Morton 1 – 2 Raith Rovers
Wilson (48) Connolly (26, 41)
By Callum McFadden at Cappielow Park
Ian Murray’s Raith Rovers side kept the pressure on Scottish Championship leaders Dundee United with a crucial away victory at Cappielow over Greenock Morton.
Both sides came into the game on the back of crucial victories at the weekend – Morton winning away at Ayr United while Raith won the Fife derby at home to Dunfermline.
It was a fiery start to the game on a freezing cold night in Greenock as Raith defender Ross Millen clattered Morton’s Robbie Crawford in the opening minutes.
That challenge riled up the home support and certainly added an extra spice to the game.
Rovers gradually grew in confidence and tried to play a possession focused game whereas Morton were not adverse to going direct in the hunt for the opening goal.
Both sides had opportunities to break the deadlock in the opening quarter of an hour with Josh Mullin smashing a free kick off the Morton crossbar. While, Robbie Muirhead had the best chance for Morton with an effort from just outside the box – also a direct free kick – that flew by the right hand post of the Rovers goal.
Ultimately, the high percentage of possession by Raith Rovers paid dividends in the twenty sixth minute when midfielder Aidan Connolly headed home a beautiful cross from Josh Mullin.
Rovers doubled their lead to take even greater control of the game in the forty first minute when Aidan Connolly scored second with a carbon copy of his first goal. The only difference being that this time, the goal was from a Ross Millen cross.
A big half time team talk was needed from Dougie Imrie and whatever he said, certainly had the desired effect as Morton scored immediately after the half time restart.
The ‘Ton won a corner that saw a header from Jack Baird hit the bar before Iain Wilson was there to tap in the rebound at close range in the forty seventh minute.
That goal from Wilson set the tone for much of the half as Morton pushed forward relentlessly for an equaliser.
Their best opportunities fell to Robbie Muirhead who tested the palms of Raith goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski on more than one occasion.
In the end, their attempts were to be in vain and it was the men from Fife who would leave Cappielow with all three points.
WFi Player of the match: Aidan Connolly (Raith Rovers) – Scorer of both goals for Raith Rovers in the first half which were crucial in sealing their victory.
Ian Murray (Raith Rovers manager): “Coming to Cappielow is one of the hardest away games of the season. The pitch is tight and Morton are a physical side so I am delighted with the win, off the back of a good derby win on Saturday.
“Overall, we played good football and knocked the ball about while having opportunities on the counter attack too.”
Dougie Imrie (Morton manager): “I do not believe that we deserved to lose tonight. Our second half performance was strong and we looked like the team who would go on to win the game after our goal.
“Unfortunately, in the end, the game was decided in the first half when we allowed the smallest player on the park to score with two free headers which is poor.
“We now look to the next game which will be our third in six days. Therefore, recovering will be key tomorrow before a light session on Friday before we turn attentions to Dunfermline.”