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3 Raith Rovers talking points: ‘Movement continues’ into play-offs as Scottish Championship takes shape

Ian Murray's side ensured a top-two finish with Saturday's draw with Partick Thistle.

Ian Murray and Jack Hamilton applaud the Raith support as they look ahead to the Premiership play-offs. Image: SNS.
Ian Murray and Jack Hamilton applaud the Raith support as they look ahead to the Premiership play-offs. Image: SNS.

Raith Rovers will almost certainly contest the Scottish Premiership play-offs after their 0-0 draw with Partick Thistle.

The result was bittersweet. While it secured a top-two finish for the Kirkcaldy club, it gives Dundee United the chance to wrap up the Championship title next weekend.

It is a remarkable rise from this time last season when Raith entered the final weeks of the season with an outside chance of the top four.

Last season, they were the only side with nothing to play for on a madcap final day in Scotland’s second tier.

Raith captain Scott Brown and assistant manager Colin Cameron. Image: SNS.

Now they are looking forward to next month’s play-offs with games to spare.

Raith Rovers ‘movement’

At full-time, it may not have sounded as you would expect from a home crowd that has watched its team achieve second place in the second tier for the first time in 13 years.

Some could be heard enthusiastically celebrating the feat but others were understandably deflated after a week in which their title bid all but fizzled out.

The midweek defeat to Airdrie and Dundee United’s win over Morton on Friday meant that even a win on Saturday would have left Rovers with an uphill battle.

Post-match, manager Ian Murray stressed how far the club as a whole has come over the last year.

CEO Andy Barrowman tweeted that the “movement continues”.

Going up through the play-offs

Raith have avoided a potential nightmare scenario of losing the title on the final day and then instantly having to get themselves up for a play-off.

Queen’s Park were in that boat last season after losing a final-day title decider to Dundee.

Ryan Sweeney lifts the Championship trophy after Dundee's title win. Image: SNS
Dundee won the Scottish Championship title on the final day of last season. Image: SNS

Hamilton succeded where Queen’s failed back in at the end of the 2012/13 campaign when the play-offs were introduced.

Accies were confirmed in second place on the final day – coincidentally losing out to Dundee – despite an astonishing 10-2 win over Morton.

They then negotiated two two-legged rounds to take their place in the top flight.

Since then, only Livingston (2017/18) and Dundee (2020/21) have managed it, both after finishing in second place.

A boring end to the Championship?

It has been a hell of a ride for Raith and this season’s Scottish Championship overall has provided its customary entertainment and unpredictably.

The title race has been neck-and-neck until now and the battle to avoid the relegation play-off is set to go to the wire.

But other than settling ninth position, the rest of the Championship will likely stay as it is.

Only a spectacular collapse will prevent Dundee United from winning the league, Raith will finish second and Partick Thistle in third.

Saturday’s draw could lead to Raith and Thistle meeting again in the Premiership play-offs. Image: SNS.

Airdrie are in a commanding position in the final play-off spot andĀ Arbroath will be playing League One football next season.

Inverness – Rovers’ next opponents – and Queen’s Park are the two teams in real trouble of finishing ninth while the teams just above them need a few points points to ensure safety.

It is a complete contrast to how last season’s Championship ended.

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