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Raith’s Greig Spence content to let side’s football do their talking for them

Greig Spence.
Greig Spence.

Lewis Spence insists the Raith players will just ignore Ayr boss Ian McCall’s verbal “mind games” and instead will continue to let their football do their talking for them.

The two sides met at Stark’s Park on Saturday in the League 1 top-of-the-table clash with the fans treated to a pulsating game played like a cup tie.

The Honest men took the lead in the first half through Lawrence Shankland but the in-form Spence equalised after the break with his lucky thirteenth goal of the season.

A draw was very much a fair result however McCall cryptically commented: “There are one or two of their players who are very much not in their manager’s image with how they conduct themselves.

“Barry (Smith) was a magnificent professional but one or two of their players are not like that.”

McCall, whose team had no less than six players booked during the encounter, refused to expand on his comments before making a sharp exit but his barbs did not wash with Spence.

The striker said: “That’s just mind games from him. We try to ignore people like that.

“His players are like us. They shout for the exact same things when they lose a goal and we shout for the things they were.

“It’s just tit for tat but he is trying to get an edge.

“We just focus on our football here. To be honest, I am not bothered what he says. I don’t really care.”

The big thing Spence does care about is winning promotion back to the Championship.

There was a bumper 3,064 crowd inside Stark’s Park on Saturday with the 25-year-old, who rejoined Rovers in the summer from Alloa, insisting that shows the club do not belong in League 1.

Spence added: “No, definitely not.

“As a footballer, you want to play in games like this in front of a big crowd like we had. It is our job to get us back up.

“The fans were excellent against Ayr and just having that extra support gives you that added 10%.

“It was great coming back here full-time in the summer.

“It maybe took me a few months to get used to it again but now I am loving every day.

“I love playing with the club and I just want to help get us promoted.”

Ayr’s Jamie Adams had the first chance of the game in the 18th minute but headed over before the home side’s Lewis Vaughan saw a curling shot fly just wide.

McCall’s men then took the lead in the 35th minute when Michael Moffat played a superb ball to strike partner Lawrence Shankland who calmly lobbed home keeper Graeme Smith.

However, just two minutes after half-time, Vaughan hit a low free-kick from the right into Spence who got the slightest of touches at the near post with the ball flying through and bouncing off the opposite upright and into the net.

Chaos then ensued when Ayr were awarded an indirect free-kick just six yards out from the Raith goal and with tempers boiling over, referee Barry Cook struggled to control both sets of players but the chance was lost as Shankland’s shot was blocked.

Ayr clipped the Raith bar late on through Declan McDaid but the game ended all square with Rovers still top of the table and with two games in hand on the Honest Men.

Spence admitted that Raith were possibly the happier team with the draw.

He said: “Probably in the end after going 1-0 down.

“Obviously we got the goal back just after half-time and we possibly could have gone on and won it but it keeps our unbeaten record going at home as well so I am quite happy.”

Spence also paid tribute to Vaughan for his goal assist.

He said: “Lewis shouted to me just before he did it. He could see the big hole there and he was looking for me to get across my man. It was straight off the training pitch.

“I honestly only got a stud on it! It just hit me and went across the goal.

“Sometimes when you are playing with confidence it hits off you and goes in.

“You just have to keep getting in the right areas.”

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