Raith Rovers 3 -1 St Mirren: McManus at the double

Declan McManus grabbed a double for Raith.

Declan McManus grabbed a double for Raith.

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Declan McManus may not wear the colours of their local rivals any longer, but he still took great pleasure in tormenting St Mirren as he inspired Raith Rovers to a handsome 3-1 win.

The 22-year-old starred for Morton over three separate loan spells but, having decided a change of scene was required this term, he ignited his stint in Fife with a clinical double.

McManus’ burgeoning partnership with Lewis Vaughan is particularly promising and the latter provided the assist after 17 minutes to allow the striker to scamper clear and lift a delightful finish beyond Jamie Langfield.

Vaughan laid another goal on a plate after the break when his ferocious low cross was converted at the back post by Ross Callachan and seconds later, Langfield’s ill-judged dash from his goal allowed McManus to steal in and roll the ball into an empty net.

“For 65 minutes we were different class,” said Raith manager Gary Locke. “Declan [McManus] could have had five goals in the first half. He is getting into great positions and he keeps believing in himself.”

Ryan Hardie did reduce arrears with a sharp close-range finish, but the visitors were left to rue two fruitless penalty claims when Jordan Thompson appeared to foul Stephen Mallan, before a fairly blatant handball by Kyle Benedictus.

“The handball was as clear as you’ll see,” fumed Saints boss Alex Rae, “but the one where Thompson hits Mallan is worse. That’s assault. Those two penalty decisions are simple and the level [of refereeing] is below-par.”

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