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Dario Zanatta relishes ‘best feeling’ as Raith Rovers winger reveals ‘lazy’ motivation for Aberdeen heroics

Zanatta in dreamland
Zanatta in dreamland

“That’s probably the best feeling I’ve had in football in a long time,” smiled Dario Zanatta following Raith Rovers’ 2-1 victory against Aberdeen.

And it is was among his best performances, too.

The former Hearts winger was irrepressible against the Dons, tormenting stand-in right-back Jack Gurr at every opportunity, whipping in crosses and having liberal digs on goal.

Forget those lamentable stints at Ayr United and Partick Thistle. This is the player who lit up the Championship with Alloa in 2018/19, notching 10 goals and eight assists in 39 games in the process.

When confident, there are few wingers at this level with Zanatta’s blend of pace and power — and boy, is he confident.

“I feel comfortable here,” said the 24-year-old. “Everyone knows Raith play really good football and it’s brilliant to be part of that – and it’s great to know that the manager sees me as key player for him.

“I feel like I can build on performances like Sunday and kick on.

“We knew the Aberdeen game was a big day and we capitalised on the occasion.”

‘Lazy’

Zanatta was a constant threat against the Dons but the zenith of his afternoon came when he took advantage of some Gurr hesitance in the box to lash home the rebound from a Blaise Riley-Snow drive.

Ironically, it came mere minutes after he watched Joe Lewis parry an Aidan Connolly shot — and was left rueing his decision not to gamble.

He continued: “Aidan Connolly had a shot about ten minutes earlier and I was a bit lazy in not getting in there for the rebound!

Zanatta celebrates

“So when the second one came in, I got in the box and the defender hesitated a little bit. I stayed on my feet and put it away.

“To score in front of the supporters — right in front of the home end — was special.”

Derby Day

The victory over Aberdeen, which earned a quarter-final against Celtic in Glasgow, gives Rovers ample positivity ahead of their Fife derby against toiling Dunfermline on Friday night.

“We take some momentum into Friday night now,” said the Vancouver-born wide-man. “We knew we had these two big games on the telly, which is what everyone looks forward to.

“Of course, the fans will want us to pile it on Dunfermline! But we know they’re a good side. They’ve had a slower start in the league — same as us — but we know they’ve got quality.”

John McGlynn reaction as Raith Rovers stun Aberdeen: We’re in the quarters for the first time since 1994 – now we just need to win it again!

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