Raith Rovers find themselves in pole position as they chase a speedy return to the Ladbrokes Championship this Saturday after title rivals Ayr United surprisingly lost for the second successive week.
Ian McCall’s Honest Men crashed 2-1 away to Alloa to leave Rovers top of the table with one game left to play.
Barry Smith’s side are a point ahead of the Somerset Park men, who had been five ahead with three games left to play before losing to local rivals Stranraer last week while Raith were beating Albion Rovers to close the gap.
On Saturday the Kirkcaldy side piled the pressure on Ayr with a convincing win over Stranraer – with Euan Murray playing a vital role at both ends of the the park.
The defender set his team on the road to victory with the early opener and also made a crucial goal-line clearance in the second half to prevent the hosts from pulling a goal back.
The 3-0 win took Rovers back top of the League One table and after yesterday’s shock result at Recreation Park a tense finale to the championship race is now in store.
Raith are at home to the Wasps while Ayr host to second-bottom Albion Rovers.
After the victory, Murray said: “I’ll probably bore you by saying it, but we really are just focused on ourselves.
“It will be the same next week for us, back in and preparing the way we would for any other game.
“If Alloa can do us a favour it would be brilliant but we’ve still got a tough game against them next week.
“Alloa are a difficult team to play against so we can’t sit thinking about what could be, until it does.
“We just need to take care of ourselves. All we need to do is win at home to Alloa next week and whatever is going to happen will happen.
“I don’t think we were showing any signs of nervousness – it’s been a normal week for us.
“The gaffer has said it a few times but in-house we just stick to ourselves and what we’ve got to do; everything else is irrelevant to us just now.
“We can only affect ourselves, and it was a good week in training so we were confident coming in.
“We knew they were on a good run and it wouldn’t be easy, but we started the game well, got ourselves in front and never looked back from there.”
Murray was delighted to notch his third goal of the campaign.
“Three for the season isn’t bad for me – I don’t think I got one last year!” he added.
“I’m just happy to help the team in any way I can, and I’m more happy with the clean sheet to be honest.”
Murray headed Raith into a fifth minute lead, glancing home Lewis Vaughan’s corner kick at the near post.
Vaughan almost doubled the lead with a 14th minute free-kick that cannoned back off the crossbar, before Liam Buchanan passed up two glorious chances.
The striker was unable to convert Bobby Barr’s cut-back from inside the six-yard box then he pounced on a short pass back only to drag his effort wide.
Buchanan finally made one count on the stroke of half-time, nodding home from close range after superb wing play from Dario Zanatta.
Stranraer tried to fight back in the second half and Murray was well-placed to boot off the line after Kyle Turner’s shot beat Graeme Smith.
Raith made the points safe with 13 minutes left when Buchanan flicked Barr’s cross to the back post, where Vaughan smashed home his 23rd goal of the season.
Barry Smith said he was delighted with his team’s display.
“We knew that to win the league we had to win our last three games and hope something else happens,” he said.
“We’ve given ourselves the best chance of doing that by taking the league to the final game of the season.”