Raith Rovers: Winger Dylan Easton reckons 'feelgood factor' at Stark's Park can help propel Raith to successful season
Easton, a standout who has scored three times in eight league appearances for Rovers this term, played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as Lewis Vaughan’s opener – later equalised by Dundee United’s Louis Moult – saw the sides draw 1-1 in a top of the table clash in front of 6808 fans at a packed Stark’s Park.
"It was an incredible atmosphere on Saturday,” former Airdrieonians ace Easton, 29, told the Fife Free Press. “To be fair the crowd have been brilliant ever since I came into the club, home and away.
"I think last season as well when we had sticky stages in terms of squad depth and results weren’t going our way, but the fans were always right behind us.
"There is a real feelgood factor about the club at the moment, everyone is on a high. It makes a big difference and it’s a credit to the owners and the board who have obviously put a few extra quid into the infrastructure and they’ve brought in the players we probably needed.
"Hopefully at the end of the season we can reap the rewards of all the hard work we’ve put in so far.
“It’s obviously going to be tough to finish above Dundee United this season.
"We knew how good a side they were.
"Off the back of Saturday it’s probably a well earned draw I think.
"I thought we were better first half and they were probably better in the second half.
"But I think they’ll be thinking that we’ll be a difficult team to play against this season. I think it’s going to be close but it’s the old cliche, we’ve just got to take it one game at a time and concentrate on pushing as far away from fifth place as we can.
"We need to try and maintain that play-off position first and then when it comes to the nitty gritty we can look towards the top end of the table hopefully come the end of the season.”
Second-placed Raith, a point adrift of the Tangerines at the top of the second tier table after eight games, get a break from league duties this Saturday as they host League One Montrose in a fourth round SPFL Trust Trophy tie which kicks off at 3pm.
Raith lost the final of this competition 1-0 to Hamilton Accies at Falkirk Stadium last season, despite Accies playing most of the second half with 10 men following Dan O'Reilly’s sending off.
Although Ian Murray’s side bombarded the Accies goal in search of an equaliser, they just couldn’t find a way past inspired keeper Ryan Fulton and a first half strike by Reghan Tumilty won it for the Lanarkshire side.
Easton, who played in that match for Raith, recounted: “It was quite mental how we got to that final in the first place, with only 12 fit players (for the 4-3 semi-final penalty shootout win at Dundee after a 2-2 draw).
"It just goes to show that sometimes you need that little bit of luck in football.
"Losing the final was a sore one. It’s definitely up there with the biggest disappointments of my career.
"I obviously lost the one with Airdrie as well when we lost to Queen’s Park (3-2 on aggregate in the 2021-22 Scottish Championship play-off final) with the last kick of the ball in extra time.
"It’s a short career and you’re not going to have many opportunities to win titles and cups.
"Hamilton were down to 10 men for such a long period of time and we just couldn’t break them down and their keeper’s probably had one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.
"Hopefully we can rectify that this season and go on and win it.
“We want to win any competition that we enter. We’re not going to take anyone lightly, we know how difficult a game it will be against Montrose.
"They’ve shown over the years how difficult they can be. I played against them a lot at Airdrie and Stewart Petrie’s got them really well organised.”