Top-four spot a perfect gift for Raith's Jamma

Raith Rovers gave goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald the perfect birthday present by qualifying for the Premiership play-offs on Saturday.

By Paul McCabe
Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 9:00 am
Updated Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 9:49 am
Jamie MacDonald (Pic: Peter Paul)
Jamie MacDonald (Pic: Peter Paul)

The Stark’s Park No 1 turned 35 as Raith beat Alloa 2-1, though the veteran stopper didn’t have the easiest of days as he was required to pull off a couple of crucial saves as Peter Grant’s side pushed hard for an equaliser in the game’s latter stages.

“I was saying before the game it would be good to get the win and enjoy the day,” he said. “We made hard work of it in the end, but we showed good character after going 1-0 down in the first half.

“The last 20 minutes maybe didn't go quite as planned. Alloa were really pushing, but we managed to hold out and get a very important victory.

“It's good to get a win on my birthday, though I think I aged another year during that last 20 minutes.

“I'm 35, but hopefully I've still got a few more years in me.

MacDonald said he had sympathy for his Alloa counterpart, Neil Parry, after he was red-carded by referee Greg Aitken for bringing down Raith striker Gozie Ugwu, inset, a decision ‘Jamma’ slammed as “ridiculous”.

“As a goalkeeper, there's nothing much you can do,” he said. “I even asked the ref and he said Gozie has gone past Parry and he's intentionally trippe d him up.

“He hasn’t. He's spread to stop the shot. It's a good bit of skill from Gozie to take himself round and he's taken him down.

“There was an incident in the second half from Alloa where there was a similar one-on-one.

“Innes Cameron decided to shoot, and I’ve spread myself, but if he’d decided to go around me, I’m doing the same thing.

“It was never a penalty. There's a bit of sympathy, but at the same time it's a decision that's worked in our favour.”

That slice of good fortune saw Rovers into the play-offs and MacDonald says the team’s next target is to secure the runners-up position.

“I think at the beginning of the season, coming up from League One as the new boys in the league, you’re just looking to try and consolidate, but now we'll be looking to try and finish second, which would be massive,” he said.