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Monday, June 24, 2024

Raith 1 – 2 Ross Co

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Yan Dhanda helped Ross County enhance their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premiership because the Staggies eked out a 2-1 play-off remaining first-leg lead over Championship promotion hopefuls Raith Rovers at rain-soaked Stark’s Park.

After a boring first half, County seized command with a 53rd-minute penalty from Dhanda following a handball by Euan Murray earlier than captain Jack Baldwin made it 2-0 with a 71st-minute header from a nook hoisted in by Dhanda.

However Rovers gave themselves some hope of salvaging the tie within the return leg in Dingwall on Sunday after they pulled one again by Sam Stanton with eight minutes remaining.

The Kirkcaldy outfit need to return to the highest flight for the primary time since 1997 whereas the Staggies, who beat Partick Thistle in final season’s play-off remaining, hoped to increase their five-year keep within the Premiership.

How Ross County edged win

Picture:
Ross County’s Yan Dhanda celebrates with Jordan White (L) after scoring to make it 1-0

Raith boss Ian Murray made one enforced change to the aspect that began final Friday’s semi-final second leg in opposition to Partick as on-loan County midfielder Kyle Turner – ineligible to face his mum or dad membership – was changed by Jack Hamilton.

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County supervisor Don Cowie despatched out the identical XI that began Sunday’s 2-2 draw at dwelling to 10-man Aberdeen, a consequence that finally paved the way in which for St Johnstone to leapfrog them into tenth place within the cinch Premiership and ship them into this play-off.

The guests began aggressively, pushing their hosts onto the again foot early on, though they needed to wait till the 18th minute for his or her first notable alternative when Simon Murray headed a Dhanda free-kick huge of the far put up.

The house aspect then got here into the sport for a spell, and Euan Murray obtained on the top of an Aidan Connolly cross however failed to seek out the goal along with his header from 12 yards.

Either side have been struggling to make the opposition goalkeeper work however County threatened two minutes earlier than the break when Will Nightingale’s strike was deflected for a nook, from which Baldwin waltzed previous three Rovers gamers within the field earlier than seeing his drive blocked on the close to put up by keeper Kevin DÄ…browski.

Having did not pose too many issues for his or her top-flight guests earlier than the break, Raith went desperately near an opener 4 minutes into the second interval when Lewis Vaughan despatched Connolly down the appropriate and the winger reduce inside and curled a dipping shot simply past the far put up.

KIRKCALDY, SCOTLAND - MAY 23: Ross County's Yan Dhanda scores to make it 1-0 during a cinch Premiership play-off final first leg match between Raith Rovers and Ross County at Starks Park, on May 23, 2024, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Picture:
Ross County’s Yan Dhanda scores from the penalty spot

There was deflation for the hosts only a minute later, nonetheless, when County have been awarded a penalty after a VAR examine deduced that Murray had caught out his arm within the field to dam Eli King’s shot from 25 yards out. Dhanda’s powerfully-struck spot-kick discovered the online however solely after crashing off the within of Dabrowski’s left-hand put up.

Raith went near an equaliser on the hour mark when Connolly’s low strike from the sting of the field was deflected behind by Ryan Leak, though it did seem like going simply huge in any case.

Dabrowski made a wonderful save with 20 minutes remaining when he obtained all the way down to his left to tip behind a curling effort from King. However the goalkeeper was helpless seconds later when the ensuing nook, taken by Dhanda, was headed down into the online by Baldwin from simply outdoors the six-yard field.

KIRKCALDY, SCOTLAND - MAY 23: Ross County's Jack Baldwin celebrates with Jordan White, Will Nightingale and Connor Randall after scoring to make it 2-0 during a cinch Premiership play-off final first leg match between Raith Rovers and Ross County at Starks Park, on May 23, 2024, in Kirkcaldy, Scotland. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
Picture:
Ross County’s Jack Baldwin celebrates with Jordan White, Will Nightingale and Connor Randall after scoring to make it 2-0

Simply because it appeared just like the tie was slipping away from them, although, Rovers grabbed a lifeline within the 82nd minute when Vaughan slid Ross Matthews in down the appropriate and the full-back’s cut-back was emphatically despatched into the online by Stanton from eight yards out.

The hosts pressed for an equaliser within the closing phases, however they may require a victory in Dingwall on Sunday if they’re to have any probability of ending their 27-year look ahead to a Premiership return.

What the managers stated…

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Don Cowie says he is delighted along with his group following their 2-1 win

Ross County boss Don Cowie: “I believed the efficiency deserved a lead.

“I am disenchanted we did not get the clear sheet as a result of I believed at 2-0 we began to look actually comfy.

“That is the one actual frustration, aside from that I am actually pleased with the group.”

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Ian Murray says Raith Rovers are nonetheless within the tie following their 2-1 loss

Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray: “I believed Ross County began nicely, it is tough taking part in in opposition to a staff which can be at the next degree.

“We have been only a bit sloppy at occasions, a bit rushed with the ball. A few tweaks helped us and for a lot of the second half aside from 10 minutes I believed we have been the higher aspect.

“The late purpose offers us an opportunity. We all know it will likely be tough however we all know what we now have to do which is sweet.”

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