If Raith Rovers go down in Dundee, they will go down swinging. That is Reghan Tumilty’s promise.
Rovers face a monumental task this weekend after succumbing to a 3-0 defeat against the Dee in Wednesday’s Premiership playoff semi-final first leg.
Although those of a Raith persuasion will reflect ruefully on Tumilty’s erroneously disallowed leveller on the cusp of half-time, there can be little debate that the Kirkcaldy club were beaten by the better, fresher side on the night.
Dundee are understandably expected to finish the job at home at a canter on Saturday, paving the way for a mouth-watering showdown with whichever team finishes 11th in the Premiership; most likely Tommy Wright’s Kilmarnock.
And, while Tumilty is cognisant of the challenge ahead, he has no intention of throwing in the towel — and reckons Rovers could sow seeds of doubt if they can grab the first goal.
“They’re a lot fresher than us and they’ve got confidence now after their performance,” acknowledged the former Ross County full-back. “But we’ll not go out with a whimper.
“We’ll go and see what we can do up there and try to get a result. They’re the team who should be nervous. We’re going up there with nothing to lose.
“However, we will need to put up more of a fight, get tighter to them and just be horrible to beat.
“It’s going to take a really big performance and, hopefully, down the hill at Dens we’ll score a few!”
And for Tumilty’s sake, hopefully they count.
He cut a frustrated figure when — with the score balanced at 1-0 to Dundee — assistant referee Alan Mulvanny ruled out his fine close-range finish from a Lewis Vaughan delivery.
“It was more than a yard [onside]. More like two or three,” Tumilty said. “I wouldn’t like to be a lino, but it was clearly onside.
“At half-time, I knew it was onside. In the game, I knew it was onside. But when I saw it at the end of the game on the BBC cameras, I was, well, really really annoyed.
“That’s when we were playing our best in the game. We were probably playing the better football at that time and, at 1-1, they probably get a wee bit nervous. There was so much riding on that for them. It could have made the difference.”
Instead, it was Charlie Adam who made the difference, teeing up both of Jordan McGhee’s goals before Osman Sow added gloss to the score-line in the dying embers.
“Charlie Adam has put the ball right in the perfect position — like he has all this season — and he’s probably been the difference for Dundee,” added Tumilty. “His passes are quality.
“But that’s not news. If you give him time on the ball he’s obviously going to pick them out, so we need to get a lot tighter in the next game.”