Raith Rovers and Dundee United fought out a pulsating 0-0 draw at Stark’s Park this afternoon.
The Tangerines were reduced to 10 men in the second half when Lewis Toshney was sent off but they then missed a penalty with Tony Andreu being denied by Rovers keeper Kevin Cuthbert.
Raith gaffer Gary Locke made three changes from the team that lost at St Mirren last Saturday with Kyle Benedictus, Bobby Barr and former United player Rudi Skacel coming in for Ross Matthews, Scott Roberts and Mark Stewart with all three dropping to the bench.
Dundee United boss Ray McKinnon kept faith with the starting line-up that won narrowly at Ayr United last week.
After a frantic opening to the match, the first real chance came in the 13th minute when Chris Johnston swung a cross in from the right to Bobby Barr lurking at the United back post but the winger could not get enough on the ball and Cammy Bell easily saved.
The Tangerines’ first opportunity came in the 23rd minute when Tope Obadeyi had a shot saved by Cuthbert with Blair Spittal’s follow-up effort blocked by a defender.
United centre-half Mark Durnan then tried an audacious long-range effort with Cuthbert out of his goal but the ball flew wide.
After that, both sides struggled to carve out further chances but Raith did come agonisingly close to opening the scoring deep in stoppage time at the end of the half.
Johnston sent a tempting cross in from the right with Skacel chesting the ball off the crossbar with United breathing a collective sigh of relief as they headed down the tunnel.
The Tangerines suffered a hammer blow in the 54th minute when Toshney was sent off.
The defender, who had been booked in the first half for a late challenge on Kyle Benedictus, was adjudged to have brought down Barr, with referee Steven Kirkland showing Toshney a second yellow followed by red.
United coach Darren Taylor was then sent to the stand for protesting the decision.
Rovers looked to make their one-man advantage count and Skacel sent a superb cross in from the left with Declan McManus heading just inches wide of Bell’s left-hand post.
Blair Spittal then went close for McKinnon’s men when he sent an 18-yard shot past Cuthbert’s post.
Then in the 75th minute, United were awarded their penalty when Tangerines sub Simon Murray tumbled in the box under a combined challenge by Benedictus and Jean-Yves M’voto.
Andreu stepped up to take it but Cuthbert dived full stretch to his right to make a fine save to the anguish of the large travelling support behind him in the Val McDermid stand.
Both sides tried manfully to break the deadlock but could find no way through and the game ended all square.
For full report, reaction and analysis, see Monday’s Courier.