There was not a single failure in the Raith Rovers ranks as they defeated Kilmarnock 3-1 on Saturday.
It was their fourth game in nine days and John McGlynn’s men were sensational against Tommy Wright’s title favourites.
Courier Sports dissects the talking points from a valiant victory which leaves Rovers just five points off the summit of the Championship.
McGlynn’s striker stance vindicated
Rovers boss McGlynn made no secret of his desire to add to his pool of attackers before last week’s domestic loan deadline.
But only if it was the right player.
A huge win on the road for the Rovers! 🚌
— SPFL (@spfl) October 4, 2021
At that point, Matej Poplatnik was yet to score for the club, Dario Zanatta was operating on the wing and Ethon Varian was doing much of his best work holding the ball up and bringing others into play.
However, Poplatnik illustrated his eye for goal with a superbly taken, instinctive drive to give Rovers a 2-1 lead at Rugby Park before making it a brace in the dying embers.
Varian also created the opening goal for Liam Dick with a sumptuous deep cross.
The fixture list now considerably eases for Raith after a manic cluster of games and, with Poplatnik proving he knows the way to goal, it should assuage fans’ fears over a lack of options.
Rampaging Reghan Tumilty
Surely there is no better right-back in the Championship than John McGlynn’s marathon man.
Tumilty’s pace, power and fitness has never been in doubt, but his display at Rugby Park was staggering.
Utilised in a wing-back role in Rovers’ rejigged 3-5-2, the former Dundee United youngster dominated that flank, delivering a swathe of dangerous crosses into the box and defending manfully.
— ReghanTumilty (@regs_tumilty) October 2, 2021
After more than 90 minutes of tireless graft, Tumilty still had the energy to tee up Poplatnik’s second of the game with an astonishing 70-yard burst and perfect square pass.
In the process, he left former Stark’s Park favourite Dan Armstrong — no slouch — in his dust.
Tumilty has played every minute of Rovers’ run of four matches in nine days and, frankly, looks like he could handle another four; a magnificent mix of conditioning and quality.
Tom Lang shines
The former Rangers and Dunfermline defender has been forced to bide his time in recent weeks, such has been the super form of Christophe Berra and Kyle Benedictus in McGlynn’s usual 4-3-3.
However, a switch to a back-three meant a start for Lang and he illustrated that he can be trusted with a dominant, confident showing.
Having battled back to full fitness following a pre-season operation, he is a valued member of the Rovers squad and underlined his ability during arguably the toughest away day in the Championship.
Along with the return of Frankie Musonda — who can operate across the back-line and in midfield — to the bench, Rovers’ squad is looking very healthy indeed.