Albion defeat was a wake-up call, says Raith striker

Greig Spence punches the air after scoring his late consolation goal against Albion Rovers: Pics: Fife Photo Agency
Greig Spence punches the air after scoring his late consolation goal against Albion Rovers: Pics: Fife Photo Agency

Raith Rovers striker Greig Spence believes Saturday’s defeat at Albion Rovers was a wake-up call to the harsh realities of League One football.

Raith’s disjointed display was out of keeping with their excellent season so far and Spence, who came off the bench to score his side’s consolation goal, reckons the Cliftonhill surroundings may have affected the performance.

“I think it’s a shock to a lot of boys who haven’t played at this level,” he said.

“No disrespect to Albion Rovers, but it’s not the nicest place to come. I’ve played here the last few years and I know what to expect, whereas maybe for some it’s a wake-up call.

“We didn’t accept that and in the changing room at the end, the boys were having a go at each other, and rightly so.

“There isn’t a lot wrong with us – we’re not far away – but it’s a reality check and maybe now the boys will know what to expect at places like this.

“We didn’t accept it and in the changing room at the end, the boys were having a go at each other, rightly so. It will show our character over the next few weeks after our first defeat so it’s up to us to go away, work hard and respond.”

Having been replaced by Dario Zanatta in each of the previous two games, who scored on both occasions, Spence lost his place in the starting XI to the on-loan Hearts forward on Saturday.

“The manager pulled me during the week and told me I would be on the bench,” he said. “He explained that I’ve not really done anything wrong, and that I’ve been excellent for him so far.

“For me, it’s disappointing not to be playing and maybe before I would’ve taken the hump, and maybe tried to blame other people, but now I just want to show a really good attitude and make it even harder next time for him to leave me out.

“If I keep scoring goals, he can’t drop me.”

Spence was brought off the bench at half-time to try and get Raith back into the game after Graeme Smith’s goalkeeping error gifted Albion a first half lead. He got his goal, it just came too late to rescue his side.

It took his tally for the season to five– a decent return thus far – but he is playing catch-up with team mates Lewis Vaughan and Liam Buchanan, who are on 15 and seven respectively, in the race to be the club’s top scorer this term.

“I feel I’m doing a lot for the team, and I know the gaffer notices that, so for me it’s not a big issue if I’m not the top scorer,” he said. “Naturally, my strongest position is right up on the shoulder of the back four, and so far this season I’ve been playing a bit deeper, which I don’t mind, but I’ve maybe been doing a bit more donkey work than what I’m used to.

“But I’ve been enjoying my football, so I just have to keep doing what I’m doing and try to chip in with more goals, but again, it’s not about me, Vaughan, or Buchs, it’s about the team winning and trying to win the league.”