Battle-scarred Raith defender up for the fight

KIRKCALDY;'Starks Park ; Raith Rovers v Dumbarton ; Laurie Ellis'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'Starks Park ; Raith Rovers v Dumbarton ; Laurie Ellis'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
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RAITH Rovers defender Laurie Ellis showed he is up for the fight after adding another scar to his collection in the dramatic 3-2 win over Dumbarton on Saturday.

Ellis left the field on the half hour mark to get stitches in a gaping head wound following an accidental clash of heads with Sons striker Jim Lister.

After almost 10 minutes of treatment, the player-coach emerged from the tunnel to find that his team had just opened the scoring without him.

Ellis, who missed the end of last season with a badly broken jaw, revealed he was desperate to continue playing.

“With something like that you always try to get patched up,” he said.

“If you’re inside and the doc decides he’s not able to do it, then that’s different, but you always want to give it a try.

“As soon as he said it needed stitches it was a case of getting in and getting it done.

“It only needed five stitches then I was back out.

“There was never a chance in my mind that I was coming off.”

Ellis hailed the victory as a “great three points” against an on-form Dumbarton side.

“It was always going to be difficult game,” he said.

“You have to give respect to Dumbarton for the way they’ve turned things around.

“We put on a decent workmanlike performance, and managed to play a little bit here and there.

“To get the three goals and three points is a huge thing for us and something we can use as a platform for forthcoming weeks.”

Rovers twice lost the lead before eventually securing the win in the 90th minute thanks to Brian Graham’s 21st goal of the season.

“We’re at home, and draws don’t do much for us at the moment, so we had to go for it,” Ellis explained.

“We’ve got great confidence in the boys and we believe in ourselves as a team, but getting wins just helps lift the whole atmosphere.

“There were lots of positives to take from the game – and a few things that we need to keep on our toes regarding.

“The downside is we’re not happy with the two goals we’ve conceded.

“Scoring goals is one thing but you’ve got to make sure you stay tight as a whole team.”

In his first season working on the coaching staff alongside manager Grant Murray, Ellis admits the season thus far has been one of highs and lows.

“We’ve gained a lot of experience in the job already,” he said.

“We had the highs of getting off to a great start and having a really confident, flowing team that was going out on the park with their chests out, to then going on a dip that got quite low and results weren’t coming.

“Week after week we either weren’t getting the rewards we deserved, or we weren’t performing well.

“We’ve experienced both sides of it, now we want to stabilise things and look forward again.”

Saturday’s win has bought Raith some breathing space from the teams at the bottom of the table, but Ellis insists the team is only looking upwards.

“We’re not pessimistic,” he said. “We want to see what we can do in a positive manner before the end of the season.

“We’re looking above us, and we’re confident if the boys work hard and keep tighter as team, we can get points.”


Twitter: @mattelder_ffp