By David Buick
The first Fife derby of the season and the first since January 2019 proved to be a very entertaining one as Dunfermline battled back from two down to draw 2-2 with Raith Rovers.
The home side took the lead in the first half through Manny Duku. Raith’s striker was unmarked in the area at a set piece, his header saved by Owain Fon Williams but it came back to the big forward, who slammed the ball home.
Dunfermline did not get going in the first half at all, with Rovers much the better side. Things were about to get worse for the Pars after the break, this time Frankie Musonda scoring from another poorly defended set-piece.
Two goals down and facing the end of their unbeaten start to the season, the then-league leaders rallied as Stevie Crawford rung the changes. Fraser Murray, Aaron Comrie and Kevin O’Hara were all introduced as the Pars chased the game.
The subs worked a treat as Murray pulled a goal back with a fine low effort that found the bottom corner of Jamie MacDonald’s net.
Dunfermline continued to press forward and were able to find an equaliser almost immediately after Murray’s goal, Declan McManus this time the scorer as he directed a fine volley past the helpless Rovers ‘keeper to level things up.
The ending to the game saw both sides have chances to win it in an enthralling finale, a fine advert for Championship football. Here are three things we learned.
Impressive Rovers pay the price
Raith Rovers have had a fine return to life as a Championship club, heading into the derby sitting in third place, having played some lovely football and scored plenty of goals on their way to some impressive early victories.
Yet again Rovers impressed, playing some nice stuff, creating chances, and looking dominant for the most part of the game. However, perhaps the biggest difference between League One and the Championship is that if you switch off, you will be punished.
Two goals in a two-minute spell flipped the game on its head and saw Rovers being forced to settle for a point instead of the three that they may feel they deserved.
Spirited Pars preserve unbeaten start
This will certainly not be remembered as one of their better performances come the end of the season, however, given the circumstances, it may be seen as a point gained rather than two dropped for the Pars.
A sluggish first half performance compiled with a very poor goal to concede gave Crawford some thinking to do at half-time. Another poor goal in the second half may have let many Pars supporters fearing the worst. However, credit to Crawford and his players, they made some changes and dug deep to salvage a point.
Fife derby a super advert for Scottish Championship
Arguably the pick of the games in Scotland this weekend, the clash between the two Fife sides didn’t disappoint. An enthralling game that saw some great football played, some good goals and some lovely football as well as the bite that you would expect from a local derby.
Many who watch the Championship regularly will be well aware of the quality of the league and how entertaining it can be. It’s clear that there were a number of players on show in this game that you will see at a higher level in the coming years.