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Preview: Raith Rovers v St Mirren


Preview: Raith Rovers v St Mirren
Alex Rae takes his St Mirren side over to ‘The Kingdom of Fife’ tomorrow afternoon for their third meeting of the season with Raith Rovers.
The Kirkcaldy side have fared better over the course of the two previous Ladbrokes Championship match-ups. The first meeting last September saw Rovers make the trip to the Paisley 2021 Stadium for a televised Friday night match. Raith were pretty much on top in the first half and looked to be going into the half-time break with a one goal lead thanks to a superb strike from James Craigen. But right on the stroke of half-time Lawrence Shankland scored his first goal for St Mirren to pull the sides level again. Saints had the upper hand for most of the second half but they were sucker-punched when Rovers’ Grant Anderson got the final touch, after a header from Jon Daly, to force the ball home from close range to win the match for the visitors.
Towards the end of November Saints made the return visit to Stark’s Park for a midweek match-up and were a goal down at the interval as Mark Stewart fired Rovers ahead five minutes before half-time. This time around it was St Mirren who provided the late, late show as with a couple of minutes left Stephen Mallan fired a direct free-kick into the back of the net to earn a share of the points.
Raith go into tomorrow’s game with a bit of mixed form over the last six league outings with two draws, two wins and two losses, the most recent at Ibrox Stadium last Tuesday going down 2-0 to Rangers after back to back wins the previous ten days against Livingston and Morton respectively.
St Mirren on the other hand have seen a change of fortune in the Alex Rae era. Having not been able to buy a home win all season they racked up three on the spin before Tuesday’s goalless draw with Falkirk. But tomorrow’s game is in Kirkcaldy and while Saints home form has improved dramatically their away form has dropped off having not picked up any points on the road since the New Year win away to Morton.
At present Rovers sit in 4th spot which is looking as the only promotion playoff place that is still up for grabs. The Kirckcaldy side are looking to try and pull away from Queen of the South and Morton who are between them and Saints. On the other hand, Saints are 7 points behind Raith and to maintain their slim playoff hopes they will be needing to close that gap with a win tomorrow.
A big three points at stake for both sides as they go head to head tomorrow at Stark’s Park.