RARELY will the outcome of a Fife derby have been so secondary in the minds of Dunfermline supporters.
Scorers: Raith Rovers - Spence 39; Dunfermline - Geggan 57
With fast-moving events off the field perhaps moving in a more positive direction, they nevertheless filtered out of Starks Park yesterday in better heart having seen their side put in a spirited second-half performance to salvage a point after trailing at the interval to a Greig Spence strike.
The Pars fans turned out in good numbers and were treated to a slow burner of a performance from their side in a derby that was more a war of attrition than a thriller, with the heavy pitch undoubtedly being a contributory factor. A much more incisive attacking display after the break not only earned Jim Jefferies’ men a deserved share of the spoils but warm praise from their manager about their reaction to current adversities.
“When things are going against you it’s easy to lose heart, but they never showed that. We just said to them if the supporters are trying to help you the least they deserve is commitment and effort to come from you. They gave that in abundance today.”
The opening 45 minutes were even in territorial terms but Raith always hinted that they might be able to conjure something out of the few chances that came their way. With the interval approaching Brian Graham created the breakthrough when he drove in a low cross which was side-footed home by Spence.
Things turned in the visitors favour after the break with the mercurial Joe Cardle starting to pose a threat down the left flank. It was a deep cross from the winger that picked out Ryan Wallace that led to Jefferies men getting back on level terms with Andy Geggan turning in the knock-down from close range.
From this point onwards it was a ding-dong affair, but both defences held firm.
“Credit to the Dunfermline players to go out there and battle the way they did, they’re under a lot of pressure there,” acknowledged Raith player-manager Grant Murray.