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Celtic 4-0 Raith Rovers: Fifers bow out of Scottish Cup as fans vocally back John McGlynn

Celtic ran out comfortable winners last Sunday
Celtic ran out comfortable winners last Sunday

Raith Rovers were unable to derail the Celtic juggernaut despite a gutsy showing at Parkhead.

The Hoops ran out 4-0 victors to cruise into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup, with Liam Scales, Giorgos Giakoumakis, Daizen Maeda and Nir Bitton rippling the net.

With Ange Postecoglou’s free-flowing charges enjoying an eight-match winning run — scoring 20 goals in the process — it was always going to be a mountainous task for the Kirkcaldy club.

Yet Rovers gave a better account of themselves than some Premiership visitors to Glasgow’s east end this term and will reflect ruefully on a spurned penalty claim in the first period.

Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that Celtic merited their comprehensive victory.

Raucous backing

Raith Rovers fans were locked out of the first meeting between these sides this term — a 3-0 win for the Hoops in the Premier Sports Cup — with Celtic citing Covid precautions.

And the Rovers faithful were determined to make up for lost time as, drummer in tow, they made a mighty din.

McGlynn hails the travelling fans

Chants of ‘Super John McGlynn’ rang around Parkhead as the Raith boss emerged from the tunnel to oversee the warm-up.

It would be a repeated refrain all afternoon.

An emotional McGlynn faced a no holds barred 37-minute press conference on Thursday, during which he answered myriad questions about the disastrous signing of David Goodwillie.

He apologised unreservedly for the controversy caused and pleaded for the opportunity to ‘make it right’.

As far as the supporters in attendance on Sunday are concerned, forgiveness has been granted.

Tipping the Scales

Raith were also sporting a new shirt sponsor, SM Electrical Supplies — owned by vice-chairman Steven MacDonald — after TAG Games ditched the club in the aftermath of the Goodwillie debacle.

The visitors endured an early scare when Mikey Johnston whipped a fizzing drive inches over the bar.

Reo Hatate then stung the palms of Jamie MacDonald from 20 yards.

Celtic’s pressure told after 23 minutes when Scales lashed home a ferocious drive from the edge of the box.

Tale of two penalty claims

Although penned in for much of the half, Rovers saw clamorous claims for a penalty ignored by referee Steven McLean after a loose ball appeared to strike the arm of Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Gullan battled manfully

Celtic struck the bar through Giakoumakis in the opening knockings of the second half — albeit the flag had already been raised for offside against Johnston.

However, the hosts did make the game safe with 20 minutes left on the clock.

Giakoumakis had the simple task of tapping into the net from point-blank range after Jota scampered down the left and produced a picture-perfect cross for the Greek front-man.

Maeda then headed over the line from a couple of yards to make it 3-0.

Adding insult to injury, Rovers saw Celtic awarded a penalty after Sean Mackie was deemed to have handled the ball in the box.

Bitton bundled the rebound into the net after his initial effort was saved by MacDonald.

John McGlynn says Raith didn’t anticipate David Goodwillie backlash and declares: ‘I am not a bad person…I want the chance to make it right’

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