Raith striker Vaughan hoping to fire team to title glory

Lewis Vaughan celebrates his 23rd goal of the season in Stranraer on Saturday. Pic: Eddie Doig
Lewis Vaughan celebrates his 23rd goal of the season in Stranraer on Saturday. Pic: Eddie Doig

During his post-match interview in Stranraer on Saturday, Raith Rovers striker Lewis Vaughan was more than happy to discuss the prospect of the promotion play-offs.

The 3-0 win had just taken Raith a point clear at the top of League One, but the club’s top scorer was hoping rather than expecting to stay there, as Ayr United needed just a point in Alloa on Sunday to reclaim first place going into next weekend’s final league games.

However, nobody at the Kirkcaldy club will be entertaining the thought of play-offs now as Ayr’s surprise defeat has opened the door for a potential title party at Stark’s Park this Saturday.

After looking dead and buried just a few weeks ago, Raith will now clinch the championship if they beat Alloa at home this Saturday, or at least match Ayr’s result against Albion Rovers at Somerset Park.

Just before boarding the team bus as it departed Stair Park, Vaughan told the Press: “All week the gaffer has been saying to us to take care of our own job, get the three points first and foremost, and whatever Ayr do is up to them.

“We’ve put ourselves top of the league, and if we get the chance to stay there, then we have to make sure we do it.

“If we end up in the play-offs then so be it. I believe in the boys and I’m more than confident we can get the job done and get back into the Championship either way.”

Vaughan scored his 23rd of the season against Stranraer, putting the seal on a dominant Raith performance with the team’s third goal of the game, after earlier striking the woodwork with a 25-yard free-kick.

“We came out the traps well and Stranraer couldn’t handle us,” he said.

“Whether they had nothing to play for is their problem, but our lads were different class from the first minute.

“The most important thing was to get the three points, the performance was irrelevant to an extent, but we got both. That gives us confidence going into next week.”

Raith have worked hard to regain the self-belief that had been posted missing in defeats to Ayr and Forfar last month which, at the time, appeared to have cost them the title.

A run of 16 points from 18 since has been enough to take them back above a faltering Ayr side, and back into the driving seat in the quest for automatic promotion.

“It’s a long season and you get a wee dip in form and performances at every club, but we regrouped,” Vaughan said.

“From a personal point of view, I was maybe trying too hard because everything came off for me at the start of the season.

“I’m now back up front with Liam Buchanan and really enjoying it.

“Sometimes a partnership just clicks and we’re working well together.

“His experience definitely helps a lot and I listen and take on board what he’s got to say.

“Hopefully it bodes well for the future.”

Vaughan’s excellent campaign has resulted in him receiving a nomination for the PFA League One Player of the Year award alongside Ayr duo Lawrence Shankland and Michael Moffat, and Albion Rovers striker Alan Trouten.

“It tops off the season getting nominated by your fellow professional players,” he said.

“There’s no better individual recognition than that, and I really appreciate the other players voting for me.”