RAITH Rovers striker Brian Graham has hit out at his former Morton team mates for trying to get him sent off in the first minute of Saturday’s match at Cappielow.
Graham was booked after just 15 seconds of his team’s 1-0 defeat on his return to his old stomping ground after appearing to catch Stephen Stirling on the head with an elbow.
Morton players surrounded referee George Salmond demanding a red card, however, Graham insisted that the collision was purely accidental.
“I’ve not went to deliberately elbow the boy but they were trying to get me sent off,” Scotland’s current leading goalscorer said.
“Maybe my arm is up but I think the reaction of some of their players was a disgrace.
“Fair play to the ref for staying strong and not putting me off the pitch.
“I’m not the type of player to go out to hurt someone. It’s a 50-50 and I’m trying to play the ball. The way their players reacted was shocking.”
A closely contested match was settled in the 66th minute when Stirling struck a 25-yard shot beyond Rovers ‘keeper David McGurn for the only goal of the game.
Raith had enough chances to take at least a point – their best arriving in the 25th minute when David Smith latched onto Graham’s cut back only to shoot wide with just ‘keeper Derek Gaston to beat.
Despite the defeat, Graham believes that Raith can take plenty positives into Tuesday’s Scottish Communities League Cup tie against Celtic at Parkhead.
“There wasn’t much in the game – it’s taken a wonder goal to win it,” he said.
“We maybe didn’t do enough to win, but I don’t think we deserved to lose.
“The boys are really disappointed but we’ve still got to be confident for Celtic Park.
“You never know with Celtic being in the Champions League they might play a few young boys and underestimate us.
“If we can nick a goal and sit in, you never know, it could be one of those nights.”
Raith boss Grant Murray echoed his striker’s sentiments, adding: ”We’re disappointed to lose the game but we can take some positives from it.
“We worked away hard and on another day we might have got ourselves ahead with David’s chance in the first half.
“The guys are disappointed but we’ve got a big game on Tuesday so they have to pick themselves up for that.”