Raith Rovers 1
Dundee 1
League (Championship)

Raith Rovers 

1 - 1


League (Championship)
Friday, January 6th, 2023
Starks Park
Attendance: 3,050
7:45 PM Kick-off

Aidan Connolly (38) Jordan McGhee (78)

Team Managers
Ian Murray Gary Bowyer

Starting Eleven
1. Jamie MacDonald
3. Liam Dick
4. Ross Millen
5. Ryan Nolan
12. Tom Lang
6. Brad Spencer
20. Scott Brown
23. Dylan Easton
7. Aidan Connolly
9. Jamie Gullan
10. Lewis Vaughan
Adam Legzdins .1
Lee Ashcroft .14
Tyler French .4
Cammy Kerr .2
Jordan Marshall .3
Jordan McGhee .6
Ryan Sweeney .5
Max Anderson .24
Shaun Byrne .8
Paul McMullan .18
Zak Rudden .20

13. Andy McNeil
30. Adam Masson
29. Greig Young
11. Connor McBride
47. John Frederiksen
18. Kyle Connell
Harrison Sharp .30
Lyall Cameron .25
Joe Grayson .38
Finlay Robertson .19
Alex Jakubiak .7
Luke McCowan .17
Derick Osei .31
Cillian Sheridan .23

Kyle Connell for Lewis Vaughan (78)
Connor McBride for Dylan Easton (88)
John Frederiksen for Jamie Gullan (91)
Alex Jakubiak for Shaun Byrne (46)
Luke McCowan for Zak Rudden (46)
Cillian Sheridan for Tyler French (46)

Dylan Easton (65)
Kyle Connell (86)
Ryan Nolan (89)
Jordan Marshall (32)
Luke McCowan (86)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Craig Napier (Referee)
Frank Connor & Colin McAlpine (Assistants)
Matthew MacDermid (Fourth Official)

Photography by David Young

Match Report

Dundee had to settle for a point from a 1-1 draw against Raith Rovers in Kirkcaldy. The Dark Blues put in a disappointing first half performance, and Aidan Connolly gave Rovers a deserved lead late in the half. Dundee reorganised at half time and dominated the rest of the game. Rovers rode their luck for half an hour before Jordan McGhee headed the equaliser. The Dark Blues pushed hard for a winner, but Raith held on for a draw.

Dundee made three changes to the team that faced Arbroath, reverting to a formation with three at the back. Tyler French came in as the extra man in central defence. Cammy Kerr, captain for the night on his 250th appearance, and Jordan Marshall were the wing backs. Shaun Byrne returned in central midfield, with Max Anderson coming in to take an advanced midfield role. Fin Robertson and Luke McCowan moved onto the bench while Ben Williamson was suspended.

Dundee started slowly and never managed to play their way into the game in a first half that was hard viewing for the travelling support.

Rovers had an edge in midfield where they were making all the passes. A succession of neat moves threatened to set up chances, but Adam Legzdins had only one save to make before the opening goal, and that was a simple stop. If Rovers had found a cutting edge to finish off their moves the game could have been out of Dundee’s reach before the interval.

The Dark Blues hardly built a single passing move through the midfield in the first half, repeatedly hitting long passes through the middle. Rovers dealt comfortably with everything that did come their way until Dundee were surprisingly presented with two chances either side of the half hour mark.

Lee Ashcroft was unchallenged going for a Paul McMullan free kick but couldn’t connect with his header in front of goal. A few minutes later Rovers made a mess of a long ball from the back. Brad Spencer let the ball glance off the top of his head, sending Paul McMullan clear through the middle. Ryan Nolan pulled at his shoulder but McMullan kept going and shot past the post.

The Dee were punished for their misses when Rovers scored the goal after 38 minutes that their overall play deserved. Dylan Easton’s cross from the right was half cleared. Liam Dick smashed a shot across goal and Aidan CONNOLLY reacted quickly at the far post to turn the ball home.

