Benedictus: Local bragging rights belong to Raith

05/11/16. Ladbrokes Scottish Championship, Dunfermline v Raith Rovers, East End Park, Dunfermline.  Dunfermline's Nicky Clark and Raith's Kyle Benedictus.  Picture Ian Rutherford
05/11/16. Ladbrokes Scottish Championship, Dunfermline v Raith Rovers, East End Park, Dunfermline. Dunfermline's Nicky Clark and Raith's Kyle Benedictus. Picture Ian Rutherford

Kyle Benedictus believes Raith Rovers hold bragging rights in Fife after Saturday’s derby stalemate at East End Park.

Rovers consolidated third place in the Championship, and maintained their 12 point lead over their local rivals, who slumped to second bottom of the division following the goalless draw.

Benedictus, who was a rock at the heart of the Raith defence, insists the ‘big team, wee team’ debate is currently swinging in Rovers favour.

“We’re unbeaten against them this year, which is a massive boost for the club and fans,” he said. “We’re proving that we’re not the small team, as much as Dunfermline might think we are.

“I keep hearing them saying Raith are the wee team, and all this nonsense, but I’m sure our fans will be happy with how many points ahead of them we are.

“Any time you speak to the fans, they tell you this is the game you need to do well in, and we had great backing from them on Saturday - they never stopped singing.

“I’m sure they know we’re giving everything we’ve got.”

Rovers needed a spectacular second half goal line clearance from defender Iain Davidson to avoid defeat as he flung himself towards his own goal to somehow head the ball past the post from under his own crossbar. Benedictus admitted it was one of the best pieces of defending he’d ever seen.

“I’ve never seen a clearance like it,” he said. “When I saw it from my side, I was thinking ‘oh no, goal’ but that’s what we’ve been doing as a whole back four and Cat.

“Throughout the team, we’re battling for everything and we just need to keep it going.

“We’ve got a break now to refresh the legs and get a couple of boys back from injury.

“It’s been four difficult games and if you said we’d have taken eight points you’d have taken it. We’re now going into a run of fixtures we should be looking to win.”

Benedictus has been part of a defence that has kept three clean sheets in the last four games despite a tough run of fixtures.

“If we can keep clean sheets that’s half the battle done – but that’s our jobs,” Benedictus said.

“I’m not going to sit here and praise ourselves because if we’re not keeping clean sheets we’re doing something wrong.

“If one person makes a mistake, the other one is covering - that’s the sign of a good defence - and Cat in goals has made some unbelievable saves.

“It always gives confidence to the back four knowing you’ve got someone like Cat behind you.”