Buchanan: Ayr can't talk about professionalism

Raith Rovers striker Liam Buchanan. Pic: Walter Neilson
Raith Rovers striker Liam Buchanan. Pic: Walter Neilson

Raith striker Liam Buchanan has turned the tables on Ian McCall after the Ayr United boss accused Rovers players of lacking professionalism in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Stark’s Park.

McCall refused to expand on his post-match comments, where he accused Raith players of falling short of the professional standards set by manager Barry Smith, but Buchanan hit back, saying the visiting players were the ones guilty of play-acting.

“I don’t think anybody from Ayr can speak about professionalism when Jamie Adams sits on the floor for five minutes holding his face,” Buchanan said.

“The big man likes to mix it a little bit, but for him to do that and try to get boys booked is beyond me.

“McCall will come out and say that, that’s his game.

“We know we have a lot of professionalism in our club, and there was nobody from Raith Rovers rolling on the ground holding their face when their face wasn’t touched.

“You look after your own, and we certainly did on Saturday.”

Ayr picked up six bookings to Raith’s one, and committed almost double the number of fouls, in a tempestuous match between two sides battling for top spot in League One.

Tempers on both sides also flared during a goal-line melee after Ayr were awarded an indirect free kick inside the Raith six-yard box, but Buchanan insisted it was tit-for-tat.

“It was a battle between the top two in the league and we both gave it a good go,” added the Raith stand-in captain.

“We don’t want to be talking about the professionalism of anybody.

“As players we both know who was on the ground for longer than should have been, and there was one team rolling their sleeves up and getting on with it.”

The game was certainly an engrossing watch for the 3064 inside the stadium and Buchanan praised the Raith support for the big turn-out.

“It was great to see so many people supporting the team,” he said.

“It’s a hard ask getting out this league and we’ll need all support we can get between now and the end of sthe eason, which is going to be a massive push.

“It probably wasn’t great entertaining football but it was certainly a battle.

“Especially second half we showed we’re not just a good football team, we stood up to it and matched them in all aspects, and in the end a draw was probably a fair result.”

The draw keeps Raith one point ahead of Ayr at the top of the standings, but the Kirkcaldy side can strengthen their grip on top spot by winning their two games in hand.

“It’s up to us now,” Buchanan said. “We know it’s in our own hands.

“It’s going to be difficult to win this league so we need to put on performances and work rate like we did on Saturday and win football matches.

“They are all massive games now. There’s 16 games left, and it’s the old cliche, treat every game like a cup final.

“Everybody just needs to stay together and push in the right direction.”