John McGlynn believes Raith Rovers’ remarkable 5-1 demolition of Dunfermline may not be bettered for another 38 years after registering their most handsome Fife derby triumph since 1983.
The Kirkcaldy club dismantled the increasingly fragile Pars with a virtuoso display of crisp passing, slick movement and clinical finishing — in doing so, strengthening their case to be crowned best of the rest in the Championship.
There was an element of fairytale for Rovers, even beyond the scoreline, as Lewis Vaughan netted his first goals since September 2019 after battling back from a third cruciate knee ligament injury.
Jamie Gullan also bagged a brace, while it was Regan Hendry who opened the scoring.
Kevin O’Hara’s header had briefly Brough the score back to 1-1, but that was a fleeting moment of positivity for dismal Dunfermline.
“We’re in wonderland,” McGlynn beamed. “The performance was fantastic — of a very high standard. We managed to click in front of goal and every single player performed to an outstanding level, possibly even above the Championship.
“I think this result will be remembered for a long, long time. It might be another 38 years before we win by that kind of margin again [against Dunfermline]!
“It’s a little bit of payback for getting beaten 4-1 at East End Park in February.”
Owain Fôn Williams was immediately forced to parry a Kai Kennedy drive wide.
The opening exchanges were going exactly as one might have predicted — Dunfermline having won just once away from home in the Championship all season and sitting joint-bottom of the form table based on the last six league games.
Fleeting parity for Pars
Rovers claimed a deserved lead when a stunning passing move culminated in Brad Spencer slipping a sumptuous through-ball to Hendry, and the midfielder’s finish was unerring.
The Pars levelled against the run of play when a fine Scott Banks delivery — made possible after Rover keeper Jamie MacDonald gave away a sloppy throw-in — was headed home by O’Hara.
However, parity was fleeting for Stevie Crawford’s charges. Another slick attack saw Kieran MacDonald set free down the left-flank and his low delivery was converted by Vaughan for his first goal in 18 months.
A memorable evening for the forward continued when his deep free-kick evaded everyone in the box and somehow found the corner of the net.
Gullan, nicknamed ‘The Hammer’, dealt another vicious blow on Dunfermline straight after the restart, cutting in from the right and smashing a super left-footed drive past For Williams.
And the on-loan Hibs kid made it five with another brilliant low finish, making history in the process as Rovers claimed their largest margin of victory over the Pars since pummelling them 6-0 in January 1983.
“I’m hurting and it’s my lowest point, personally, since coming into the job,” said Stevie Crawford. “The players know it wasn’t good enough. As a coaching staff, I’ve held up my hands and taken responsibility, because it’s not a nice night.”