How Dunfermline gave survival hopes huge shot in arm against dreary Raith

Dunfermline Athletic gave their hopes of avoiding relegation from the cinch Championship a massive shot in the arm with a 2-0 win over Fife rivals Raith Rovers at East End Park.

Dunfermline's Kevin O'Hara celebrates his second goal after an important 2-0 win over Raith.
Dunfermline's Kevin O'Hara celebrates his second goal after an important 2-0 win over Raith.

While they remain in ninth place – a position in the league that brings with it a play-off to avoid the drop – they are now just two points behind Ayr in eighth and six points ahead of Queen of the South at the bottom, albeit the Doonhamers have a game in hand.

Four matches remain for the Pars to escape such peril and they are making a good fist of it under John Hughes. However, they were given a helping hand here by a poor performance from injury-hit Raith, who looked hungover from winning the SPFL Trust Trophy last Sunday. They were too casual and barely threatened in attack.

Kevin O’Hara scored both of Dunfermline’s goals, with Raith contributing to their own downfall on both occasions.

The opening goal came on 34 minutes and it was down to some dawdling from Brad Spencer. In possession just outside his own penalty box, he was robbed off the ball by Liam Polworth. The midfielder set O’Hara free and he was left with the straightforward task of beating Jamie MacDonald from inside the penalty box.

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The second goal, on 79 minutes, came courtesy of a Dom Thomas corner that was poorly dealt with by MacDonald and his defenders, allowing O’Hara to bundle the ball home.

This defeat is damaging for Raith, who are now three points adrift of the promotion play-offs and now facing an uphill battle to remove Partick and Inverness above them.

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