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Report: Raith Rovers 4-3 St Mirren

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Report: Raith Rovers 4-3 St Mirren
By Colette Carr at Stark’s Park
Despite a late surge of energy from St Mirren in Kirkcaldy, it finished 4-3 to Raith Rovers this afternoon with Saints leaving Fife empty-handed.
Ryan Hardie and Mark Stewart put Raith two up before Keith Watson pulled one back before the break. Hardie quickly completed his hat-trick in the second half before David Clarkson found the net for his first Saints goal and Watson got back in on the action.
But it was too little too late for the Buddies who head into next week’s game against Queen of the South at home on the back of a defeat.
The hosts took the lead early on through Hardie who managed to escape the offside trap to drive into the area and slide his low shot in with ease after only three minutes.
The hosts doubled the lead on the 25th minute, again taking advantage of a slow St Mirren defence, with Stewart slotting in after finding himself through on goal in similar fashion to Raith’s first.
Alex Rae’s men were thrown a lifeline shortly before the break as they finally capitalised on the many corners gifted to them with Watson’s bullet header beating Cuthbert on the 41st minute.
Half-Time: Raith Rovers 2-1 St Mirren
Only seven minutes into the second half, Hardie was on target again, latching onto the long ball from Benedictus to place it high in Langfield’s net giving the Saints an even bigger mountain to climb in the second half.
Less than a minute later the on-loan Hardie completed his hat-trick after some confusion in the box as he and Ian Davidson tried to keep it alive for the hosts in front of goal before eventually blasting in from very close range.
The Buddies added more drama to the opening stages of the half around the hour mark with Clarkson grabbing his first Saints goal cutting in from the left before his low daisy cutter nestled neatly in the bottom corner reducing the deficit to two with half an hour to go.
It was Watson again as the game entered the closing stages giving the Saints yet another boost, the defender doing well to take his touch in the corner of the 18-yard box and turning to drill another low effort across Cuthbert.
St Mirren Manager, Alex Rae admitted that the long ball hurt them in the first half, but couldn’t fault his side’s desire and effort, after the frustrating end to the day in Fife.
Full-Time: Raith Rovers 4-3 St Mirren
Raith Rovers: Cuthbert, Thomson, Callachan, Toshney, Benedictus, Stewart, Panayiotou (Matthews 64), Davidson, Hardie, Connolly (Anderson 56), McKeown.
Subs Not Used: Thomas, Court, Craigen, Barr, Law (GK).
St Mirren: Langfield, Webster, Mallan, Baird, Watson, Gallagher (Gow 56), Clarkson, Shankland, Quinn (Agnew 25), Irvine, Stewart (Thompson 85).
Subs Not Used: Goodwin, Cooper, McAllister, Wilks (GK).
Referee: John Beaton.
Assistant Referee: Raymond Whyte.
Assistant Referee: David McKniff.
Attendance: 1,888 (TBC St Mirren fans)
Match report pictures and gallery pictures © John Millar.

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