On loan Hearts winger Dario Zanatta helped breathe new life into Raith Rovers’ title hopes with a stunning strike in a 2-0 win over Queen’s Park.
The victory, coupled with Ayr’s defeat at home to Stranraer, allowed Rovers to close the gap on the league leaders to two points with two games remaining.
Raith can now reclaim top spot, for 24 hours at least, with victory in Stranraer next Saturday before Ayr travel to Alloa on Sunday for the live BBC Alba clash.
The title remains in Ayr’s hands, but Zanatta is hoping to pile on the pressure.
“We always knew that we had to worry about ourselves first of all so that if Ayr dropped points we’d be ready to capitalise,” he said.
“Now it’s all to play for and we have a chance to go top of the league and put all the pressure on them on Sunday.
“That is as much motivation as you’re going to get.”
Zanatta struck Raith’s second goal in the win over Queen’s Park, cutting in from the right to fire a stunning left-foot effort into the top corner from 18 yards.
It was the perfect way to mark his return to the starting line-up after a spell on the bench.
“I haven’t played much recently, but hopefully the goal is another reason for the gaffer to look at me and think I had a good game today,” he said.
“I always know that at this level that I’m capable of scoring goals, creating goals and being someone who is tough to defend against.
“The last few weeks I’ve not been playing because the team was winning and maybe I was not playing well enough, but this gives me confidence for the last few games to go and do well again.”
Zanatta’s goal followed Bobby Barr’s equally impressive ninth-minute opener as the winger volleyed home Jason Thomson’s cross at the back post in emphatic style.
Raith dominated the first half and only the woodwork prevented them from taking a three-goal lead into the break as Liam Buchanan’s header struck the bar on the stroke of half-time.
Lewis Vaughan also hit the crossbar on the hour mark with a close range header, but Queens were an improved side in the second half, with only a stunning Graeme Smith save, followed by a goal-line clearance from Euan Murray, preventing the Spiders from pulling one back in the 65th minute.
With Raith fans cheering Stranraer’s late winner at Somerset Park, the day could not have gone any better for Raith boss Barry Smith.
“When it comes down to it we’ve got to take care of what we do – and we’ve done that today, “ he said.
“There’s still six points to play for and we just have to take them and see what happens.”
On his team’s performance, he added: “We were excellent in the first half and really moved the ball well.
“We had two attempts at goal in the opening 90 seconds and that set the tone for us.
“In the second half I thought Queen’s Park did well, but we still created chances, and it’s a great result.”