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2010/11 Season News

Match Preview: Raith Rovers v Cowdenbeath

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Match Preview: Raith Rovers v Cowdenbeath

PostedMarch 14, 2011

It's Fife derby time again on Tuesday night for the Blue Brazil as we head along the road to table toppers Raith Rovers after an enforced weekend break.

Snow put paid to Saturday's vital game against Ross County but the lay-off has allowed some niggling injuries to ease and Jimmy Nicholl is hopeful of including Joe Mbu, Lee Makel and trialist Bobl Malcolm in his travelling squad.

"It was disappointing to miss out on the chace to face Ross County at home at the weekend but a win on Tuesday would move us out of the bottom two", commented Nicholl.

"That would be a massive boost for everyone at the club but nobody is underestimating the scale of the task to achieve that. Raith Rovers are top of the league on merit and will be hurting from Saturday's home defeat against Partick Thistle. We don't want to suffer a backlash from that and we will need to defend better as a team and stand strong. If we do that we will have a chance."

With a surprise defeat to Partick Thistle last Saturday, the Rovers have lost a large part of their lead at the top and will be desperate for 3 points to keep setting the pace at the top. Cowden on the other hand need points to avoid being cast adrift in 9th place and so a derby match has gained extra significance for both sides.

Raith's home defeat on Saturday was their 3rd home defeat in their past 6 matches at Starks Park so there is room for optimism when that is looked at - however our away form of just 4 points out of 24 will need to improve. It is clear though that we are having an upturn in form with 5 points from our last 6 in comparison with 1 from the 6 before. We are scoring goals again and with Greg Stewart (pictured) scoring in his past 3 outings there seems little reason as to why the Cowden support cannot be confident about gaining a point or more from the game.

This will be the 4th meeting between the 2 sides this season with Raith leading the way with 2 wins since our opening day win over them in the Alba Cup. In that match John Armstrong smashed home from a corner to secure a 1-0 win (our only clean sheet his season to date) as we kicked off our season in style. The 2 league games since have seen Rovers dominate - both games at Central Park saw them take 6 points out of 6 against us. The first league game saw us sneak ahead through Colin Cameron before late drama saw us concede twice in the dying minutes through Baird and former Cowden loanee Simmons. The second match saw a more convincing win with goals from Campbell and the same 2 players as the game before saw Rovers cruise to a 3-0 win.

Unfortunately for us we have not had much success on the 15th of March. In fact in the past 14 years we've played 4 and only gained 2 points out of 12. In 1997 we battled to a 1-1 draw at home to Arbroath with Craig Sinclair grabbing our goal before we lost 2-1 to Airdrie 6 years later with Liam Buchanan scoring. We kept up our record of scoring a goal a game on this date with a 1-1 draw against Elgin City with Buchanan again scoring (in front of a crowd of only 149!) in 2005 before we lost 2-1 against Berwick Rangers with current player Dene Droudge tapping home after the keeper had spilled a Pat Scullion free-kick onto the post. All these games took place at Central Park so perhaps a change of scenery on this day will see us snatch a win for once?

Match of the day fact of the week: Our record against teams in the top half of the division is rather poor with only 8 points gained against the top 5 this season. Raith, against the bottom 5, have picked up 26 points meaning that it's going to be one heck of a tough challenge for us to reach double figures from this game!

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