Raith midfielder Matthews has a licence to shoot

Ross Matthews -  credit- Fife Photo Agency
Ross Matthews - credit- Fife Photo Agency

He may be best known for his defensive attributes, but Raith Rovers midfielder Ross Matthews is hoping to add goals to his game after being given a licence to attack in recent matches.

Matthews has already broken his duck for the season after finding the net with a spectacular long range strike in the 6-1 win over Buckie Thistle last midweek.

He also notched a similar goal against Dunfermline in a pre-season friendly win and the 21-year-old, who has just three career goals to his name, is eyeing up more.

“Goals have been quite rare for me so all the boys were laughing when I scored against Buckie,” he said.

“I’m quite enjoying the position I’ve been given, it’s allowing me a bit more freedom to get forward.

“We’ve got three in the middle but with Scott Robertson in there it allows me and Ross Callachan to get forward and I’ve enjoyed cutting inside and getting a few strikes in.

“Now that I know I’ve got it in my locker to score from distance I don’t see why I can’t try to get a few more goals like that this season.

“To be fair, though, it’s all about the team, and if we get enough goals to get promoted, I don’t care who gets them.”

With strikers Lewis Vaughan, Liam Buchanan and Greig Spence sharing eight goals between them already - Matthews admits the midfield may not be under pressure to chip in.

“We know we’ve got goals in our team,” he said. “We’ll need that this season because, especially in this league, we’re going to have to break teams down to beat them.”

Matthews was speaking after the 2-0 win over Cowdenbeath on Saturday and although Raith failed to progress in the Betfred Cup, the team has taken confidence from the performances.

“We knew since the Dundee game that it was likely we weren’t going to qualify so we just needed to make sure we put in good performances to get a good run going into the league,” Matthews said.

“We’re definitely ready to go. We’ve had a good pre-season, and if you include the League Cup games we’ve had a lot of games so everyone is up to full fitness.

“I know I’m probably feeling the fittest I’ve ever felt. We’re confident going into the league that we can go on a good run.

“We’re not expecting it to be easy, but we know if we play to our full potential that we’ll win the league.

“We’re confident but we’ll have to work for it. We can’t take anything for granted.”

Matthews was delighted to see travel buddy Dave McKay make his competitive debut on Saturday and has no fears about the teenage centre-half being pitched in against Alloa this Saturday.

“I was confident Dave would play well,” Matthews said. “He’s a brilliant player, strong in the air and good on the ball. I think he can win a place in the team and go on to have a really good season.

“He’s a good mate and I travel in with him so I know what he’s all about. I think he’ll go on to do good things.”