Raith striker hopes to end team’s goal drought

Mark Stewart insists he should have been awarded a penalty following this trip by Dumbarton defender Frazer Wright -   Credit - Fife Photo Agency -
Mark Stewart insists he should have been awarded a penalty following this trip by Dumbarton defender Frazer Wright - Credit - Fife Photo Agency -

Raith Rovers have gone four games without a goal - and Mark Stewart hopes to do something about it.

The 27-year-old striker is certainly capable of finding the net, scoring 16 times since joining the club in the summer of 2014, while he is closing in on 50 career goals.

Raith boss Ray McKinnon is still hoping to sign another front man, but as the only recognised striker in the current squad, Stewart knows he has to produce the goods.

“From a squad point of view, it’s evident we need someone in because I think I’m the only striker,” he said.

“I know I’m capable of delivering it, and I know the boys behind me are capable of delivering it, because we’ve been doing it for most of the season.

“We’ve played well - we’re not in fourth place for nothing - but it’s just not happening right now for the boys.

“It’s not just me, but that’s what we’re on the park for, and we’re not taking our chances.”

Stewart returned from illness to lead the attack against Dumbarton on Saturday but was unable to prevent the team from drawing a blank for the fourth match running.

“Saturday was just like the Alloa game - we’ve dominated and not taken our chances,” Stewart said.

“It’s the same kind of game again. They sat in, we dominated, but we couldn’t finish them off.

“At times we could’ve moved the ball a bit quicker but we dominated the game and it’s disappointing we’ve not got the three points - but that’s our fault for not taking the chances.”

Stewart was the focal point of Raith’s 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday that saw new signing Aidan Connolly, Louis Longridge and James Craigen occupy deeper forward roles.

“My job was to occupy the two centre-halves, let the other boys get on the ball, and get myself in the box,” Stewart said.

“It was frustrating at times, but when the chances come to me and the other boys, we need to finish them, we know that.

“We could’ve been out of sight if we’d taken our chances, so we just need to kick on and redeem ourselves next week.

“We can never be faulted for effort - we’re just lacking that wee bit of quality just now in front of goal. It’s something we need to improve on and rectify for the rest of the season.”

Stewart was adamant that he should have been awarded a 90th minute penalty on Saturday after being tripped in the box by Dumbarton defender Frazer Wright.

“It’s a penalty - 100 per cent,” he said. “I’m through and about to stab it towards goal and he’s tripped me up.It wouldn’t have mattered anyway if we’d taken our chances.

“The good thing is, we never got beat, we’re still fourth on goal difference and we’ve now got a massive game against QOTS on Saturday.”