Raith Rovers 2
Peterhead will be glad that they have no more visits to Stark’s Park this season after going down 2-1 for their fourth defeat of the season at the Fife ground.
The Blue Toon pitched up at the home of league leaders determined to repeat their 2-0 November success at Balmoor with manager Jim McInally wanting his men to make a positive start.
On their visits to Stark’s Park this season on League, Betfred and Scottish Cup duty Peterhead have fallen behind early.
Rather than sit in and try to defend their way into the game Peterhead were sent out to attack and the opening minutes were promising however with 8 minutes gone disaster struck.
Scott Hooper had the chance to clear however he played a pass to David Ferguson that put the Blue Toon defender under pressure. Ferguson failed to clear and the ball reached Raith youngster Dylan Tait who cracked a shot high into the net.
The visitors to their credit shrugged this set-back off and levelled two minutes later when Jack Leitch picked out Derek Lyle with a low cross and the striker despatched the ball into the net with a first-time effort.
A second defensive error was to see Raith retake the lead on 24 minutes when Jason Brown allowed Grant Anderson to slip past him and crossed for Jamie Gullan to tap in.
This break allowed Raith to take control and they put the visiting goal under pressure with Greg Fleming doing well to keep out efforts from Regan Hendry and John Baird.
Fleming rose to the challenge again four minutes from the break when referee Gavin Ross spotted an infringement in the box an awarded the hosts a penalty.
Peterhead were stunned at the award however Fleming pushed away Regan Hendry’s from 12 yards and the first half ended at 2-1 to the hosts.
The visitors came out ready for the second half after some tinkering by McInally and gave us good as they got against the table toppers.
There were few chances created by either side with Raith’s Brad Spencer seeing a shot blocked.
Rory McAllister and Aidan Smith were introduced to increase Peterhead’s goal threat and the Blue Toon received a boost when home defender David McKay, who was involved in an earlier challenge on Paddy Boyle that saw the defender receive a facial injury, was dismissed for picking up his second booking 11 minutes from time.
Ryan Conroy curled in the resultant free-kick and Munro in the home goal did well to push his effort past the post.
The numerical advantage allowed Peterhead to get on top and an equaliser looked on when Lyle sent a header goalward on 82 minutes only to see it hit the bar.
A minute later Aidan Smith had the opportunity to notch his first goal for the club however he went a shot past the post.
Raith saw the game out despite pressure from Peterhead to rack up another home win over their visitors.
Peterhead – Fleming, Ferguson (Eadie 54), Brown, Hooper, Boyle (Smith 76), Armour, Conroy, Leitch (McAllister 69), Brown, Stevenson, Lyle
Unused substitutes – Dunlop, Dimov, Wilson (G/k)
Referee – Gavin Ross
Attendance – 1,807
Raith Rovers 4-0 Peterhead
Peterhead suffered a heavy defeat in Kirkcaldy as Raith Rovers scored two goals in each half in a dominant display.
The Blue Toon fell behind after just seven minutes and it was one of their former players, who was on target.
Grant Anderson rifled John McGlynn’s men ahead with a low left foot shot, which flew past Greg Fleming.
It became an uphill struggle for the visitors once Michael Miller lashed a rising shot into the net in the 29th minute.
Other chances came and went for Raith before they added to their lead seven minutes into the second half and it was a classy effort from Lewis Vaughan, who found the top corner from the left side of the penalty area.
Miller claimed his second and Raith’s fourth midway through the half, turning home Keiron MacDonald’s cross to complete the scoring in what proved to be a tough afternoon for the Balmoor side.