Smith's praise for Ross after Raith Rovers win

Assistant manager Paul Smith and the Raith Rovers coaching staff had been trying to encourage on-loan Ethan Ross to find the target after his arrival from Aberdeen.
Paul SmithPaul Smith
Paul Smith

So the Stark’s Park staff were as thrilled as the player himself when he grabbed his first goals for the club on Boxing Day - a brace, including a magnificent solo effort, which put the icing on the post-Christmas cake at Alloa.

Rovers won 5-2 in very tricky weather conditions but Smith said the squad would stay grounded as they hoisted themselves up to third place in the league, with a game in hand.

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“We are just delighted for Ethan,” he said. “We have asked him to add goals to his game, so getting that will hopefully give him a lot more confidence as well.

"We have been getting on at him a wee bit since he came here for not getting goals,” explained Smith. “So it's great to see him getting a couple at the end of the game.”

“We had Jamie Gullan last year, playing in a similar position, who scored a lot of goals, and we have been encouraging Ethan to get into that position and take shots off.

"He certainly turned it on in the last five or 10 minutes. We were under a lot of pressure at 3-2 and to get the fourth made it always seem a bit more comfortable. Then he scored a fantastic solo goal right at the end.”

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Smith added he was equally delighted to see the hard-working Lars Lokotsch getting among the goals as well.

“We got ourselves into a great 2-0 lead at half time but we knew Alloa would come into the game and put us under pressure in the second half, which they did,” said Smith.

“They got it back to 2-1; we went up the other end and made it 3-1, then it goes back to 3-2 and we are under a wee bit of pressure. But I felt we finished the game really strongly. We showed great fitness at the end.”

Smith continued: “We knew we were coming to play a team in form and I always say, if you can take a point away from home, it's a good result in the Championship. To come and take three points – we are absolutely delighted.

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“We are the new team in the Championship and, as we've said right from the start, we won't get too carried away when we win games and we won't knock ourselves too much when we lose games. We are just happy to sit along there and do as well as we can.”