Livingston boss David Martindale backs Raith Rovers to be 'fantastic addition' to Scottish Premiership
John McGlynn’s visitors opened the scoring through a Lewis Vaughan free-kick on 13 minutes and had the better of the chances in the first-half. Livingston dominated after the break and tied things up through Jack Fitzwater but they needed the additional 30 minutes to see themselves through as substitute Matej Poplatnik tapped home the winner.
While delighted to see his own side advance, Martindale couldn’t help but be impressed with the play of the pre-match underdogs who passed the ball exceptionally well at times in the opening period and fell out the game, in part, through fatigue having played eight games in 26 days.
"Raith have been playing a lot of football recently. I was in their shoes in January. It's difficult and I thought you could see that in the players. From 65-70 minutes onwards they were struggling to get out and get their own press,” said Martindale.
"Once we equalised I was very confident we'd go on and win the game, to be honest, because we were moving them about and dominating the ball.
“I thought we were good value for it today and deserved the win, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Raith Rovers in the Premiership next year. I think they'd be a fantastic addition.
"The average age of their squad if you take away Kyle Benedictus, Iain Davidson and Jamie MacDonald, they've got a right good young squad. It's a testament to the job John and his staff have done.”
McGlynn refused to use tiredness as an excuse but did bemoan losing Kieran MacDonald to injury in the warm-up before seeing Jamie Gullan forced off before half-time. The Rovers boss also lamented the opportunities passed up by his side while they were on top.
“We should have been getting more attempts at goal [in the first half] and probably rue that now, they were better than half chances and we could have been going in at half-time with a two goal cushion.”
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