Ray’s Rovers go for a magnificent seven

Ray McKinnon celebrates with a fist pump after last week's win over Dumbarton - Credit - Fife Photo Agency -
Ray McKinnon celebrates with a fist pump after last week's win over Dumbarton - Credit - Fife Photo Agency -

Ray McKinnon’s brilliant start to his Raith Rovers tenure has put him within touching distance of a club record that has stood for over a century.

After the 1-0 victory over Dumbarton on Saturday made it six wins from six at Stark’s Park for McKinnon, the club’s media officer, Ally Gourlay, trawled through the history books and discovered that the last Raith manager to win his first seven home games in all competitions was Peter Hodge in 1907.

Hodge won eight in a row, but one of the matches was a Fife Cup tie, putting McKinnon within one home win of equalling the record for home wins in national competition.

McKinnon could also equal a separate record by defeating Morton on Saturday, held by Bob Bennie since 1933, who was the last Raith manager to win his first five home league games in charge.

Rovers will also be looking to maintain their status as the only senior club left in Britain yet to concede a league goal at home.

“That’s a great stat and something for the players to go out and really work at,” McKinnon said. “To be fair, they’ve been like that since the start of the season so we’ll just be looking for the same commitment on Saturday.

“We’ve freshened up this week and trained well so we’ll hopefully get back to our best on Saturday.”

Standing in Rovers way on Saturday is a Morton side that has made an impressive start since making the leap from League One last season.

Jim Duffy’s side has collected 10 points from its opening eight games with their only two defeats so far coming against Hibs and Rangers.

“I’m not surprised by how well they’ve done,” McKinnon said. “Jim has been backed very well and has recruited well.

“They’ve brought in two loan players from England on money we couldn’t afford and they’ve also got Bobby Barr - a player I know very well who is dangerous and tricky. They are a very strong squad so it will be a tough test.”

Rovers have been boosted this week by the return to training of Craig Barr and Ross Callachan.

“Mango and Callachan are back running and looking to kick a ball soon - which is a bonus for the squad,” McKinnon added. “If we can get the victory on Saturday, go into the international break and get these players fit and ready for the second quarter, then we’ll be looking decent.”

Iain Davidson also returned to light training this week after missing the Dumbarton match with a groin strain. “Davo should be okay for Saturday but at the moment we’re not 100 per cent certain,” McKinnon added. The manager was also working on a possible signing this week but admitted that the deal hinged on “external” factors.