Raith Rovers

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Round 12

Peterhead 2 - 0 Raith Rovers
2019-11-02 15:00 More Reports
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2019-11-09 15:00 More Previews
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Raith Rovers

In


David McGurn (gk) (Cowdenbeath); Michael Millar (def) (Brechin); Lewis Allan (att) (Hibs); Brad Spencer (mid) (Forfar); Fernandy Mendy (def) (La Feche); Regan Hendry (mid) (Celtic); Grant Anderson (mid) (Stranraer); Joao Vitoria (att) (Airdrie); Kieran MacDonald (def) (Airdrie); Ross Munro (gk) (Ross County, loan)

Out


Grant Gillespie (r)(mid) (Derry) ; Chris Duggan (sp)(att) (East Fife); Sam McGuff (gk) (Forfar); Liam Buchanan (sp)(att) (Alloa); James Berry (mid) (Stirling Uni); Dean Lyness (sp)(gk) (St Mirren); Nat Wedderburn (r)(mid) (Airdrie); Euan Valentine (def) (Cowdenbeath); Ryan Stevenson (mid) (Bo’ness); Kevin Nisbet (k)(att) (Dunfermline); Euan Murray (r)(def) (Dunfermline); Nathan Flanagan (r)(mid) (released);

Raith Rovers will play their third successive season in League One, having twice failed to win promotion when it was expected of them. Indeed, they actually got worse last season, finishing in an uninspired third place behind Arbroath and Forfar – teams with significantly fewer resources. Despite this, Raith have chosen to stuck by manager John McGlynn, although this may be something of a face-saving exercise for the board, who worked so hard to get him back. In truth, his work from mid-October was no better than Barry Smith achieved before he quit over a dispute on player signings. The squad has had a clearout over the course of the summer, with the focus being on squad players departing. Indeed, actual first pick players going have been few and far between. Kevin Nisbet, who was so prolific last season, and whose goals kept Rovers’ season respectable, has departed and will be a player simply impossible to replace. With Liam Buchanan and Chris Duggan also going, Raith look short in attack, pitching much on Joao Vitoria, very erratic with his previous clubs, and the injury-prone but brilliant Lewis Vaughan. While the signings of Brad Spencer and Regan Hendry make for promise in midfield, particularly as Ross Matthews stays and the capable Grant Anderson has also arrived, they are very short of depth in that area and injuries and suspensions will be costly. In defence, meanwhile, the erratic duo of Iain Davidson and Kyle Benedictus remain, supplemented by Michael Miller and Kieran MacDonald, two players of modest League One ability and therefor rather strange signings. Fernandy Mendy has arrived from French football and is an unknown quantity. Rovers have done well to sign goalkeeper David McGurn, who will act as cover for long-term absentee Robbie Thomson. They could not have hoped for better in that regard.

Target


Rovers want promotion but do not have the same quality as Falkirk in any department. Realistically, they have to be aiming to go up via the playoffs, but they are likely to be one of a clutch of teams fighting to do so.

Season Review
2018/2019

№3: Raith Rovers

Raith Rovers endured what was ultimately a season of grave disappointment as they were comfortably beaten in the playoff final by Queen of the South. What was not most harrowing for the Fife club was not necessarily the destination – although they had expected to win the league at the start of the season – but the journey. Finishing a distant third behind clubs like Arbroath and Forfar was not on the script for the Kirkcaldy outfit, who face a major rebuilding job in the summer. Ultimately, it was their away form that cost them dearly as they won only five of 18 road trips over the course of the season, while they were a match for anyone at Stark’s Park, though their form did dip with regards their undefeated home campaign previously. Barry Smith started the season in charge but was sacked following a disappointing – but not disastrous – start to the campaign. John McGlynn was appointed with the anticipation that he would be able to turn things around, but instead things got worse, capped by a dreadful spell of form in January and February that saw them win only one of seven matches. Injuries, the manager argued, were a major cause of Raith’s discontent, and while losing a player such as Lewis Vaughan on a long-term basis for the second season in succession was a blow, the full-time squad should have been capable of doing better. Persisting with too many experienced flops was a major issue, particularly in defence, where the insistence of starting struggling captain Iain Davidson was somewhat baffling. He gifted away many goals over the course of the campaign, while the unit as a whole looked shaky, with loan signing Calum Crane disappointing and no consistency at all in goal. The midfield was too unpredictable and lacking in invention once Vaughan was injured. The loan signs that McGlynn gambled on, Jamie Barjonas more than anyone else, flopped and failed to replace him, while there was also a lack of credible width save Nathan Flanagan, who was too hit or miss. Kevin Nisbet in attack was a roaring success and the sole reason Raith’s season wasn’t even more of a disaster. Whatever happens over the club in the summer, they must do all they can to keep him.


Player of the Season: Kevin Nisbet

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