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R.R.FC

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  1. Second attempt at this after a formatting disaster previously 😂. Anyway it was mentioned recently how we seem to fare better against the top sides than the bottom ones. So I decided to look into it and the results are quite interesting (to me at least!!). As you can see we have, by a long way, the best record against the top 5 but our record against the bottom 5 is comfortably the worst. Perhaps not surprisingly, the records in the top 5 head to heads in terms of points per game is the exact order of the current league table. It is obviously more important to have the edge against the top sides and our records in these matches is what has kept us top. If our form against the top sides starts to drop off we are in trouble if our bottom half form continues. However, to look at it in a more positive light, we have found a way to win and get points in the big games. If we can sort out the, in theory, easier task of regularly beating the bottom half sides we should be in a good place. Couple of things to note, the table is based on the results against the current top 5 and bottom 5 rather than what position teams were in when they met. So the poor start to the season for Montrose skews things slightly. For instance, they lost their first 4 games against the top sides but have won 3 out of the 5 most recent ones. Also, they had 2 losses and a draw against the bottom 5 in their first 3 meetings. Since then they have won 7 and drawn 1 out of their last 8. Also, East Fife's 3 wins against the top 5 came in their first 3 meetings. They are now 8 without a win in these games.
  2. Better than MacDonald for you last year. However, whatever McGlynn has worked on with him has clearly worked. He has been the player of the year for the team currently top and he would be an absolute stick on for team of the division so far this season. Contributed, with either goals or assists, 15 goals this season and been very solid defensively even filling in well at centre half on a couple of occasions.
  3. Disappointing not to win yesterday, missed a lot of great chances in the second half. Second week in a row we have wasted a lot of opportunities. However, there are plenty positives to take. We are still top, we have key players coming back from injury and we are playing decent football and actually creating chances again. The squad has been stretched but everyone has stepped up, I don’t think there’s any passengers in the squad or anyone I’d be desperately keen to move on which is a good place to be considering the number of players we brought in over the summer. For various reasons we weren’t great for most of November and December. We managed to show a different side by grinding out results which was great. But you can only do that for so long, so it’s great to see us playing some good stuff again and creating the opportunities even if we are missing them currently. Striker is absolutely key this window. If we had a Sutherland type striker I think we win that game. We probably have a much more comfortable day of it against Peterhead last week too. No real rush with the cup next week and if it takes us to the last day of the window to get the right man then so be it but it would be a big boost to have them in for the Montrose game.
  4. On the plus side, although Jack Ross won’t make his judgement solely on friendlies, Oli Shaw scored a double for Hibs in a 2-1 yesterday. May put him up the pecking order slightly and less likely to be loaned out. I’m quietly optimistic we’ll see Gullan back.
  5. Would agree that centre midfield wouldn’t be top of my priority list for signings. However, Callachan would bring a lot of qualities to the side that we don’t currently have. His energy levels are excellent and would help add a bit of steel to our midfield which has lacked in some games. Our business last January was dreadful. However, McGlynn’s summer business was excellent and I tend to be in the camp that I would trust his judgement wherever he decides to strengthen. Very underrated the job he has done the last 6 months. Not so much on here but still regularly here moans and groans against him in the stands which I do not understand.
  6. McGlynn saying in his pre match interview that the 2 players he is after aren’t loan deals or free agents. Contracted to other clubs so fees or some sort of deal need to be agreed. I assume Sutherland will be one and given the rumours it is possible Callachan is the other. Don’t see how we would have the money to pay any transfer fee. As suggested above, a fringe player like Victoria may be used as part of the Sutherland deal. If the other is indeed Callachan, St Johnstone may just be happy to get his wage off their books without looking for a fee. Imagine he will have offers in the Championship though.
  7. It seems to have been for a number of years over different managers, players, training facilities and physios as well. There’s not an obvious reason although there are certain players with a history of injuries. I honestly can’t remember the last time we had a full squad to choose from. John McGlynn’s second spell has lasted 468 days so far and we have had 65 games in that time, he has never had a full squad to pick from. With Vaughan and Anderson’s injuries that isn’t going to change any time soon. Also, and I don’t want to tempt fate here, but I think Kieran MacDonald is the only player who has been available for every game this season (and even then he came off against Stranraer injured). Out of a squad of 24...
