BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Ray McKinnon insists Raith Rovers ‘just shaded it’ as they celebrated their first win over Hibs this season.
Goals from Lewis Toshney and Mark Stewart either side of half-time earned the Kirkcaldy club a 2-1 success after Anthony Stokes had given Hibs a 25th-minute lead.
After four previous defeats, Rovers put down a marker ahead of a possible play-off encounter with the Easter Road side with a victory that was earned with some swift counter-attacking and heroic defending.
And McKinnon believes it was a merited three points.
The Raith manager said: “I do think we deserved it. We had chances, they had chances, the game was a bit like that. I think it was quite even.
“They threw everything at us in the last 15 minutes but the boys stood up to it. I think it’s a deserved victory, I really do.
“I don’t think there was much between the teams.
“The games over the course of the season have been very tight.
“I think it was important for us to win that, for if anything arises later in the season.”
After feeling they had been hard done by in three previous league defeats and another in the Scottish Cup, McKinnon was thrilled to see his players get reward for their efforts on this occasion.
He added: “Over the piece, we’ve probably deserved more out of the games against Hibs this season and I think we got that tonight.
“It was important we got a result because I would hate for the lads to think they’ve competed so well against Hibs and not got anything.
“They’re a very, very good side. They’re beating Premiership teams for fun.
“But we competed well and I think we deserved it. I think we just shaded it.”
Jason Cummings passed up a gilt-edged opportunity to level the match just four minutes after Stewart’s winner – but somehow hit the underside of the bar from barely two yards out.
It was an incredible miss and McKinnon reckons it was an indication of a change in fortune for the Stark’s Park men.
He added: “I couldn’t actually believe it. I thought it was offside and I just thought he had a frustrated kick at it.
“One of my coaches said that’s maybe the wee bit of luck we’ve not had against them this season.
“We’ve had clear penalty claims turned down and things like that.
“You need a wee bit of luck in football sometimes and we got that with that finish.”