Scottish Championship
Raith RoversRaith Rovers2FalkirkFalkirk2

Raith Rovers 2-2 Falkirk

By Scott DavieBBC Scotland at Stark's Park
Bob McHugh
McHugh grabbed his eighth goal of the season to snatch a point for Falkirk

Bob McHugh scored two minutes from the end to give Falkirk a precious point at Stark's Park.

Joel Thomas gave Raith the lead in seven minutes but immediately went off injured to be replaced by Ryan Hardie.

Falkirk deservedly levelled in 56 minutes when McHugh set up Craig Sibbald to score.

Blair Alston blunder allowed Hardie in for his sixth goal for the player on loan from Rangers, only for McHugh to earn the draw in the dying minutes.

Falkirk's superior goal difference advantage over Hibs means they should clinch second place with a home win against Morton next weekend.

It was a short but eventful second start for Thomas as the former Hamilton Accies striker scored the opening goal in seven minutes and was substituted immediately.

He forced home a Harry Panayiotou cross but got injured in the process and had to be replaced by Hardie before the game could be restarted.

That goal did settle a side that showed five changes from the one that beat Dumbarton the previous weekend and the pace of Hardie through the middle was a constant threat.

So much so that the player on-loan from Rangers should have double Raith's lead on the half-hour mark after being set up by another incisive pass from Panayuioto.

His first attempt was blocked and the teenager lifted the rebound over goalkeeper Danny Rogers but also over the crossbar which was a real let off for the Bairns.

Veteran striker Lee Miller squandered two decent chances to get the visitors level before the break, first when he tried to be too precise with a header just after the Rovers opener.

Then shortly before the break Sibbald got clear down the left and picked out Miller at the back post with a clever cross that the former Aberdeen striker failed to connect properly.

Falkirk were fired up from the start of the second-half knowing how important avoiding defeat was, and Sibbald's initial leveller was the least they deserved from the pace and penetration they brought to the game.

However, a blunder by Alston allowed Raith to regain the lead in 70 minutes as Hardie pinched possession and finished in style for his sixth goal for the Kirkcaldy club.

But Falkirk have proved on numerous occasions just how resilient they are, and McHugh's eighth goal for the club leaves them within touching distance of pipping Hibs to the runners-up spot.

Line-ups

Raith Rovers

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Cuthbert
  • 2Thomson
  • 55Barr
  • 6Benedictus
  • 23McKeown
  • 30RobertsonSubstituted forCallachanat 60'minutes
  • 14DavidsonBooked at 54mins
  • 28CraigenSubstituted forConnollyat 62'minutes
  • 21Longridge
  • 11Panayiotou
  • 15ThomasSubstituted forHardieat 11'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Callachan
  • 5Toshney
  • 7Anderson
  • 16Hardie
  • 18Connolly
  • 22Bates
  • 31Law

Falkirk

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Rogers
  • 8Alston
  • 5McCracken
  • 6Vaulks
  • 3Leahy
  • 7TaiwoSubstituted forO'Haraat 69'minutes
  • 11Kerr
  • 10Sibbald
  • 22HippolyteSubstituted forMcHughat 55'minutes
  • 9BairdSubstituted forShepherdat 55'minutes
  • 18MillerBooked at 73mins

Substitutes

  • 13Maybury
  • 17Smith
  • 19McHugh
  • 23Shepherd
  • 28Mehmet
  • 30O'Hara
  • 33Gallacher
Referee:
Bobby Madden
Attendance:
2,602

Match Stats

Home TeamRaith RoversAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home11
Away9
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away3
Fouls
Home16
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Raith Rovers 2, Falkirk 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Raith Rovers 2, Falkirk 2.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Lee Miller (Falkirk).

  4. Post update

    Kyle Benedictus (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  5. Post update

    Luke Leahy (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers).

  7. Goal!

    Goal! Raith Rovers 2, Falkirk 2. Robert McHugh (Falkirk) header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Scott Shepherd.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Mark Kerr (Falkirk).

  10. Post update

    Kyle Benedictus (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Robert McHugh (Falkirk).

  12. Post update

    Foul by Robert McHugh (Falkirk).

  13. Post update

    Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Lee Miller (Falkirk).

  15. Post update

    (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  16. Post update

    Kevin O'Hara (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jason Thomson (Raith Rovers).

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Louis Longridge (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right.

  19. Post update

    Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Aidan Connolly.

  20. Booking

    Lee Miller (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card for dangerous play.

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