For the moment, Gozie Ugwu must use his imagination.
“I heard the cheers in my head,” laughed the Raith Rovers striker. “I was picturing a full South Stand as that nestled in the net!”
Ugwu is reflecting on his sensational goal against Dunfermline on Saturday; still beaming after thundering that unstoppable right-footed drive beyond Owain Fon Williams in the dying embers of a breathless Premiership playoff quarter-final tie.
“At that time, we needed a bit of breathing space,” he added. “I was mainly told to come on and keep the ball at their end — hold it up and cause the defenders some problems — but I like scoring goals, so when it sat up nicely that was my first thought!”
— RRFC Official (@RaithRovers) May 9, 2021
However loud the roar he conjured up in his mind, the real thing would have been even more deafening.
With Raith Rovers desperately defending a narrow 1-0 lead given to them by Lewis Vaughan, Ugwu’s moment of magic released a pressure valve and ensured they would prevail in the biggest Fife derby in a decade.
The bedlam among the fans would have been something to see; one of the great memorable moments in this grand old rivalry.
As such, the prospect of playing out the denouement of the campaign in front of supporters — even if it is only 500 lucky punters — is a tantalising one for Ugwu. Especially given the affinity he has developed with the Rovers faithful from afar.
The Scottish Championship, League 1 and League 2 playoff finals have all been rescheduled to allow fans to attend, while it is hoped the Premiership showpiece on May 20 and May 24 — which Rovers intend to be a part of — will also open its doors.
“It would be great if we could end this season in front of some fans,” said Ugwu. “It’s been such a long time, that it would be a little weird at first.
“But, they deserve it. We have done so well this season and it has been such a shame that they haven’t been here in person.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here and working with the staff and players — and playing for the fans, too. It’s amazing; although I’ve not been able to play in front of them, they have made me feel really welcome on social media and I still feel like that.
“So if we do make it to the final, in front of fans, then we would look forward to it, and I’m sure they would too.”
Ugwu’s Dunfermline heroics — his fifth goal of a frustratingly injury-hit campaign — took Rovers one step closer to the promised land of the Premiership following a top-flight absence of 24 years.
And the jubilation on the pitch, and in the dugout, illustrated just what it meant to everyone involved with the club.
A pile-up among the coaches even left assistant manager Paul Smith requiring stitches and boss John McGlynn sporting a cut under his baseball cap.
Let’s hope the emergency services are on hand if the Rovers do win promotion.
“Does it feel like some thing special is happening? You could say that,” continued Ugwu. “There’s an amazing togetherness among the team and the staff.
“You could see from Saturday’s performance. And look at those celebrations afterwards — we won the game as a team; we celebrated as a team.
“We’ll enjoy the moment and then turn our attention to Wednesday, and hopefully another performance like that.”
In truth, a superior performance is likely to be required.
Much like the first leg stalemate at East End Park on Tuesday evening, Dunfermline created several fine opportunities to break the deadlock at the weekend, with another wonderful save from Jamie MacDonald required to deny Craig Wighton.
Pars skipper Euan Murray saw a header cleared off the line and Rovers defender Kyle Benedictus was a matter of inches away from turning a Kevin O’Hara cross into his own net.
One suspects a Dundee side possessing the attacking talents of Jason Cummings, Charlie Adam and Paul McMullan will not be quite so charitable with their finishing.
With on loan Rangers youngster Kai Kennedy ruled out of the tie with a hamstring injury, Manny Duku a doubt and Iain Davidson being assessed after limping off against Dunfermline, Rovers must upset almighty odds.
Then again, they have been doing so all season.
“Getting to the Premiership is our main aim but we know that Dundee are a difficult team to play against,” continued Ugwu. “It’s not done yet — we’ve only taken that first step and we need to focus on what is still to come.
“But I believe that we can match any team in this league on our day.
“It’s about showing up and performing in the two fixtures and, although anything can happen in the playoffs, we have confidence in ourselves, if we play to our maximum.”