DCSIMG

Raith Rovers 1 - 1 Ross County: New boy Jamie Walker rallies Raith

Falling foul: Ross Countys Mark Corcoran is sent crashing to the turf by Raith Rovers Iain Davidson. Photograph: Andrew West/SNS Group

Falling foul: Ross Countys Mark Corcoran is sent crashing to the turf by Raith Rovers Iain Davidson. Photograph: Andrew West/SNS Group

Raith Rovers collected a deserved point against league leaders Ross County as on loan Hearts midfielder Jamie Walker notched a dramatic 89th-minute equaliser.

Walker combined with fellow replacement Brian Graham before finding the net to cancel out Steven Craig’s strike.

In a week that Raith director Turnbull Hutton warned of grave financial problems with gate receipts expected to be £250,000 down on last season’s figure, the finish to this game will at least temporarily have glossed over the boardroom concerns.

“I think a point was the least we deserved,” said Rovers manager John McGlynn. “The points difference [19] between the clubs is massive but you would never have thought that today.

“There was great spirit from the lads to go right to the end. I think we thoroughly deserved it considering what we put into the game.”

Hutton’s confession that “we’ve no idea how to get out of this situation” didn’t get the reaction he desired with fans failing to turn out in big numbers for the visit of Raith.

“I can’t really get involved with the financial situation,” added McGlynn. “I’ve just got to make sure the team is prepared properly and you saw the spirit out their today.”

Former Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown – a lifelong Raith fan – watched on from the director’s box and could no doubt offer the club words of advice having handled the country’s finances.

County’s trip to Stark’s Park marked the start of a gruelling eight games in 25 days, including Tuesday’s visit of St Mirren in their Scottish Cup replay.

There was plenty energy exerted on the pitch but unfortunately it didn’t bear any level of entertainment in the opening 45 minutes.

The hosts had the only notable chance but, like the game, striker John Baird lacked composure as he failed to capitalise on goalkeeper Michael Fraser’s error.

Fraser roamed from his line hoping to catch Willie Dyer’s deep cross but completely missed the ball. Baird was left unmarked in the box but he sided-footed over the gaping goal.

Thankfully, the second half was a vastly improved affair with two goals and plenty of action to get the fans on the edges of their seats.

County opened the scoring in the 53rd minute through Craig but the credit had to go to Mark Corcoran for supplying the assist.

The winger sped to the byeline and his cut-back took keeper David McGurn out of the equation to allow the former Aberdeen player to find the unguarded net from close range.

Rovers were given encouragement in their bid to restore parity from an unlikely source as Fraser’s goalkeeping was less than convincing. Allan Walker’s free-kick in the 56 minute was spilled by the keeper but Grant Munro was on hand to clear.

Fraser again had his team-mate to thank in the 69th minute when he player dropped Reece Donaldson’s cross as Pat Clarke bore down and Allan Walker’s shot was cleared off the line by Munro. But County were denied a clean sheet with seconds to go when Jamie Walker met Graham’s pass inside the six-yard box.

County manager Derek Adams said: “You’re always disappointed to lose a goal so late. I would have taken a point before the game because Raith are a good side. We’re delighted we’ve kept the unbeaten run going.”

 

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