Stark’s Park appears to be the foundation stone for a play-off push by Raith Rovers after a 1-0 win over Dumbarton as the Kirkcaldy men clocked up their fourth home Championship success in a row.
Not only did the Sons fail to dent Raith’s perfect home record, they joined Alloa, Livingston and Queen of the South in failing to breach the home defence.
Dumbarton had started lively as Eamon Brophy went close with a flashing drive with Raith’s best effort in the opening 45 minutes falling to Mark Stewart when Kyle Benedictus picked him out with a header.
However, the game’s decisive moment came 11 minutes into the second half and just after Kevin Cawley had headed over an open goal for the visitors.
James Craigen’s flighted free-kick found the head of Benedictus and after his effort had hit the bar, defensive colleague Lewis Toshney was on hand to turn the ball home.
Manager Ray McKinnon said: “It was a very tough game especially as we had played Celtic in midweek, so it was a great effort from the players to win. It was very much a win that was ground out by being resilient as there was a hangover from Wednesday’s game.
“There is a bond growing between the fans here and the players and hopefully that will grow. There is a real determination not to lose goals across the team which is great as this is a very difficult league.”
Dumbarton manager Stephen Aitken was upbeat as he explained: “We played well and the players put in a tremendous effort. We are unlikely to play that well again and not take anything so we can move on quickly and positively.”
Livingston won for the first time in the league this season as they enjoyed a 3-0 success at Alloa resulting in the sides swapping places at the foot of the table.
Former Wasp Liam Buchanan drilled the Lions in front midway through the first half when he accepted a pass from Jordyn Sheerin and fired for goal with David Crawford in the home goal getting a hand to the ball but unable to keep it out.
Sheerin also grabbed Livingston’s second goal just before the hour mark when he turned home a Ross Millen cross, then Buchanan ran onto a pass from another ex-Indodrill Stadium player, Ben Gordon, to complete the win with 12 minutes left.
Manager Mark Burchill said: “I have always said that getting off bottom place is important for confidence and we have done that now. I am not happy with our points total for the season but we have made a step forward after this game.
“I had a feeling that Liam would do something against his former club so that is why I started him after he missed out against Inverness Caledonian Thistle in midweek. It is the first time he has started alongside Jordyn and they looked a good combination.”
Alloa manager Danny Lennon was far from pleased as he said: “This was our poorest performance of the season and I am very disappointed and very angry about it. We allowed Livingston to come here and dominate us for long spells.”