Spencer rel­ish­ing cru­cial Fife derby

Evening Times - - FOOTBALL: SPFL - IAIN COLLIN

BRAD Spencer ad­mits Raith Rovers are thrilled to still be top of the table af­ter their se­lec­tion cri­sis – but he ad­mits there will no ex­cuses for this after­noon’s Fife derby clash.

The Stark’s Park out­fit had to field a makeshift de­fence in last week­end’s 2-0 de­feat to Dum­bar­ton – just their sec­ond in 17 out­ings – af­ter be­ing robbed of the ser­vices of Kyle Bene­dic­tus and Iain David­son through sus­pen­sion and Steven An­der­son and Michael Miller be­cause of in­jury.

They sur­vived the loss to stay at the sum­mit of League One on goal dif­fer­ence ahead of today’s trip to Bayview to face lo­cal ri­vals East Fife, who are just one goal worse off.

Rovers have failed to beat their Methil neigh­bours in two at­tempts this sea­son and suc­cumbed to a 4-2 re­verse on their last trip along the coast in Au­gust. But Spencer is hope­ful John McG­lynn’s side, with Bene­dic­tus and An­der­son set to re­turn, can come out on top this after­noon – in more ways than one.

The for­mer Kil­marnock and For­far mid­fielder said: “We know this is a big game. We’re joint top with them just now and it’s a derby.

“It means a lot to the fans, so hope­fully we can go and get a bet­ter re­sult than the last time we played them away from home. We know it wasn’t good enough last week against Dum­bar­ton and we want to go and put it right.

“It’s hard play­ing with a makeshift back four but, still, we weren’t good enough, but it will be good to get a cou­ple of ex­pe­ri­enced boys back in the team for this game.

“If we can get a stronger team on the pitch it’s a bonus but, no mat­ter what, we all know what we need to do to win the game, and we’ve got a squad of play­ers who can go out and get the re­sult we are looking for.

“We’re sit­ting top. Even if it’s by goal dif­fer­ence, we’re still top of the league and it’s good to be sit­ting up there, es­pe­cially with the luck we’ve had with in­juries.”

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