Locke disappointed with Raith showing against Ayr

Raith manager Gary Locke was unhappy with his team's performance against Ayr on Tuesday.
Raith manager Gary Locke was unhappy with his team's performance against Ayr on Tuesday.

Raith Rovers were three minutes from victory on Tuesday night - but boss Gary Locke admitted that his team would not have deserved it.

Rovers had to settle for a point after Gary Harkins late free-kick rescued a point for Ayr United on a night where both sides were reduced to 10 men.

“We didn’t deserve to win the game,” Locke said.

“We started quite brightly 11 versus 11, but once we went down to 10 men Ayr had most of the ball.

“When we had the ball we didn’t use it anywhere near well enough and that was the disappointing thing.”

Despite a poor performance, Raith again defended strongly and it took a moment of set piece brilliance to deny them a fourth straight clean sheet.

“That’s one positive from the game - we’re defending really well at the moment,” Locke said.

“It’s a bit of brilliance from Gary Harkins to get them the equaliser but overall I didn’t think we deserved to win the game.

“However, it’s six games unbeaten, so we tend to look at the positives and hopefully we can keep the run going.”

Locke accepted that centre-back Kyle Benedictus deserved his red card for lunging into a late challenge after picking up a booking for dissent.

“It’s a stupid booking and it’s disappointing because we’re very strict on that,” he said.

“I felt he was right to moan at the referee because it was a foul on the goalkeeper but you’ve got to channel it in the right manner especially when you’re the captain.

“To then make the tackle he did is crazy, but he knows he’s done wrong. In the main he’s been great for us but he’s made a mistake and he knows that.”

Locke handed Irish winger Joel Coustrain his first start for the club and the youngster rewarded him with the opening goal.

“The lad’s done well,” Locke said. “A lot of people don’t see but he has struggled with the demands of coming in and playing first team football. His body has not been used to it.

“But he’s now at a stage where he’s fitter and stronger. He came off the bench on Saturday and did really well so he started on Tuesday night.

“He tired and that was reason we took him off - he’d ran his race - but he’s got a big future ahead of him if he keeps doing the right things and we’re delighted to see him get a goal.”