The last time Raith Rovers beat us at Stark's Park, it was jumpers for goalposts, three corners a penalty, Donview and Mantis had cranial hair and Groovejet by Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis Bextor topped the charts. Well, are we still waiting? Yes we are and here's why.
Jamie Gullan saw an early header come off the crossbar as the hosts bossed the early pace of the game. Lewis Vaughan opened the scoring on the half hour after a period of home pressure when the ball fell to him outside the box after a succession of corners and he shot low beyond Ridgers. Inverness would need to up their game if they wanted to preserve that record. Jay Henderson levelled the game shortly after the break scoring from a tight angle. Unfortunately for Inverness Aidan Connolly restored their advantage with an hour gone. Scott Allardice returned to action after months out and after a couple of near things for Raith, Billy Mckay popped up to level the game once more seven minutes from the end with a header from a Sean Welsh free kick. That's how it ended and the wait goes on for Raith Rovers fans.
With George Oakley off to Morton, Dodds had more space to fill on the bench and back into the frame came long term injured Scott Allardice and Cammy Harper. New signing Ben Woods was missing and still no sign of Austin Samuels. Raith had loan signings midfielder Scott MacGill from Hearts and forward William Akio from Ross County in their squad.
Raith got the game underway and were first to show but Mark Ridgers gathered Lewis Vaughan's effort comfortably in the fourth minute. Jamie Gullan headed off the crossbar a couple of minutes later, possibly tipped onto the bar by Ridgers and the follow up by Dylan Easton was blocked as the hosts made a bright start. Daniel Mackay brought Jamie MacDonald into action as Inverness came out of their defensive shell with fifteen minutes on the clock and Billy Mckay was also denied by the keeper moments later as he tried to clip the ball past MacDonald after being fed through the left channel by Aaron Doran, the keeper shutting him down quickly. Gullan took a knock in a clash with Ridgers and Nolan had some treatment soon after. Raith forced a series of corners and the opener came through Lewis Vaughan who shot home from distance outside the box bounced into the bottom corner, probably wrong footing Ridgers.
Not a great half of football with meagre picking for both sides.
Half Time: 1-0
It only took Inverness four minutes to do something about it after the interval when Jay Henderson levelled the game scoring from a tight angle beyond the six yard box after a brilliant cut back from Billy Mckay, Henderson rifling the ball across the keeper to round off a tremendous move. However Aidan Connolly put Raith back in front on the hour with a curling shot into the corner of the goal with Ridgers stranded, the ball hitting the side net as it beat the keeper low down. Scott Allardice made a welcome return to action replacing Lewis Hyde soon after with Nathan Shaw replacing Dan Mackay as we looked to rescue something from the game. Billy Mckay showed his defensive qualities clearing the ball off the line to prevent a third for Raith and substitute William Akio was denied by Ridgers as the hosts looked to kill off the game. Mckay preserved the record with a headed goal from Sean Welsh's free kick, timing his run to perfection to flick the ball behind MacDonald. Raith's Brown shot just over in injury time to ensure it ended all square at 2-2.
Full Time: 2-2
MotM Billy Mckay not only scored his 92nd goal for Inverness and fifth since the turn of the year but also made a valuable contribution at the back clearing off the line. Jay Henderson scored his second goal in four games since coming in on loan from St Mirren and it was tremendous to have Scott Allardice back on the pitch after a lengthy lay-off through injury.
A decent point given Raith's recent resurgence and another game on our road to recovery as well.
SATURDAY 28TH JANUARY 2023
Dundee 3-0 Queen's Park
Morton 1-2 Arbroath
Partick 0-1 Accies
Raith Rovers 2-2 Inverness CT