Spence recall results in derby goal

1212023 SSFF raith pars 'Greg Spence wheels away to celebrate after scoring the opening goal - Raith Rovers against Dunfermline FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
1212023 SSFF raith pars 'Greg Spence wheels away to celebrate after scoring the opening goal - Raith Rovers against Dunfermline FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
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RECALLED Raith Rovers striker Greig Spence was disappointed that his first derby goal did not prove to be the match winner.

However, the 20-year-old was glad that it at least prevented Dunfermline from earning a clean sweep of victories over the Rovers this season.

Spence’s 39th minute opener was cancelled out by Andy Geggan’s equaliser 12 minutes after the break as the Fife derby rivals shared the points.

The draw put an end to Dunfermline’s four-game winning streak against Rovers - something Spence had been keen to address.

“We were due our fans a good performance and result in a derby because we’ve lost the last few,” he said.

“After going ahead we’re disappointing not to win the game. We controlled the first half and it was going well for us.

“But we expected them to pile on the pressure in the second half - they’ve nothing to lose right now - and the gaffer said to us at half-time that we’d have to withstand pressure and not cave in.

“We did well enough considering and had chances to go on and win the game, but maybe a draw with the fair result in the end.”

The Raith performance was a marked improvement on the awful showing against Livingston in a 2-0 defeat at Stark’s Park seven days previous.

“We proved that when the attitude is right, we give 100 per cent and work together as a team, that’s the sort of performance we can give,” Spence added.

“We’ve got to take that attitude into the last nine games of the season and try to kick on.”

The build-up to Saturday’s derby was dominated by Dunfermline’s financial problems but Spence was adamant that the Raith players kept their focus.

“As players we mainly focus on what’s happening on the pitch,” he said.

“We don’t let other stuff get to us.

“We knew that their players would have their attitude right because they would want to do well in a big derby.

“We just had to treat it like any other game.”

Saturday’s match was Spence’s first start for the team since the 2-0 home defeat to Hamilton Accies on January 19.

He was substituted for Pat Clarke with 11 minutes remaining - a decision that drew jeers from the home fans.

“I’ve not been in the team recently so to come back in and score a goal - I’m happy with that,” he said.

“I’ve not been playing a lot of games recently so when it comes to 75 minutes on a heavy pitch it’s understandable that I’ll get taken off.

“I never want to get taken off, even if I’ve got a broken leg wouldn’t want to come off the pitch, but you just have to get on with it.”

MATTHEW ELDER

Twitter: @mattelder_ffp