Liam Buchanan taking positives from Raith Rovers’ late escapes

Raith Rovers striker Liam Buchanan.
Raith Rovers striker Liam Buchanan.

Liam Buchanan insists Raith Rovers’ recent habit of scoring late goals can only be a good thing heading into the promotion play-offs.

The veteran striker stepped off the bench to rescue a point for the Kirkcaldy side in the third-minute of injury-time at Ochilview on Saturday.

It followed a 2-1 win at Bayview the previous week where both Rovers goals came in the dying minutes, while Rovers also salvaged a recent draw at Dumbarton in added time.

Having also come from 2-0 behind to earn a point at Stranraer, Buchanan insists the team’s fightbacks on the road bode well ahead of the post-season showdowns.

“We’re going right to the end,” he said. “There have been games this season where we’ve not quite done that, but over the last few weeks the spirit among us has been great.

“We’re disappointed not to win, but we’ve scored a late goal to get a draw, which tells me we’re not giving up and we keep going. It can only be good for team spirit overall.”

Buchanan (below) insisted Raith merited their point despite Stenhousemuir claiming the late leveller was harsh on them.

“I think it was deserved,” he said. “Overall without causing too many problems we were always in the game. A defeat would have been a wee bit unfair.

“All credit to them, they showed character, but we’re disappointed because, no disrespect to Stenhousemuir, this is a place we should be winning.”

Buchanan’s last gasp strike postponed Arbroath’s inevitable title party by another week, but the 34-year-old insists Raith can follow the Lichties into the Championship next season.

“Credit to them, they’ve had a fantastic season,” he said.

“But it’s one we’ll look back on with regret that we didn’t manage to hit any sort of form to really challenge.

“We’re disappointed with how some of our games have gone, but we have to stay positive because it could still be a really good season.

“The aim at the start was to get promoted and we wanted to do that by winning the league, but we can still do that through the play-offs.

“We’re still in a good position in second and we’ve just got to work hard and stay focused on getting promoted regardless of how we do it.

“Once you get into the Championship next season nobody is going to remember how you got there. It’s getting there that’s the hard bit.”

Given their struggles on the road this season Raith’s biggest hurdle in play-offs will coming out of the away legs unscathed.

“It’s been the same as last season when our away form wasn’t great either,” Buchanan said. “It’s something we need to try and sort and we’ve got two away games left to work on things.

“One man who will be working hard and looking at ways to do it is the gaffer. He’s very thorough in his assessment of games coming up, so if one man is going to sort it, it’s him.”