Raith Rovers produced an impressive away performance against Inverurie Loco Works to secure a spot in the next round of the SFA Youth Cup as the two clashed at Harlaw Park. Two late goals from Raith were enough to ensure that they came out on top against a resilient Locos side.
As the game kicked off, both teams started with intensity despite the adverse weather conditions. Inverurie had the better of the play in the opening minutes as Cameron Moultrie swung a dangerous free kick towards the head of Andrew Watt who saw his effort go narrowly wide of goal.
However, it did not take long for Raith to begin dominating possession in the middle of the park. Jack Smith played a dangerous through ball which would have sent Kieran Dall in on goal if not for a fantastic interception from Locos defender Campbell Marr.
The half continued to be difficult for Inverurie, with Raith not allowing them to pass the ball fluently due to their strong pressing. Another chance fell Rovers way as striker Yaw Osei Opuku-Berchie teed up Dall just inside the box. Dall struck the ball well but it was met by a quick reaction save from Inverurie keeper Jamie Butler who tipped it over the bar.
Raith’s continued pressure eventually paid off as they took the lead half an hour in. A corner from Ryan Stevenson came to the head of Opuku-Berchie. Losing his man, he drilled the ball to the keeper’s left with a powerful header and helped his side to take a deserved lead.
The rest of the first half continued in the same vein – Locos found it difficult to get enough time on the ball to create any clear chances to trouble the Rovers defence. They did, however, manage to keep shape solid in order to limit the damage that Raith could do with their possession.
As the teams went off for half time, Raith had a deserved lead. Inverurie would need to do a lot more going forwards if they were to advance to the next round whilst Raith would be looking to continue as they left off.