  8. Excellent signing for Airdrie. They’ve looked solid defensively in our two meetings so far but pretty toothless going forward. You’d imagine if he can get anywhere near his performances for you last time, Ryan will make a huge difference in that area.
  9. Yeah, no chance if that’s the case. I only picked it up from the good old BBC gossip column which said we were interested, it didn’t have any further detail. With regards to the loans I’m sure it’s 4 at one time rather than in total for the season. Unless the rules have changed this season. We had Barjonas, Hendry, Wright, Silva, McGuffie, Gullan and Crane on loan throughout last season but no more than 4 at once.
  10. The Press and Journal has us in for Shane Sutherland from Elgin. Not sure how reliable a source they normally are. Can’t see it happening unless he has some sort of release clause. His record for Peterhead last year was underwhelming but he has scored 22 goals this season for Elgin and I thought he was the best player on the park in the recent Challenge Cup match.
  11. Likewise, I’d imagine we have spoken to him but we’ll be offering less than Falkirk. I think there’s every chance our interest is being used to get the deal he wants at Falkirk.
  12. The Sun (I know) has us in for Louis Longridge. I would imagine Falkirk would offer more than us so he will likely stay there but would be excellent business if we could get him in. He’s been a standout for Falkirk in the games against us.
  13. With the transfer window open and fans rushing to make snap judgements on the signings of their own team and the rest of the league, it got me thinking of the times where you have got things wrong on a new signing. This can be based on your initial reaction to them signing or your judgement after their first few games which turned out to be wrong. My top 5 (in no particular order) is based on signings I thought would be hopeless but turned out great but feel free to list some who went the other way and flopped after high initial expectations. Top 5 Flops Turned Good 1. Kevin Nisbet - The obvious and most recent example for us. Arrived on trial at Starks Park as a bit of joke figure after two terrible loan spells at Dumbarton and Ayr United. He failed to score for Dumbarton and his spell at Ayr was probably best remembered for missing an open goal from one yard out against us at Starks Park. It became clear he was our back up option should we be unable to sign our first choice target, Rory Loy. After Loy turned us down to sign for Dumbarton, we eventually signed Nisbet to little excitement and the vast majority lamenting the fact we had missed out on the superior Loy. However, whilst Loy went on to be a flop at Dumbartion, Nisbet right away proved himself to be an excellent signing. A goalscorer but a better all round player than he was often given credit for. 34 goals in his one season with us and almost dragged a poor Raith side to promotion. Disappointing the way he left but he had earned his moved. The frustration is he is exactly the player we are missing this year and also in 17/18 but he was with us the one season we have had in League One where the supporting cast was too mediocre to assist in a title challenge. 2. Dougie Hill (Hall) - Signed for us before our first season back in the Championship in 2009. He was signed alongside Grant Murray to replace the departing Marvin Andrews. Dougie Hill just released from a disappointing spell at Alloa looked to be cheap and underwhelming squad filler. However, over the next 6 years he established himself as a solid, reliable and no nonsense defender with over 100 appearances for the club. Fondly remembered for throttling Josh Falkingham in a Fife derby but the clear highlight was his Man of the Match performance in the 1-0 Ramsdens Cup Final win over The Rangers. 3. Gregory Tade - Another signing for our first season in the Championship in 2009. Tade joined us after a goalless half season with Clyde. His signing was not met with much excitement and this was not helped by his first few appearances. A pre season friendly against Norwich at Starks saw him missed at least 3 one on ones with each miss appearing worse than the one before. One skied over the bar, one ran straight into the goalkeeper and one falling over before reaching the goal. This continued in our first competitive game against Stirling Albion when for the first time I can remember the majority of fans remained in their seats as he raced through on goal certain he would miss (which he did). However, our next game against East Fife saw him get off the mark and he kicked on from there. Unbelievable pace and power and whilst he could never be described as a technical player that side of his game did improve. Alongside John Baird his performances took us within 3 games of the Premier League in 2010/2011 as well as the famous winner at Pittodrie. A cult hero at Starks and went on to have a great career since leaving. 4. Marvin Andrews (3rd Spell) - Cheating slightly here as most people in Scotland knew how good big Marv could be. However, his third spell for us saw him join in us in March where he hadn't played since leaving us at the end of the previous season. 