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Rangers prospect makes Ibrox return as Dunfermline boss John Hughes confirms Lewis Martin deal following Raith Rovers stalemate

Hughes, left, shares a joke with Greg Shields
Hughes, left, shares a joke with Greg Shields

Dunfermline boss John Hughes has confirmed that Kai Kennedy has been recalled by Rangers.

Kennedy saw his loan spell at East End Park blighted by injury, illness and Covid-related absences, restricting him to 14 outings for the Pars.

He was unavailable for Sunday’s Fife derby showdown against Raith Rovers and Hughes revealed that the Scotland under-21 internationalist will return to Ibrox.

“I don’t think we’ll see Kai again,” said Hughes. “Rangers have done a recall. He’ll be going back there.

We missed him against Raith. It would have been nice to have him.

“I’m not saying he would have started but he might just have got a shot, and could have given us a nice going away present.”

Gifted: Kennedy in full flow

The Pars have, however, handed Lewis Martin a contract until the end of the season.

The luckless defender was a shock inclusion among the Dunfermline substitutes on Sunday, having not played a competitive match since March 2020.

Martin’s previous deal expired earlier this season but he has regained his fitness and impressed in several bounce matches, leading to Hughes handing him an ‘incentive-based’ contract.

“Lewis is still a wee bit short in terms of needing a few games,” continued Hughes. “But he has done very well and got himself in not bad shape.

“We have given him a deal until the end of the season. It’s all incentive-based. It’s up to him: show me what you’ve got.

“Lewis can play right-back, left-back, centre-back and central midfield. That lets me spin plates.”

Missed chances

Hughes confirmed that skipper Graham Dorrans and Kennedy both missed out at Stark’s Park due to being ‘pinged’ as close contacts to positive Covid cases.

Nevertheless, the Pars gaffer felt his side merited a victory against their fierce Fife foes.

Dunfermline threaten through Rhys Breen, No.12

Matty Todd arguably had the best chance of the encounter, skewing a Paul Allan delivery wide of the post from six yards.

Lewis McCann was also denied by Rovers stopper Jamie MacDonald after going clear on goal.

“I felt we had the better chances in the game,” added Hughes.

“We were very disappointed not to go in at half-time with a lead. I could feel that disappointment in the dressing room.

“We ran out of steam in the last 20 minutes, but looking at the whole game: Toddy [Matty Todd] might have had a couple of goals, Lewis McCann could have had a goal.”

Raith Rovers 0-0 Dunfermline: Fife derby rivals rue missed chances in Stark’s Park stalemate

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