Raith Rovers: Manager Ian Murray delighted as headed double by Aidan Connolly seals 2-1 league win at Greenock Morton
and live on Freeview channel 276
Connolly’s first goal at Cappielow arrived on 26 minutes when he nodded in Josh Mullin’s cross from the left. And the former Falkirk forward repeated the trick 15 minutes later when he converted Ross Millen’s right flank delivery to beat ex-Raith keeper Jamie MacDonald for a second time.
Although Iain Wilson pulled one back for the hosts following a 48th-minute corner, second-placed Rovers saw it out to move onto 23 points from 10 games, four points behind leaders Dundee United with a game in hand.
"Aidan’s not renowned for his heading ability that’s for sure,” Rovers boss Ian Murray told RaithTV. “But we’re delighted he’s back and we’re delighted that he’s at the levels he needs to play in this team.
"We’ve said for months that we need Aidan back. We really like him, we rate him so highly, outwith his goals he gives us so much work-rate.
"Good ability, there’s not a lot of players in this division with a left foot like Aidan Connolly’s but tonight it’s his head that does the business.
"Morton will be disappointed defensively because it shouldn’t happen, the smallest player being given that much room.
"But Aidan’s still got to go and score the goals. I don’t know if Aidan’s ever scored two in one game with his head, but we’re ecstatic.
"I’m delighted for him, I’m delighted for the supporters that have travelled down here on a freezing cold night and I’m delighted for the club.”
Murray said the win was “very hard fought”, and it was tough playing again just three days after Saturday’s 1-0 derby win over Dunfermline.
He added: "Sometimes it can upset rhythm, momentum and mindset a little bit but we never let that happen today.
"We showed flashes in the first half of how good we are. We’ve played some really good stuff, get ourselves 2-0 ahead. Deservedly so because we always looked dangerous on the counter attack tonight in the first half.
"Second half they scored really early which is frustrating for us, but we’re giving away a lot of height advantage coming down here against a team that are very good at setplays, very good at putting the ball in the box.
"But after that I didn’t feel we were under too much pressure. There were a couple of wee things in the goalmouth, with a scramble and boys throwing themselves in front of the ball, but you expect that from your defenders and your team who are desperate to win the game.
"On the flip side we had four or five opportunities to increase our lead and we should have increased our lead.
"But overall, delighted with the players. They’ve worked incredibly hard since we’ve come through the door in pre-season.
"You do the work, you get all the miles in, the boring stuff like running for nights like this evening.”
Raith continue their league campaign at home to Airdrieonians this Saturday with kick-off at 3pm.
Murray said: “We’ve got a chance to have a fantastic week and collect nine points, keep our home form going and that’s the next challenge.”