10 months without playing, bad injury record with dodgy knees and form dropping off towards the end of his second spell meant that no Raith fan predicted quite the level of impact he would have for us. Turned up as a trialist at Bayview and strolled a 1-0 win. Signed after the game but the next week we lost 1-0 at home to Ayr in what was billed as a title decider. However, 8 straight wins with only one goal conceded saw us overtake Ayr and win the title with a game to spare. The highlight for me was the 3-1 home win against Alloa. We were down to 10 men after 30 minutes, 1-1 with half an hour to go. Big Marv who had been outstanding in defence set up 2 goals in the last 20 minutes with a marauding run and byline cross and then a 40 yard through ball. His on the field performances were superb and him getting everyone to 'Believe' mean that I look back on his 3rd and final spell with most fondness. 5. David McGurn - Signed on in 2008. Released by Morton after struggling to nail down a starting place and playing second fiddle to the likes of Paul Mathers. This meant expectations were not huge with his arrival. However, over his 8 years and over 200 appearances he proved himself to the best Rovers goalkeeper in a generation and for a number of years from 2009 he was arguably the best goalkeeper outside of the top flight. So many great performances but the wonder save at East End Park which set up a counter attack which we scored from to secure a 2-0 win and the triple save against Ayr are personal favourites. Honourable mentions to Brian Graham (Pre hernia operation was very poor, goal machine thereafter), Jason Thomson (Terrible right back according to Pars fans but went on to be very good for us for 6 seasons) and Kieran MacDonald (If we can continue his first half of the season form he will make lists like this in the future, scored or assisted 15 goals so far and been excellent defensively). Possible nominations for exciting signings who flopped (with obvious recency bias): Callum Crane, Liam Buchanan, Greig Spence (second spell), Jon Daly, Craig Wighton, Chris Johnston, Declan McManus, Ryan McCord.
  14. Fleming having a stormer. We’re not good enough defensively to get away with missing so many chances. Playing well though, hopefully can get an early third.
  15. Paul Smith interview on the website says a scan this week showed a tear in his hip flexor, out for 5-6 weeks minimum. Sounds like Armstrong is only a couple of weeks away now. Michael Miller shouldn’t be too far away, recovering well. Interesting line from McGlynn on Allan’s illness in the Fife Free Press ‘That’s a private and personal situation and that’s as much as I’m going to say on that.’ Hope it’s nothing too serious and wish him well for his recovery.
  16. I would also keep Baird. I don't think he's got 90 minutes in him anymore but he still has something to offer on and off the pitch. Would agree with this. Particularly regarding his influence off the pitch. We have a pretty young squad and someone with his experience could be invaluable at the business end of the season. The money talked about is huge but surprised you don’t rate him. Dykes absolutely destroyed us for QOS at Starks in the play off. He was their biggest threat, even more so than Dobbie.
  17. Huge win yesterday, there is definitely a spirit and togetherness in this squad which has lacked for years. Great to see 4 of our own youth players contribute too. The next month will be huge. We have to build on yesterday and go on another run. Last year after we won at Arbroath around the same time of year we failed to kick on. We won 1 of our next 6. Our January business also left us much weaker than we had been at the start of the month. Whether injuries or players leaving in January we lost Armstrong, Vaughan, Milne, Wright and Hendry (officially). The replacements were: Wright - Lyness Armstrong - McGuffie Hendry - Barjonas Milne - Dingwall Vaughan - Gullan Lyness, McGuffie and Barjonas were very poor and added nothing. Dingwall replacing Milne is the only upgrade and even then Dingwall ended up injured in March. Gullan was decent but not spectacular. He is a far better player this tine around. Encouraging that McGlynn has two specific targets in mind. Hopefully he gets them both and the injured players start to return. We really need to be coming out of this January stronger than we are now. I’d imagine one of the two signings will be a striker which is essential. I’m not sure centre midfield is a priority area to strengthen for the second signing but if it turns out to be Callachan as rumoured there will be no complaints from me. A loan extension for Gullan is also important. Big couple of games coming up now, at home to Peterhead and away to Forfar. On paper we should be looking to win both. But as pointed out by someone previously, whilst we have lost 1 out of 10 against the top 5 in the league it is the lower half teams we have struggled against. Losing to Stranraer and Peterhead and dropping points against both Forfar and Clyde. Great day yesterday and this team is easily the most likeable we have had in years. Hopefully we can kick on from yesterday and take advantage of the position we are now in. I think in 4-5 weeks time we will have a pretty good idea if we are capable of going the distance.
