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‘Disaster’ averted for Raith Rovers as John McGlynn hopes duo rediscover ‘mojo’

Rovers players rush to celebrate with Poplatnik
Rovers players rush to celebrate with Poplatnik

John McGlynn admits failure to see off Banks O’Dee would have represented a “disaster” for Raith Rovers.

However, the Stark’s Park gaffer was ultimately satisfied with a somewhat laborious — if undoubtedly merited — 3-0 victory at Spain Park.

Raith finally breached Dee’s defence after more than an hour in Aberdeen, with Sam Stanton bundling home from close-range.

It took until injury time for Matej Poplatnik and Aidan Connolly to make the game safe as the hosts tired.

Stanton breaks the deadlock

“We dominated the game but made it that little bit difficult for ourselves because we missed so many chances and didn’t get that first goal until 63 minutes,” said McGlynn.

So that was a little test. But we came through it.

“It wasn’t an outstanding performance, but one that got us through to the next round.

“It would have been a bit of a disaster if we hadn’t [reached the last-16], financially. That could be a tie that generates a lot of money for the football club. It’s massive for us.”

Mojo

McGlynn, meanwhile, was content with the impact made by Dario Zanatta and Connolly against the Aberdeenshire juniors.

Zanatta — Rovers’ star man during the opening months of the campaign — made his first start of 2022 following a slump of form.

And the Canadian constantly sought to take on defenders and drive towards goal during his hour-long outing.

Connolly then climbed from the bench to help break the deadlock when his free-kick deflected into the path of Stanton, before notching the third himself.

“That’s the response I wanted,” added McGlynn, when asked about Zanatta and Connolly. “We’ve got to get their mojo back and get that confidence back up.

“It was a good opportunity for that.

“I would have liked Jamie Gullan to get off the mark with a goal — he had plenty of chances — but that will come.”

Banks O’Dee 0-3 Raith Rovers: Stanton, Poplatnik and Connolly seal Scottish Cup victory against gutsy Dee

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