Forfar claim encouraging victory over Raith in friendly

Raith's David Bates challenges Forfar's Danny Denholm. Pic: Chris Coutts
Raith's David Bates challenges Forfar's Danny Denholm. Pic: Chris Coutts

Forfar Athletic 2 Raith Rovers 0

Forfar kick-started their preseason programme with an encouraging 2-0 victory over Championship outfit Raith Rovers.

A goal in each half from David Cox and substitute Kerr Hay proved the difference as Gary Bollan’s men laid down an early marker in their preparations for the League Two campaign.

The Loons will be hoping to bounce straight back up following last season’s relegation and on Tuesday night’s evidence, they are heading in the right direction.

A big plus for Gary Bollan was the performance of summer signings Grant Adam, Jamie Bain and David Cox, although Lewis Milne, Jim Lister and Stuart Malcolm missed out.

It was apparent that both teams were playing their first fixture of preseason in a first half low on quality.

Raith produced a decent move in the 15th minute as Chris Johnston cut in from the right to tee up Mark Stewart on the edge the box, who turned and shot well wide.

Five minutes later Kevin McHattie won a free-kick two yards outside the Forfar box and Lewis Vaughan’s dipping effort brushed the top of the net on its way over.

Forfar had struggled to get forward but they took the lead on 35 minutes from a corner when Cox was first to react to a knockdown from the trialist centre-half wearing number four to stab home from six yards.

A much more positive Rovers emerged after the break with four efforts on goal in the opening six minutes.

First, Ross Callachan tested Adam with a curling effort from 25 yards which the former Scotland U21 ‘keeper did well to hold low to his left.

Barr then found space in the Forfar box but his angled drive bounced off the outside of the post. Vaughan fired narrowly wide from 20 yards before Court forced Adam to tip over from a dipping strike from the edge of the area as Raith kept up the pressure.

Forfar came back into things and doubled their lead on 74 minutes when Danny Denholm breezed past Jason Thomson to tee up unnmarked sub Hay to guide an effort beyond Aaron Lennox, who had replaced Cuthbert at the interval.

Rovers struck the post for a second time late on as Callachan’s header bounced back off the upright, then Kyle Benedictus found himself unmarked at the back post from a Johnston corner but he was unable to force the ball past Adam, who kept an impressive clean sheet.

Forfar return to Station Park on Saturday morning for a tussle with Highland League Brora Rangers.

Forfar Athletic: Adam, Yates, Kennedy, Trialist, O’Brien (Hay 45), MacKintosh, Bain, Swankie, Aitken, Cox (Devine 79), Denholm. Not used: Mailer, Hill.

Raith Rovers: Cuthbert, Thomson, McHattie (Matthews 68), Callachan, Benedictus, Johnston, Stewart (Court 25), Vaughan, Barr, Davidson, Bates. Not used: Berry, McKay, Lennox.

Referee: Stephen Finnie

Attendance: 336