  18. Best team in a generation patter is based on the fact this is probably East Fife’s best team in a generation... Also, what do you count as a few? For most that would be 3 or 4. The last 4 games we have 2 wins, 1 draw and 1 East Fife win. Even the draw we probably edged with half a team.
  19. Credit to John McGlynn for today btw. Every time we have played East Fife the last couple of seasons they have pressed us high and caused us problems. We have tried to build from the back and been caught out and not been able to play our usual football. Today he had the physical presence of G. Anderson up top which allowed us to go more direct when necessary and beat the press and it worked a treat.
  20. It’s almost impressive that even when you think it can’t get any worse, each East Fife vs Raith Rovers thread somehow manages to be more horrific than the one before it.
  21. Agree with what has already been said. Dumbarton were worthy winners, they were the better team first half and got the goals they deserved. Second half they were very organised and professional and saw the game out comfortably. The back 4 looked like the patchwork effort it was. I thought Dave McKay was excellent at Falkirk but I thought yesterday showed his weaknesses. He barely won a header and was bullied physically at times by the striker backing in. We’ve looked weak at set pieces the last two weeks but I’m happy to write that off to only having one centre back on the pitch. Hopefully that will improve once Anderson and Bene return. Going forward was a real concern. We huffed and puffed second half without ever feeling a goal was coming. 4 goals in our last 6 tells its own story. We were obviously missing our natural full backs yesterday and it showed but that shouldn’t completely hamstring us the way it has. We have a lot of good players in the front 4 positions but none of them are in good form just now. McGlynn needs to find the right balance there and quickly. I’d imagine a centre forward will be near the top of the shopping list in January with Baird’s contract unlikely to be renewed. Finally, a small thing but a big frustration yesterday was the amount of times second half we got the ball wide to Watson and he had to turn back inside on his right foot, killing the momentum dead. Not his fault as he isn’t left footed and was doing his best covering there. However, I would have liked to see McGlynn swap Watson and MacDonald for the last 20 minutes. Would have given us a threat down the left and Dumbarton were happy to sit on their lead with little intent to attack at that stage so the risk of being caught out at the back was minimal.
  22. These injuries are insane. Who would have thought we could end up weaker defensively than the makeshift line up we finished with against Falkirk last week. My guess of the back 4 is Watson at left back, McKay and MacDonald at centre back with G. Anderson at right back. Only one player in their correct position and that is our 4th choice centre back. Wild.
  23. This feels like another huge game. We’ve faired much better than I thought we would against Airdrie and Falkirk but we need to follow that up with a win on Saturday. With the rest of the top 4 playing away from home there is potential for dropped points and we really must take advantage of that. Missing opportunities like that killed us last season. I said pre season I didn’t expect Dumbarton to finish bottom despite that being the expectation of many. However, they have still performed miles better than my expectations. They seem to perform better away from home so expecting a really tough test. Is Layne likely to be fit for Saturday? Thought that would be a big loss but his replacement scored 2 on Saturday and Crossan has always looked a threat against us. Really have to hope Steven Anderson is fit, if he is we look okay defensively. Watson was poor going forward on Saturday but did a solid job defensively so fair play to him for that. I thought McKay was excellent too. I hope to see some changes in the attacking areas, we just don’t seem to have the right mix going forward just now with 4 goals in our last 5. Although McGlynn is, quite rightly, unlikely to make wholesale changes to a team getting results. I like Bowie but I don’t think he’s particularly well suited to being a lone striker. I prefer him on the wing or as part of a two right now. Grant Anderson gives us good width too so I would keep him in the team. I rarely come away from a game thinking Gullan has been a standout but you can’t argue with his goal scoring record. He really wasn’t happy at being subbed at the weekend though. I’d bring Baird back in place of Dingwall. With Bowie and Anderson on the wings and Gullan behind Baird. Going for a nervy 2-1 to set us up nicely for another huge weekend on the 28th. After 6 red cards in our last 2 games a quiet game on that front would be nice. Let’s face it, it makes thing exciting but we really can’t afford any more suspensions.
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