began his reign with a draw at home to Ross County in last night’s pre-season clash at Stark’s Park. Both goals came in the first half, with former Hibs striker Sam Morrow’s ninth minute opener cancelled out by Brian Graham eight minutes later.
Defender Murray decided against including himself in the squad and instead took up a watching brief from the technical area. His first act was to take a mental note of the way his side submissively conceded the opening goal to the SPL newcomers, who had former Blackburn trainee Jonathan Bateson playing as a trialist at right-back, after nine minutes.
Iain Vigurs casually turned away from Jason Thomson and Grant Anderson on the touchline before feeding Morrow. The Northern Irishman’s first touch brilliantly created space and he drove a low left-footed shot beyond David McGurn from 15 yards.
Raith held the runaway First Division champions to draws in their final two encounters last season and the home side responded with a well-worked equaliser eight minutes later.
Fleet-footed Grant Anderson sped down the wing before crossing and Brian Graham found the net from close range with a diving header. County will create history when they play their first ever SPL game on 4 August at home to Motherwell and the Fir Park management team of Stuart McCall and Kenny Black were among the interested spectators.
County wasted chances to retake the lead after the interval. A penetrating move saw Morrow set up Vigurs at an angle inside the box and the midfielder’s drive just missed the target. Richard Brittain then sliced a wild left-foot shot out for a throw-in before Raith finished strongly.
Raith Rovers: McGurn, Thomson, Malone, Ellis, Hill, Callachan, Anderson, Walker, Clarke, Graham, Hamill. Subs: Trialist A, Donaldson, Wilson, Trialist B, Main, Trialist, Laidlaw.
Ross County: PFraser, Bateson, Fitzpatrick, Munro, Boyd, Quinn, Kettlewell, Morrow, McMenamin, Brittain, Vigurs. Subs: Tokely, Corcoran, Craig, MacPhee, McCarthy.
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