Raith captain Benedictus out with hamstring strain

Kyle Benedictus during last Saturday's match (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)
Kyle Benedictus during last Saturday's match (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Kyle Benedictus is set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering an injury at the weekend.

The Raith Rovers captain pulled a hamstring towards the end of the first half during Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Falkirk at Stark’s Park.

He now faces at least three weeks on the treatment table whilst out of John McGlynn’s starting XI, beginning this weekend with the visit of Irish side Glenavon in the Challenge Cup this Saturday.

The Kirkcaldy side’s boss told the Press that losing the defender was a blow but feels he has the squad capable of performing in his absence.

“It’s a grade one hamstring strain,” he said.

“It’s three weeks without Kyle but we’ll be OK. Obviously we don’t want to get any more injuries, we already have our fair share.

“You’re very fortunate if you don’t get injuries – and we’ve had no fortune with regards to that.

“We know that we’ll never have our full strength squad available to us with Lewis Vaughan being out for the season, but we dust ourselves down and get on with it.

“We’ll miss Kyle but we have a strong squad. We’ll have to change formation with him out, but the good thing is we have the players to be able to do that.

“We can change from formation to formation without a great deal of upheaval as we saw at the weekend, which is good.”

The injury saw McGlynn shuffle his side and it’s formation at half time whilst trailing 2-0, and he said it was a testament to his players that they responded.

“We ended up coming back from a two-goal deficit to get a draw, and potentially could have won it, so we’re the happier at the end of the day.

“Overall there was no damage done.

“There are a lot of positives to take, particularly from the second half. Tactically there were changes that had to be made but it meant that we had a much better second half.

“They adapted extremely well and it resulted in us taking a grip on the game and put them on the back foot.

“Falkirk were a bit nervous and we were fortunate enough to get the first goal at a time when we needed to.

“It gave us an opportunity to build on it and get a second goal, so that we still had time to try and go on and win it.”

McGlynn also praised the impact made by second half sub Daniel Armstrong on his return to Raith.

His 45 minute cameo grabbed him the sponsor’s Man of the Match award and McGlynn said he hoped it was a sign of things to come from the 21-year-old midfielder.

“It gave everyone a bit of a lift,” he said.

“His second half performance was very good, he’s got an assist and a goal so from that point of view it was a good substitution.

“That’s what he was doing for us before he left. I wasn’t necessarily expecting him to do that so quickly, but hopefully it’s a sign of things to come.

“I’m sure he’s delighted. He’s not played a lot of football since he left here and coming back and getting 45 minutes in, as well as the Man of the Match award, will hopefully make him feel good about coming back.

“I know the fans enjoyed what he did and are looking forward to what he can bring to the team.”

With the first quarter of League One campaign complete, McGlynn says he’s happy with his side’s overall performance which sees them sitting clear at the top of the table on 19 points, two points ahead of second placed East Fife.

“It’s a very competitive league,” he said, “there’s been points dropped, there’s no-one there with 27 points from a possible 27, which makes it open.

“Even teams that are sitting fourth, fifth and sixth at the moment could go on a wee run and come into that bracket.

“If you look at the table it’s Raith Rovers, East Fife then it’s Falkirk. We can’t think it’s just a two-horse race by any manner of means.

“Falkirk are still the bookies favourites because on paper they’ve got players there who have played at a high level, but we all know the game isn’t played on paper.

“We’ve picked up 19 points, they’ve picked up 16 points and that’s what we need to try and do - pick up 19 points or more in each quarter.

“That is what it’s going to take but we’re not going to look too far ahead.

“But we’re pleased to be where we are and we’re going to try and stay there until 5 o’clock on the second of May.”

Before Rovers get back to league action they will first face NIFL Premiership side Glenavon in the Challenge Cup at Stark’s Park on Saturday.

McGlynn said: “It’s a cup tie that we want to get through.

“It’s no formality but if we can get through this then we’re through to the quarter final stages and that’s when you start to think, can we go on and win this?

“In the grand scheme of things it’s not a priority, but it’s the next game and we want to win it because we want to try and keep momentum.

“Like most squads we probably have more players in one particular area of the team and in others we don’t have so many options.

“So we’ll probably freshen the team up in the areas where we have those options.”

McGlynn says Rovers will be on guard against complacency against Glenavon as he has watched teams in their league and was impressed by what he saw.

“They’re playing in the NIFL Premiership, the top league in Ireland,” he said.

“I watched Linfield two or three years ago prior to Celtic playing them in the Champions League qualifiers and that top league is of a good standard.

“So I don’t think we can disrespect them and need to give them the credit that they’re due.”