Raith Rovers briefly moved to the top of the Scottish Championship on Friday night and now face a week in which they have two bites at doing so again.
Their incredible 4-3 win over Partick Thistle, the latest in a series of dramatic comebacks, means a win over Arbroath on Wednesday night or at Tannadice on Saturday will take them back above leaders Dundee United.
With almost a full squad to choose from now for the first time this season, the coming week could be a pivotal one for this Raith Rovers side.
Courier Sport looks at the talking points as Raith continue their best start to a season in the modern era.
A ‘back one’
The change in shape for the final 20 minutes or so was described in our match report as a back three.
In truth, and unlike the back three used against Dunfermline, it was one central defender and two full-backs who still pushed forward.
It meant Dan O’Reilly was the sole defender when Raith were searching for an equaliser and then a winner.
It was an eventful night for the defender, who opened his account for his new club before turning the ball into his own net.
Given the latter, he can perhaps be forgiven for not getting anything on the ball in a similar position when Blair Alston fired Thistle in front.
O’Reilly ended the night as the sole centre-back in another adventurous formation, remarkable for someone who has played a handful of matches since last season.
As soon as substitute Callum Smith made it 3-3, Ross Millen jogged over to his bench and took instructions from his manager.
Courier Sport confirmed with Murray that his message was to “keep attacking” and minutes later it led to the winner – with three subs involved in the build-up.
🎯 Super Sam Stanton with his 5th goal of the season to win the match. pic.twitter.com/eE0h2CmL5n
— Raith Rovers Football Club (@RaithRovers) December 9, 2023
It’s no wonder given all the late comebacks so far, including many contributions from the bench.
No fewer than seven of Rovers’ 26 goals have been scored by substitutes and each one of them has led to points.
Kieran Mitchell set the tone in the final minute on the opening day versus Partick Thistle.
Since then, Lewis Vaughan scored a double off the bench to take all three points against Queen’s Park, Jamie Gullan has won two matches from the bench against Inverness and Jack Hamilton headed in the equaliser at Hampden.
Smith’s equaliser on Friday eventually led to another three points and he added an assist for the winner.
A fair few subs have contributed with those too: Liam Dick against Queen’s Park, Dylan Easton against Dunfermline at East End Park, Gullan won the penalty at Hampden and Ethan Ross managed two assists away to Thistle.
Needs more attackers
The latest episode of The Courier’s Talking Football led on the rise of Raith and the question was asked about whether Rovers would add to their squad in January.
It was speculated that defence may be an area they may look at but, going by Ian Murray’s answer on BBC Scotland’s coverage on Friday night, he wants another attacker.
The Rovers manager said that real pace is something they lack in the final third and he wants a “Usain Bolt-type” winger.
And, with it being Ian Murray, you wouldn’t be surprised to see another midfielder brought in as well.