Callum Smith is the latest in-form Raith Rovers player to be left on the bench – and the latest to help win the game from it.
Manager Ian Murray has had headaches at the defensive end of the park in recent times due to injury and suspension.
At the other end, he has a different ‘problem’: dropping players to the bench who don’t deserve it.
Lewis Vaughan and Dylan Easton are previous examples of those who have been cruelly left out, only to make a match-winning contribution as a substitute.
On Friday night, Smith and Aidan Connoly were stripped and ready to come on when Blair Alston made it 3-2 to Thistle.
Callum Smith: ‘We just looked at each other…’
“At that point, they were starting to get on top a bit, so the gaffer’s message was just to try to make an impact and try to change the game,” he said.
“I was going on with the mindset to get us a goal and to try to get us back in it.
“I’m coming on at the time when they have just scored. Me and Aidan just looked at each other and were like, ‘let’s go and do this, let’s go and change the team’.”
Smith had the desired impact, equalising with his seventh goal of the season with 11 minutes to go before setting up Sam Stanton for a dramatic winner in the 4-3 win.
Connolly was also involved in the winner and was inched away from adding a fourth.
Fellow substitute Scott Brown also made a huge impact and was another to be involved in the slick move for Stanton’s winner.
“It’s 3-3 and you think, ‘we could actually go and win this’,” added Smith. “We’ve shown it plenty of times this season that we can go and do it.
“When it gets to that stage we know and we believe as a team that we can go and get a win.
“We’ve done it all before. The bench always makes an impact and it was like that again on Friday night.
“We had longer than in some other comebacks but it was obviously still going to be a hard ask.
“Especially against Partick Thistle, they’re a good side.
Raith ‘full of belief’
“But we were just full of belief. It’s crazy the belief we have in the team. We always know we can just keep going and get a goal with the number of good attacking players we’ve got.
“Nobody wants to be sitting on the bench but when you come on you need to make an impact and try to play the following week.
“I’ve obviously scored and got an assist, so I’m hoping to get some more game-time.
“That’s my seventh goal of the season, so I’m doing alright. It’s a good place to be just now.
“My target was to get to double figures as quickly as possible and I’m getting closer to that.”