The Dundee midfield had been ineffective and it was no surprise when Gary Bowyer reorganised at half time. The Dark Blues switched to 4-4-2. Alex Jakubiak, Cillian Sheridan, and Luke McCowan came on for Zak Rudden, Shaun Byrne, and Tyler French.

The change almost produced an instant reward. In the first minute of the second half Alex Jakubiak pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area. He squared for Luke McCowan whose close range shot was somehow saved by Jamie MacDonald’s outstretched foot on the goalline when a goal looked certain. The rebound reached Jordan Marshall on the edge of the penalty area, but his low shot was saved by MacDonald.

After that it took a while for Dundee to crank up real pressure on Raith’s goal. But even if the Dee were still short of their best they were stopping Rovers playing and nearly all the play was heading toward the home goal.

Midway through the half McCowan again came desperately close to scoring. He showed clever footwork to make space and sent a low shot from 18 yards against the inside of the post. The ball unkindly rebounded into the arms of the grounded MacDonald rather than to Cillian Sheridan who had followed up hoping for a tap in.

The narrow escape for Raith signalled the start of an onslaught by the Dark Blues. A succession of corners flew into the home goalmouth, with Rovers struggling to keep them out. Ashcroft couldn’t make clean contact with a header from one. He made firm contact with another, but MacDonald turned the header over. Sheridan blazed over a decent chance from 10 yards when McMullan fired over a fast low corner.

Finally, after 78 minutes, the Dark Blues secured the breakthrough their second half performance had earned. Cammy Kerr beat his man on the right and sent over an ideal cross for Jordan McGHEE who had timed his run perfectly to rise and crash his header from six yards past MacDonald.

The Dee’s pressure on the home defence continued but they couldn’t find the winner. McCowan shot over from 20 yards. There was a suspicion of handball when Raith defended a free kick. Alex Jakubiak almost managed to break free and run in on goal, but Ryan Nolan pulled him down. From the free kick McCowan couldn’t repeat his superb second goal against Ayr and hit the wall.

After defending grimly for most of the second half Raith had a spirited burst of attacking in injury time. The tall substitute John Frederiksen headed down for Scott Brown who sclaffed an awkward shot past Legzdins from a tight angle. Ryan Sweeney had little trouble clearing, and that was the final goalmouth action.

In the first half the Dee were passive, standing off Rovers as they passed the ball around, and lacking any creativity. That certainly changed after half time. The Dee dominated Rovers physically and the attacks always looked dangerous with Luke McCowan prominent.

Over the full match a draw was a fair result. However, Dundee should be disappointed with their poor showing in the first half, their failure to convert excellent chances, and their inability to put the match beyond Raith when they were so much on top in the second half. It could, and should, have been three points, but Dundee can hardly complain about dropped points after such a poor display in the first half.

Match report written by James Christie - Official Dundee website

Squad Statistics (as at January 6th, 2023)

2022-23 All Time
Adam Legzdins (GK)36 12 - 57 -
Lee Ashcroft29 2317810
Tyler French23 242242
Cammy Kerr27 2842508
Jordan Marshall26 20 - 1102
Jordan McGhee26 2111149
Ryan Sweeney25 252635
Max Anderson21 182857
Shaun Byrne29 12 - 104 -
Paul McMullan26 286929
Zak Rudden22 258389
Alex Jakubiak (sub)26 124275
Luke McCowan (sub)25 2265811
Cillian Sheridan (sub)33 111221

League Table (as at January 6th, 2023)

Pld W D L +/- Pts
1. Queen's Park 19 11 3 5 +11 36
2. Dundee 20 10 5 5 +8 35
3. Ayr Utd 19 9 5 5 +11 32
4. Morton 18 8 6 4 +8 30
5. Partick 20 9 3 8 +5 30
6. Raith Rovers 21 8 4 9 -1 28
7. Inverness CT 19 7 5 7 -1 26
8. Cove Rangers 19 5 6 8 -6 21
9. Arbroath 20 3 8 9 -13 17
10. Hamilton 19 2 5 12 -22 11