County manager Derek Adams was unhappy with the penalty decision from Steven McLean even though the draw means Ross County extend their lead at the top of the First Division to 15 points and are now 28 games unbeaten, although Raith Rovers had two goals disallowed before they were given the late penalty.
With Dundee having won midweek Ross County couldn’t secure the league title today but they could take a step closer to clinching a first promotion to the SPL.
Ross County had started the better of the two sides and had their first chance on two minutes when Richard Brittain shot low but wide of the goal, having taken the ball down well from a Morrow set up. Ross County had another great opportunity on 12 minutes but again they failed to capitalise on a good position as Paul Lawson saw his shot sail over the bar and over the Raith Rover fans situated behind their goalkeeper.
Grant Murray suffered a bloody nose on 20 minutes after a head clash with a County player and had to have his shirt changed leaving his Raith teammates down a player for several minutes.
Ross County had the best opportunity of the half on 31 minutes when a volley from Rocco Quinn was saved by an athletic dive from David McGurn who did well to turn the ball past the post and out for a corner.
Raith Rovers best chance of the half fell to Allan Walker, who was through on goal after a nice one-two with Damian Casalinuovo, however he sent his shot well wide when it would have being easier to test Fraser in goal.
The visitors started the better of the two teams in the second half. Douglas Hill headed wide from five yards out on 50 minutes to the dismay of his teammates. From the resulting goal kick Fraser hoofed the ball up the park where County got a corner after a deflection of a Rovers player. The corner saw a number of penalty claims for Ross County, none more so than an apparent pull on Stuart Kettlewell, however the referee ignored County’s protests.
On 53 minutes it was Michael Fraser’s turn to pull off a great athletic save as he did well to push a Casalinuovo header wide of the post. Raith had the first of their two disallowed goals in the match on 73 minutes, as Patrick Clarke was judged to have played the ball with his hands before slotting the ball into the back of the net.
The second disallowed goal for Raith came a few minutes later when Hamil was adjudged to have been offside from an over the top ball before finishing. Both decisions were contested by the Raith Rovers fans behind the goals.
After those two chances for Raith, Ross County started to take control of the match and were doing their best to shoot on every possible occasion. They got the opener finally on 86 minutes, Paul Lawson from just outside the box hit a curling shot round several players and into the bottom right hand corner of the net past David McGurn.
That goal looked like settling the match, however Raith Rovers were awarded a penalty in the fifth minute of injury time when Stuart Kettlewell was judged by Steven McLean to have kicked a Raith player instead of the ball. Patrick Clarke took the resulting penalty and placed the ball down the middle, as Fraser dived right, to square the game.
After the game Derek Adams gave his thoughts on the penalty decision: “It’s not a penalty kick, Kettlewell played the ball and kicked it up the park and it’s not a penalty. I’m not happy with that, it’s not a penalty kick; it’s in the last minute off the game just like the Morton game, the fifth minute of injury time same as the Morton game. I’ve watched it, seen the ball being played. It is not a penalty.”
Raith Rovers manager John McGlynn also gave his thoughts on getting the late goal: “Over the piece I think so, we obviously came under pressure in the second half which you expect coming away from home, from the team top of the table, 27 games unbeaten. We expected to come under pressure, you got to expect that pressure. Unfortunately we cracked on one occasion. Great credit to our players we came out and got an equaliser. I thought we matched County well in the first half.”
Ross County: Michael Fraser, Gary Miller, Scott Morrison, Scott Boyd, Grant Munro, Paul Lawson,
Michael Gardyne (Steven Craig) Stuart Kettlewell, Sam Morrow (Iain Vigurs), Richard Brittain, Rocco Quinn (Mark Corcoran).
Subs not used: Joe Malin, Jonathan Flynn
Raith Rovers: David McGurn, Jason Thomson, William Dyer, Laurence Ellis, Douglas Hill (Iain
Williamson) Grant Murray, Allan Walker, Iain Davidson, Damian Casalinuovo (Jamie Walker) Patrick Clarke, Joseph Hamill.
Subs not used: Ross Laidlaw, Jonathan Stewart, Scott McBride
Referee: Steven McLean