Rampant Raith Rovers made it 12 games unbeaten on Saturday, belying the dismissal of Reghan Tumilty to claim a 2-1 triumph over Falkirk.
Goals from Ross Matthews and Ethan Ross saw John McGlynn’s men march in to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.
Rovers also sit joint-top of the Championship and face Inverness for a place in the last-four of the SPFL Trust Trophy on Tuesday evening.
Courier Sport compiles the talking points as the Rovers bandwagon gathers pace.
Ross Matthews steals the show
The irrepressible Matthews was always likely to hog the limelight.
Narrative demanded it.
— Ross Matthews (@RossMatthews_8) April 15, 2020
Matthews famously celebrated Rovers pipping the Bairns to the League 1 title in 2019/20 by Tweeting a video of himself downing a beer with the words ‘Falkirk tears’ super-imposed on the can.
It has been watched close to 40,000 times.
Coming after a contentious end to that Covid-curtailed campaign, it made him public enemy number one among Falkirk fans.
Never a shrinking violet when the whistle blows, it is fair to say Matthews enjoyed the moment on Saturday when his pin-point drive opened the scoring against his old foes.
— RaithTV (@RaithTV) November 28, 2021
A togetherness that transcends the pitch
Saturday was the second time in seven matches that Rovers have gone down to 10 men with a substantial portion of the game left to play.
Against Inverness — top of the league when the sides met last month — Raith claimed a gutsy 1-1 draw despite losing Matthews prior to half-time.
At the Falkirk Stadium, Reghan Tumilty was dismissed after picking up two bookings in the first 20 minutes.
But this is a Rovers team with the depth, versatility and tactical nous in the dugout to deal with such set-backs.
Fantastic turnout from our fans as we secured our place in Monday night's 4th round draw.
— RRFC Official (@RaithRovers) November 27, 2021
More than that, it is a squad with an iron-clad desire not to lose football matches.
That togetherness transcends the boundaries of the pitch. The supporters feel it.
It is a challenge to remember a time that Rovers’ following — the travelling foot soldiers, in particular — have been so boisterous and positive.
That shone through again on Saturday.
A timely triumph?
With something special brewing in Kirkcaldy, there is surely no better time for them to finally halt their Highland hoodoo.
Inverness have proved a maddeningly tough nut for the Fifers to crack.
It is more than 21 years since Raith Rovers last defeated the Caley Jags.
On that occasion, Jay Stein and Ivan Mballa scored the goals in a 2-1 triumph. A different time.
Twenty-five winless encounters have come and gone since that victory in October 2000.
Rovers did claim a bonus point on penalties following a 3-3 League Cup draw last term — but even the most generous observer wouldn’t mark that down as a win.
Can they finally see off Inverness on Tuesday evening to reach the semi-finals of the SPFL Trust Trophy?