St Johnstone warmed up for this week’s all-important trip to Switzerland with a competitive friendly draw at Stark’s Park on Saturday.
David Wotherspoon’s second-half strike cancelled out Christian Nade’s opener for Raith in the Perth side’s final warm-up match before their crunch Europa League first-leg tie against FC Luzern on Thursday.
One of the stand-outs of Saints’ pre-season campaign, teenager Scott Brown, had to settle for a substitute appearance.
But the 19-year-old midfielder hopes he has done enough to secure a place in the European side.
“I feel as though I’ve played pretty well in the two games, so I just need to wait and see what the gaffer decides,” he said.
“I will understand if he wants to go with more experienced heads, but I’m ready to play if called upon.
“I didn’t go to Rosenborg but I went to Minsk and got a wee taste of what it was like. Hopefully, I’ll get on the park this time.”
Brown revealed the secret behind his impressive pre-season performances a gruelling summer training regime with his fitness fanatic grandad, David.
“I’ve worked hard over the summer and it’s starting to pay off,” he said.
“I’ve been working with my grandad three times a week. He’s 65ish and he’s just a fitness freak.
“He used to do triathlons and he takes me out for runs based on the stuff he’s done before. I’ve enjoyed it and it’s stood me in good stead.
“I feel as though I’m playing better now and that I can do more running as opposed to what I was able to do before.”
Brown is one of a number of young players at McDiarmid Park trying to prove to manager Tommy Wright that he does not need to make new signings.
“We’ve got a small squad but we’ve a good bunch of youngsters coming through and we’re all pretty close, which should stand us in good stead coming into the team,” he said.
“It’s the gaffer’s decision if he wants to bring players in, but we’ll show what we can do and hopefully the gaffer trusts us.”
Saints were missing Stevie May and Steven Anderson at Stark’s Park, and boss Wright admitted afterwards that both are major doubts for the Switzerland trip.
He also indicated that defender Dave McKay could need an injection in order to feature in midweek.
The visitors started slowly and Raith took the lead in the eighth minute through a stunning strike from new signing Nade.
The former Dundee striker chested a pass from Calum Elliot into the air 18 yards out and then thundered the dropping ball past Alan Mannus.
Rovers were the sharper side for much of the opening 30 minutes before Saints upped the tempo towards half-time.
Raith keeper Ross Laidlaw used his leg to divert a Steven McLean effort wide in the 40th minute, and Lee Croft was unlucky to see a 20-yard effort rebound off the post a few minutes later.
The Perth men levelled five minutes after the break with a classy finish from Wotherspoon, curling an effort past Laidlaw from 18 yards after Raith lost the ball on the edge of their own box.
Only a brilliant double save from Laidlaw, parrying a Chris Millar strike before turning Chris Kane’s rebound wide, prevented Saints from winning the match, although this was a solid performance from a weakened Raith side missing several key first-team men due to injury.
Rovers boss Grant Murray said: “It was a good workout, both performance-wise and fitness-wise.
“St Johnstone are ahead of us at this moment in time as they’ve got a competitive game in Europe in midweek, so we fared okay in the game.
“We’ve got a few players still carrying knocks, but it’s credit to the squad of players that we finished the game with two 17-year-olds, an 18-year-old and a 20-year-old.
“At end of the day, if we’ve got players out we’re going to rely on the whole squad,” he said.
Rovers are back in action tomorrow night, at home to York City in their third pre-season fixture.