Raith Rovers 3-0 Queen of the South: Stewart brace

MARK Stewart did his former club Falkirk a good turn last night as his instinctive double inspired Raith Rovers to a 3-0 win over play-off-chasing Queen of the South.

Raiths Ross Callachan holds off Queens Michael Paton at Starks Park. Picture: SNS

Scorers: Raith Rovers - Stewart (23, 78), Vaughan (82)

Stewart, who spent five years with the Bairns, took his tally for the season to seven with strikes either side of the break, before a wonderful solo strike by Lewis Vaughan sealed the win.

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Rovers’ triumph provides the latest twist in the race for the top four, with Falkirk the beneficiaries. Peter Houston’s side moved to within a point of Queens with their own triumph in Fife last night, beating Cowdenbeath.

After just three minutes, Stewart scampered into the box and fizzed a low drive narrowly past Alexander Clark’s right-hand post. However, the nippy forward would not be denied. He was the swiftest to react in the box after Clark parried a header from Jason Thomson, rattling the ball into the roof of the net from eight yards.

David McGurn produced a fine low save to keep out a towering Andy Dowie header in the second half, while Kevin Holt nodded wide from a tantalising Danny Carmichael cross.

But Stewart concluded a slick Rovers counter-attack after 78 minutes with a glancing header past Clark.

The coup de grace came as Vaughan slalomed past several powder-puff challenges before curling a clinical right-footed shot past Clark.

Raith Rovers: McGurn, Thomson, Watson, Barr, McKeown, Anderson (McKay 83), Callachan (Scott 64), Fox, Conroy, Vaughan (Elliot 87), Stewart. Subs not used: Cuthbert, Hill, Robertson, Matthews.

Queen of the South: Clark, Dowie, Higgins, Durnan (Reilly 55), Holt, McShane (McKenna 85), Millar, Kidd (Mitchell 72), Paton, Carmichael, Lyle. Subs not used: Atkinson, Pickard, A Smith, D Smith.