'I have scored a lot of goals since finding out' - Raith Rovers star Sam Stanton reveals secret behind his prolific goalscoring form

Raith Rovers star Sam Stanton reckons his excitement at the prospect of becoming a dad in around six months’ time could be boosting his goal-scoring form.
Sam Stanton in action for Raith Rovers at Inverness on Saturday (Pic by Simon Wootton/SNS Group)Sam Stanton in action for Raith Rovers at Inverness on Saturday (Pic by Simon Wootton/SNS Group)
Sam Stanton in action for Raith Rovers at Inverness on Saturday (Pic by Simon Wootton/SNS Group)

The midfielder netted his fourth of the 2022-23 campaign in last Saturday’s 1-1 Championship draw at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, but doesn’t simply put his fine form in front of goal down to gaffer Ian Murray playing him in a more advanced role.

"I’ve been playing a bit higher which puts you a lot closer to the goal,” Stanton told the Fife Free Press. “And I found out recently I was going to be a father which means a tremendous amount to me, it’s very exciting indeed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I have two step sons but this is my first one. As soon as I found that out I seemed to have scored a lot of goals, so I would maybe put it down to that as well.

Sam Stanton in action for Raith Rovers against Ayr United at Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy in September (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)Sam Stanton in action for Raith Rovers against Ayr United at Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy in September (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)
Sam Stanton in action for Raith Rovers against Ayr United at Stark's Park in Kirkcaldy in September (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group)

"My girlfriend Mhairi is 13 weeks pregnant. It’s maybe brought me a bit of luck. I have taken the chances when they’ve come to me which has been nice.”

With much doom and gloom surrounding Scottish club sides’ poor results in European competition this season – Motherwell, Hearts, Rangers and Celtic have all been on the end of heavy defeats – Stanton can at least be proud of his overall record in European competition.

For the former Hibernian star was part of the Dundalk team which saw off Welsh outfit Newtown and Estonian champions Levadia in the first two qualifying rounds of the 2021-2022 Europa Conference League before running Dutch cracks Vitesse close but being narrowly defeated 4-3 on aggregate.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On that continental experience with the Irish side – with whom he played for a year before joining Raith on a two-and-a-half-year contract in January 2022 – Stanton said: "I played in all six of those European games and it was a really good experience.

"It was a good wee run we went on. We deserved to win the first two ties and we ran Vitesse close so were disappointed to lose that.

"That was obviously the most difficult game because they were a really good team who ended up putting Tottenham out last year.

"We made it very difficult for Vitesse which was probably more than we expected when we went into it. We were probably just hoping not to get beaten badly so it was nice to put a display on.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I would say Irish football is on the up and the standard is decent but I think they have definitely got an advantage because those ties Dundalk played were when they were halfway through a season. The season in Ireland runs from February to the end of November.

"You are fully fit and obviously the rest of the teams aren’t quite up to speed yet so it gives you a big advantage. That definitely helped us.”

On leaving Ireland to hitch up in Kirkcaldy, Edinburgh-born Stanton added: “It was definitely an easy decision coming back to Scotland.

"I was obviously looking to come home and John McGlynn (ex-Raith boss) definitely sold it to me.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Rovers, seventh in the league table with 16 points from 12 games, return to Championship action this Saturday when they host Partick Thistle, who were on the receiving end of a heavy 4-0 home loss to Queen’s Park last weekend. The Maryhill men were then defeated 4-2 at Ayr United on Tuesday night.

Stanton said: “The league’s very tight, it’s very difficult.

"Anyone can win on the day when all the teams play against each other, you can see that by the league table.

"You can be five points off the bottom and five points off the top at the same time and be in the middle of the table.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"There’s not many other leagues that are that close and that tight.

"Especially last year when we saw it was very similar.

"It’s always tough and if you don’t bring your best game those scorelines – like Queen’s Park’s 4-0 success over Partick – can happen to anyone in the league.”