Rovers manager Ian Murray joked that anything else Isma Goncalves does between now and the end of his loan spell will be a “bonus”.
The Livingston striker completed a loan move to Stark’s Park on the morning of the game and ame off the bench to seal Raith Rovers’ 3-1 win over Motherwell in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
He came off the bench in the second half at a time when the home side were under pressure.
Stevie Hammell – who left the ground without speaking to the media – made three half-time changes with his side 2-0 down after goals from Jamie Gulland and Sam Stanton.
Kevin van Veen scored soon after and a worrying spell of pressure followed, but the introduction of Goncalves helped get his side up the pitch and was capped off by his goal.
“It’s always a dream, it’s always the fairytale that you sign a player and he comes off the bench and scores,” said Murray, while nursing a cut on his neck he said is a result of the dressing-room celebrations.
“When we looked at Isma at the start of the window he was just out our financial reach.
“But things changed as the window goes on.
“He showed a real hunger to come here as well. He was delighted to be here, we’re delighted to get him.
“He’s repaid his debt already – so everything we get from Isma now is a bonus financially!
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“He’s a really good player, really good experience. He needs games because he’s not played a lot in the last six months at Livingston.”
What is even more impressive about the win is that it comes on the back of reaching the final of the SPFL Trust Trophy in midweek – a victory which took extra-time and penalties.
Rovers had only two outfield players that night and were exactly blessed with options for this one, naming six subs – two of them being youngster Greig Young and Adam Masson.
The Rovers boss and his side managed the second half brilliantly, making subs at the right time to whether the Motherwell storm and get a foothold in the second half.
‘Scared of no one’
“We only had a 10 to 15-minute spell in the second half when we looked a wee bit ropey,” added Murray.
“Even then it’s not like Jamie [MacDonald] has made a lot of saves.
“We’re disappointed to lose the goal so early after half-time because it did change the momentum of the game.
“But if you had offered me 2-0 up at half-time and 3-1 up with minutes to go, I’d have bitten your hand off.
“Delighted to be in the next round of the Scottish Cup, the players deserve it.
“We looked very dangerous, we’ve got some very good players.
“The players believe they are going to win games. We give teams the respect they deserve, and rightly so, but they’re not scared of anybody.”