Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray happy to pick up point at home to league leaders Dundee United
Moult’s back-post header from a Declan Glass corner cancelled out the Fifers’ 24th-minute opener, a Lewis Vaughan header on the rebound after his first attempt from a pinpoint Josh Mullin cross hit a goalpost.
That 1-1 scoreline denied manager Ian Murray’s hosts an opportunity to trade places with their visitors eight games into the current campaign, the two sides remaining as they were, Jim Goodwin’s Terrors in pole position, with 18 points, and Raith just a whisker behind them in second place, on 17.
Both have a chance to distance themselves from the chasing pack next time out in the league – on Saturday, October 21 – or take advantage if points are dropped by the other, though, as they’re away to fellow top-four opposition, Raith at Arbroath, currently in fourth place on a dozen points, and the top dogs at Partick Thistle, third with 14.
Murray was happy to have held Dundee to a draw in front of a crowd of more than 6,800 at their Stark’s Park home ground in Kirkcaldy, 3,661 of them home fans, regarding that stalemate as a point gained rather than two lost.
“I was really happy with the players,” the 42-year-old told Raith TV afterwards. “I thought they played really well, particularly in the first half.
“When you’re ina winning position at half-time, you always want to try to extend your lead or, if not, defend your goal and come away with a clean sheet and three points, but it’s very difficult playing against such a good team with a good manager and good individual players.
“Overall, I’m really satisfied with the eight league games we’ve played this season. We’ve shown in every single game, including the one we lost, that we’re a decent side. We’re well organised and we have hungry individual players and we can pull together as a team.
“An honest assessment would probably be that a draw was fair for both sides.
“I think both managers will be happy with a point and both sets of players will be disapponted as they always want to win games, but if we’re being realistic, a point was probably fair.
“We always want and strive to be better in everything we do but, going back to being realistic, Dundee United are a big club in Scottish football and heavy favourites to win this league and they know they’ve been in a game, as do we.”
Vaughan, 27, is now Rovers’ joint top goal-scorer with Dylan Easton so far this season, both being on five in all competitions, and Murray was impressed by how he rallied after his initial miss to get the ball past visiting goalkeeper Jack Walton.
“It was a great ball in from Josh Mullin. He was on the money with that cross and Lewis was very unlucky to see his initial header come back off the post,” he said. “To remain calm and composed in those situations is very difficult – you can easily miss those ones in front of goal – but he slotted it away really nicely and it was great for us to go in ahead at half-time.”
Rovers now take a break from league action, hosting Montrose in the fourth round of the SPFL Trust Trophy this coming Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.