Saturday, 23 January 2010

Stark's Park (Raith Rovers v Greenock Morton)

Today I went to Kirkcaldy to pay my first ever visit to Stark's Park, the home of First Division side Raith Rovers, who were taking on Morton. The journey from Glasgow Queen Street to Kirkcaldy took about an hour and 20 minutes by train, changing at Edinburgh Haymarket. I arrived in the town with some time to spare and I had a couple of pre-match pints in the local JD Wetherspoon's, The Robert Nairn. From there it was a fifteen-minute walk to the ground.

Stark's Park is an unusual ground and not as modern-looking as I thought it would be. The Scottish Ground Guide gives an all-seater capacity of 10,104 (meeting the old SPL requirement of 10,000) however the Railway Stand has fallen into disrepair and apparently has no safety certificate and can therefore no longer be used. Even most of the seats have been removed now as you can see in the pictures. The two stands at both ends of the grounds are very modern and have a capacity of just over 3,000 each. The most interesting stand is the Main Stand which runs for less than half the length of the pitch but extends around the southeast corner of the ground. The total capacity now is about 8,100 (which meets the current SPL requirement of 6,000).

This was my second Morton game in five days after last Tuesday's cup game against Celtic. Today the men from Greenock were the deserved winners. Peter Weatherson (who else?) scored the two Morton goals. Kevin Smith's 79th minute penalty brought back the suspense and ensured an entertaining finale however Raith were not able to salvage a point.

First a couple of pre-match pints in The Robert Nairn in Kirk Wynd.

Approaching Stark's Park.

The facade of the Main Stand.

The North Stand housed the Morton fans. My seat was in the South Stand, which looks almost identical.

The Railway Stand is no longer in use. The stand does not have a safety certificate and most of the seats have been removed.

The Main Stand, which runs less than half the length of the pitch.

The South Stand.

Kevin Smith's penalty gave the Raith fans hope again.

The South Stand after the game.

Saturday 23rd January 2010
Scottish Football League First Division
Raith Rovers 1 Greenock Morton 2
Raith Rovers: Kevin Smith 79 pen.
Morton: Weatherson 33, 52.
Att: 1,702

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