Raith boss takes heat off derby ref

4712037 SSFF raith dunfermline 'Dougie Hill in the half-time fracas - Raith Rovers against Dunfermline FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
4712037 SSFF raith dunfermline 'Dougie Hill in the half-time fracas - Raith Rovers against Dunfermline FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

RAITH Rovers manager Grant Murray has admitted his players were in the wrong in the Fife derby - not under-fire referee Crawford Allan.

Murray gave an introspective account of Saturday’s controversial defeat to Dunfermline, insisting the referee was blameless for his side’s 3-1 defeat, despite showing red cards to Rovers pair Allan Walker and Dougie Hill.

Murray instead questioned the discipline of his own players, and urged them to think twice about their actions in future games.

“It’s a derby, but he has to referee it as a football match,” Murray said.

“He has refereed the game exactly the way it should have been refereed.

“He’s had to make two sendings off and it’s us that’s suffered.

“We’ve got to accept that, and the players have to accept it. We will deal with the players internally, and move on.”

Raith played the entire second half with nine men after Walker was shown a red card for a wild tackle on Dunfermline’s Ryan Wallace near the end of the first half, while Hill picked up a second booking during a melee as the players left the pitch at half-time.

It took Rovers tally of red cards to three in the space of a fortnight.

“You’re always disappointed when you players get sent off,” Murray said.

“I never seen the fracas at the top of the tunnel because I was in the changing room quite sharp.

“But the referee is always going to book players in that situation, it’s his job and he’s under scrutiny to do that.

“If you are on a booking you have to manage yourself properly.

“It’s important we concentrate on the football side of things and limit bookings and red cards to a minimum.

“You want to be competitive - I was compettive myself when I played - but it’s got to be channelled in the right direction.

“You’ve got to be focused on the game, and realise where you are and what you’re doing when you’re on a booking or bordering on getting a red card.

“Yes, you get caught up in the heat of the moment, especially in a derby, but as a player you’ve got to manage that.”

Rovers will look to bounce back from their derby disappointment on Saturday when they travel to North Lanarkshire for a third meeting with Airdrie this month.

“The players are hurt from Saturday,” Murray said. “There are a few battered and bruised bodies - heads as well.

“We can’t dwell on it too much, it’s just a case of bouncing back with a win, and we’re well capable of doing it.

“We know Airdrie inside out now, and we know how difficult it is going to be from our experience in the cup.”

Red card pair Walker and Hill will each miss two games.

Walker’s automatic two-game ban will see him miss the next two games - away to Airdrie and at home to Deveronvale.

Hill has breached the disciplinary points threshold and will initially miss the Airdrie match, before a second one-game ban kicks in for the upcoming league match against Morton.