First Team

Match Preview: Raith Rovers v Hearts (A)

20th July 2018

All the info you'll need for attending tomorrow's Betfred Cup match against Raith Rovers at Bayview

Hearts continue their Betfred Cup campaign tomorrow when they take on Raith Rovers.

The match, which kicks-off at 3pm, is being staged at East Fife’s Bayview Stadium, due to pitch works taking place at Stark’s Park.

 

Ticket info

Hearts have sold out their allocation for this fixture.

 

Team news

Steven Naismith returns to the squad after missing out in midweek due to suspension.

Craig Levein has confirmed that striker Steven MacLean will play no part in proceedings in order to keep him fresh for Tuesday night’s game against Cowdenbeath at Tynecastle, following his outing at Cove Rangers in midweek.

New goalkeeper Colin Doyle could make his first Hearts squad following his arrival at the club yesterday, pending international clearance.

 

Previously

The last time Hearts faced Raith Rovers was in the 2016/17 Scottish Cup. Meeting in Round 4, Hearts took a first-half lead at Stark’s Park through Jamie Walker. With only a minute remaining, Declan McManus nodded home the equaliser, resulting in a replay at Tynecastle three days later.

Rovers got their noses in front thanks to Bobby Barr’s deflected strike, but were soon pegged back by Rory Currie’s first strike for the club.

No further goals meant extra time and it was Hearts who would take the lead though Malaury Martin’s penalty. Raith rallied and equalised when Ryan Hardie finished an incisive breakaway, only for Hearts to score a second penalty, courtesy of Walker. Bjorn Johnsen put the game to bed with six minutes of extra time remaining.

 

The opposition

Barry Smith’s side suffered play-off heartache at the end of last season. A semi-final loss to Alloa Athletic consigned the Kirkcaldy club to another year in League One.

With the likes of Barr, Jason Thomson, Greig Spence and Scott Robertson departing the club over the summer, reinforcements have been brought in. Goalkeeper Robbie Thomson came in from Falkirk, while Grant Gillespie and Nat Wedderburn were added from Dundee United and Dunfermline respectively. Strikers Kevin Nisbet and Chris Duggan signed from Partick Thistle and Montrose, and former Hearts youth player Natahan Flanagan arrived from St Mirren.

Raith opened their Betfred Cup campaign a week ago, losing 2-0 to local rivals Cowdenbeath at Bayview.