Swifts welcomed a talented young Raith side to Perth for a late kick off with both sides looking to fill the last Quarter Final spot. After a great start by the visitors it was the SWPL side that eased through with a spirited response.
In incredibly difficult conditions caused by a strong wind it was Raith who started best and were immediately on the attack and it was them that took a deserved lead when McLachlan met Carter’s corner on the run and on the volley to smack a tremendous strike past the helpless Cochran.
It was great start for Raith who were buoyed by the goal and were playing well with Carter prominent in midfield. Swift however responded well and McIntyre collected on the bye line and fed Scobbie who lifted the ball over the keeper. Coach McCrindle will have been pleased that the equaliser arrived quick enough to ensure that nerves didn’t come into Swifts game.
The game was then even with most of the pressing coming from Swifts who had the lion’s share of possession but with Raith led well by Aitken proving up to the task. They were unable however to stay on level terms and on the half-hour mark it was Scobbie again, this time collecting on the edge and striking a sweet shot over the keeper and into the roof of the net. It was just rewards for Scobbie, returning from absence the previous week, and was the Swifts top player in the first half.
Five minutes later and tiring Raith fell further behind when Aitken’s wayward pass back ended up in the net and then just two minutes later McIntyre sent a great strike from the edge of the box into the top corner. Swifts were now in total control and had the visitors on the ropes and they welcomed the HT whistle.
HT Jeanfield Swifts 4 Raith Rovers 1
The visitors with the wind behind them started in better form and Swifts were not getting it their own way, although play was mainly towards the Raith keeper. It took until the 65th minute to increase their lead when McIntyre was strong and knocked down for Fox who showed great composure in sweeping the ball home first time.
McIntyre then went agonisingly close with quick feet and then a strike across goal. Cochran was then alert when she parried a great Carter shot onto the bar, and then McDonald twice broke clear in the wide area and sent in teasing crosses which were not converted with Todd only inches away.
Fraser had been introduced and was linking up well with her new teammates, Shaw then missed by inches from 25 yards and then Foote went on a brilliant solo run with her angled shot looking a goal all the way until expertly diverted past by the keeper. Foote was showing up well in her first appearance at McDiarmid and her performance will have pleased Coach MCrindle.
It was left to McDonald to complete the scoring. Todd squared and the midfielder capped a great performance by drilling home a great shot into the corner.
FT Jeanfield Swits 6 Raith Rovers 1
Both sides deserve immense credit for the way they played in terrible conditions. Raith’s young team started brightly and contributed a lot to the game and will not be embarrassed to lose to a Swifts team that is playing three leagues above them. Swift showed commendable composure to come back from a poor start to control the majority of the play and will have been pleased to see game time given to Fraser and Foote.
Coach McCrindle was understandably delighted “Firstly I think everyone at Raith Rovers deserve huge credit for making today a really good cup tie in terrible conditions. John has assembled a very good young side there and I made the girls aware that they are a good side and the way they started proved that. I was happy with the response of the girls and scored soon after and it settled us down. We tried to get the ball down and play but conditions didn’t help. We scored some good goals with some good build up play and I think our experience helped us manage the game in the second half. It’s an unbelievable achievement for us to reach the last 8 of the Scottish Cup and our incredible season continues”.
Reported by Steve Grossi
Picture: Jeanfield Swifts