Lewis Vaughan hopes to have staked a claim for a regular position up front after moving forward from midfield to score the winner against Airdrie on Saturday.
The 22-year-old started the season on fire playing as a left winger, scoring 18 goals in the opening 18 games, before an extended run in centre midfield saw the goals dry up.
Vaughan hit the net just once in 11 games playing in a deeper position, but after being moved up front in the second half on Saturday, he wasted no time in getting back on the goal trail by grabbing the winner, and his 20th of the season, 13 minutes from time.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Vaughan told the Press.
“I’ve played centre mid for a good while now, and I’ve actually enjoyed it, but I’m a striker and I like to score goals, as I showed at the start of the season.
“I’m best when playing football and getting on the ball, but centre mid isn’t always about getting on the ball, it’s about making tackles and winning the ball back for your team.
“If the gaffer wants me to play there I’m more than happy to do a job for the team, but I’m a striker, and I was delighted to get back up front and back among the goals, although more important was getting the win and going eight points clear in the table.”
Vaughan’s strike rate when played either up front or on the wing is hugely impressive, and he showed on Saturday that he has lost none of his prowess in front of goal with several chances, including hitting the post, in his half hour spell through the middle.
“I could’ve had a couple more if I was a bit more clinical, but I’m sure it will come again,” he said
“It’s just natural that if you start further back the pitch you don’t get as many chances.
“Some games I’ve not even had a shot at goal, which is frustrating because I always wan’t to score goals, and you do get rusty if you don’t play up front.
“Hopefully I’ll never lose the touch of getting in the box and scoring goals because it’s the best part of my game.
“Saturday’s was probably the easiest goal I’ve scored out of the 20 so I’ll take it.
“It gets me back on the scoresheet and hopefully there’s still more to come before the end of the season.”
With Raith’s squad now returning to near enough full strength after an injury-hit winter, there is certainly more opportunity for Vaughan to return to his more natural position.
“When everyone’s fit we’ve got such a great squad, and there’s loads of options,” he said.
“Spencey’s scored lots of goals this season as well and he’s found himself on the bench, but it’s a squad game and I’m sure we’ll need him before the end of the season and he’ll get his chance again.
“Squad roatation will be key. It’s coming to the end of the season, boys will be getting tired and there will be niggles here and there, and the whole squad will definitely be needed.”
While Vaughan has his own personal goal-scoring ambitions, his number one aim is to win the league and get Raith back to the Championship at the first attempt.
“It’s in our own hands now and hopefully we can win every game but that will be easier said than done,” he said.
“Ayr are still a great side, and we’ve still got to play them down there so there’s definitely twists and turns to come, but we’ve got ourselves in a good position.
“They have a game in hand but you’d rather have points on the board than playing catch-up.
“There’s 11 cup finals left and hopefully we can get enough points to finish in the right place.”