Raith Rovers: Winger Dylan Easton reckons squad has extra resilience required to mount Premiership play-off push this season

Dylan Easton in action for Raith Rovers at Partick Thistle on Saturday (Pic Eddie Doig)Dylan Easton in action for Raith Rovers at Partick Thistle on Saturday (Pic Eddie Doig)
Dylan Easton in action for Raith Rovers at Partick Thistle on Saturday (Pic Eddie Doig)
Raith Rovers ace Dylan Easton believes the Stark’s Park club’s squad has greater resilience this season, as proven by the remarkable comeback from 2-0 down in Saturday’s Championship curtain-raiser to draw 2-2 at Partick Thistle.

Raith’s two-goal deficit remained with just seven minutes remaining at Firhill before winger Easton, 29, netted with a deflected shot and then youngster Kieran Mitchell shot home the equaliser with a last gasp strike to earn Rovers a point from a tricky venue.

"No disrespect to the boys last year but I think it probably was something we were missing then,” Easton said.

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“I think games that we were going 1-0 or 2-0 down in, we kind of felt sorry for ourselves.

"But even going in at half-time 2-0 down at Partick Thistle, everyone believed that we could get back into the game if we got the next goal.

"Obviously our first goal was very important. If it had taken 80 minutes, 85 minutes, we keep going.

"We scored two in the last 10 minutes and I think we were unlucky not to go on and win it as well.

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"We had a couple of half chances at the end. There is a lot of belief that the club is going in the right direction and there is a right good feelgood factor about the place.

"So it gives us lots of confidence going into this week.”

Sixth-placed Raith’s second league game of the 2023-24 campaign this Saturday sees them enjoy home advantage against Dougie Imrie’s Greenock Morton, currently second after starting with a 3-1 home win over Ayr United.

Raith and Morton faced off five times last season, with Raith winning one and drawing one of the two league games at Stark’s Park and also prevailing in a home Challenge Cup fourth round penalty shoot-out, but they lost both games at Cappielow.

“The games we had with Morton last year were always nip and tuck,” Easton said.

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"One of the games that finished a draw, we were 2-0 up. It was always fine margins and the game down there was close as well. We lost to a last minute penalty.

"Morton are a very tough team and it’s going to be like that on Saturday again.

"They’re physical, get about, get in your face and make it difficult for you.

"Dougie’s got them playing some good stuff so we know it’s going to be a tough tie.”

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Easton is off to a flyer this season, having already netted three times in five competitive fixtures, after scoring seven in 44 games last term.

The Edinburgh-born former Livingston, Berwick Rangers, St Johnstone, Elgin City, Clyde, Forfar Athletic, Kelty Hearts and Airdrieonians player added: “We had a meeting with the gaffer (manager Ian Murray) and Pottsy (technical director John Potter).

"And it was something that they spoke to me about, that the amount of chances and areas that I get into on the football pitch, goalscoring was probably something I lacked and needed to add to my game.

"Because the previous seasons I was getting double figures. Maybe it was just stepping up to the Championship, getting the feel for it.

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"Obviously the low numbers that we had in our squad meant I was getting rotated into various positions but I just feel this season that we’ve got a big enough squad and I feel more comfortable playing closer to the front boys and getting the ball in that final third.

"I’m feeling really fit and I’ve got off to a good start so long may it continue.”

Easton reckons Raith are really going places under their recently installed new owners.

He added: “They came with a plan on the infrastructure of the club and the stadium.

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"They have put their hands in their pockets, brought in the players the gaffer has needed and if we can keep everyone fit this season I do believe we’ll be right up there pushing for the play-offs. We'll take one game at a time and see where it takes us.”

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