Raith Rovers 1 - 1 Airdrie United: Raith left deflated as Gemmill salvages a point for Airdrie

A STRIKE by substitute Scott Gemmill, five minutes from time, rescued a point for bottom club Airdrie United.

Raith, without a victory in their previous four league encounters and just one win in their last four at Stark's Park, almost went behind after two minutes. Airdrie forced three corners in quick succession, the third of which from the right by Ricky Waddell found Irishman Diarmuid O'Carroll, but his flashing header went wide.

John McGlynn's side, who had not found the net in each of their last three league matches, ended that drought after just four minutes when Craig Wilson whipped a cross in from the right for Gregory Tade to lay the ball off to 19-year-old Spaniard Javier Amaya. The former Almeria player was given far too much time and space to drill the ball low past goalkeeper Stephen Robertson from 18 yards.

Airdrie, who had lost nine of their last ten games in the league, almost went two down in 13 minutes when Tade burst forward and his curling 20-yard left foot shot forced Robertson into an excellent stop low down. Airdrie, who were left still searching for their first success on their travels this campaign, might have been level in 33 minutes when Wilson was woefully short with a header allowing Alan Trouten to nip in behind, but he fluffed his shot in front of goal.

Five minutes later, John Baird cut the ball back for the in-rushing Frankie Lagana, but Raith defender Thierry Gathuessi made a stunning goal-saving block.

Four minutes from the break, Raith goalkeeper David McGurn produced a breathtaking save diving full length to his left to push round O'Carroll's 15-yard angled volley.

Airdrie showed the more urgency in a clash which, for the most part, lacked a combination of skill and inventiveness from both protagonists, and almost levelled in 70 minutes when Darren Smith burst from defence, took a return pass from Kevin McDonald, but shot into the side-netting.

Airdrie levelled five minutes from time when Gemmill bundled the ball over the line after McGurn failed to hold a Waddell cross from the left.

Raith Rovers: McGurn, Gathuessi, Ellis, Campbell, Murray, Sloan (Walker 74), Wilson, Simmons, Tade, Amaya (K. Smith 55), D. Smith (Weir 73). Subs not used: Russell, O'Connor.

Airdrie United: Robertson, D. Smith, Lovering (Keegan 80), McDonald (Gemmill 74), B. Donnelly, Storey, Trouten, Lagana, O'Carroll, Baird, Waddell. Subs not used – Parratt, Watt, Hollis. Bookings: Baird (86)

Referee: D McDonald Attendance: 1,247.

Clyde manager John McCormack has exempted his young players from criticism following the 7-1 Scottish Cup defeat at Livingston. McCormack, who named five 17-year-olds in his starting line-up, said: "

Perhaps tiredness crept in for this game but they were put into the team on merit."