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Raith 4-3 Partick Thistle: Another late comeback sends Rovers top of the Scottish Championship

A thrilling match saw Rovers lose a two-goal lead before winning the game late on.

Raith Rovers are top of the league after a thrilling win over Partick Thistle. Image: SNS.
Raith Rovers are top of the league after a thrilling win over Partick Thistle. Image: SNS.

Raith Rovers moved to the top of the Scottish Championship in typical fashion, netting twice in the final 11 minutes to overturn a one-goal deficit.

Ian Murray’s side looked comfortable when Dylan Easton put them 2-0 up shortly after half-time with his eighth goal of the campaign, adding to Dan O’Reilly’s first-half header.

But an own goal from O’Reilly, a Brian Graham penalty and a tap-in from Blair Alston swung the game in Partick Thistle’s favour.

Murrayball then came into effect, a triple-sub and a move to a back three and two late goals from Callum Smith, one of the those substitutes, and Sam Stanton.

The 4-3 victory moves Raith two points ahead of Dundee United having played a game more.

First half

It was Partick Thistle who had the first chance in the opening exchanges as Kevin Dabrowski pushed away a Graham header.

The cross had come from McInroy, who then showed his threat again by bursting through the middle but he was snuffed out.

At the other end, Rovers began to create chances of their own and took the lead in the eighth minute through O’Reilly’s header, his first for his new club.

Dan O’Reilly scored his first Raith Rovers goal versus Partick Thistle. Image: SNS.

He connected well with Sam Stanton’s corner and was credited with the goal despite a possible touch from Lewis Vaughan who claimed it as his.

Thistle’s Jamie Sneddon could have probably done better for the goal but his side had him to thank for keeping the score down.

The goalkeeper made two one-on-one saves from the feet of Stanton and then Jack Hamilton and got down well to push a goalbound Vaughan strike round the post.

The Thistle threat waned after their early chances as they were harried into rushed passed by Rovers at every opportunity.

The closest they came to an equaliser was when Lewis Neilson fired a vicious volley wide as the half came to a close.

Second half

Easton made it two within a minute of the restart, taking full advantage of a poor kick-out by Sneddon, skipping by a man before firing low into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

Dylan Easton put Raith 2-0 up against Partick Thistle. Image: SNS.

It was the start of a breathless second half that saw the game turned on its head with three Partick Thistle goals across a 20-minute period.

O’Reilly turned McInroy’s free-kick into the back of his own net before Graham converted from the spot following a Euan Murray handball.

A lack of concentration from Rovers during a short corner from Thistle led to a simple finish from Alston for the third and it looked like Murray’s men had lost their chance to put real pressure on Dundee United.

The introduction of Scott Brown for Euan Murray meant a switch again to an ultra-attacking back-three formation and it once again led to all three points.

Two goals within three minutes of each other left the visitors shellshocked.

Smith got Rovers level after shifting to create a yard and slamming the ball into the bottom corner before Stanton finished off a wonderful move to send his side to the top of the Championship.

Line-ups

Raith Rovers (4-2-3-1): Dabrowski; Millen, Murray (Brown 71′), O‚ÄôReilly, Dick; Byrne, Stanton; Mullin (Connolly 69′), Vaughan (Smith 69′), Easton (Gullan 88′); Hamilton.

Subs not used: Thomson, Matthews, Corr, McGill, Hannah.

Partick Thistle (4-2-3-1): Sneddon; McMillan, Muirhead, Neilson, Milne; Stanway (Diack 87′), McInroy; Lawless, Alston (Robinson 79′), Fitzpatrick; Graham (Adeloye 79′).

Subs not used: Mitchell, Williams, Bannigan, McGinley, Williamson, Mackenzie.

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