Former Dundee defender & ex-Kilmarnock keeper pen new deals as Raith Rovers hail Rangers moves

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RAITH Rovers have been handed a welcome pick-me-up after defender Kyle Benedictus penned a new one-year deal and keeper Conor Brennan agreed to stay for the rest of the season.

Benedictus has been an influential figure since signing for the Kirkcaldy outfit 18 months ago and the former Dundee stopper has now committed himself to the club until the summer of next year.

Brennan joined on a short-term deal earlier in the campaign following injuries to Kevin Cuthbert and Aaron Lennox, and the ex-Kilmarnock goalie played four times before dropping back out of Gary Locke’s starting line-up.

With Lennox having been ruled out again following a horror clash in a friendly with Dundee United this week that left the on-loan Aberdeen player with a fractured jaw and two broken bones in his hand, Raith have struck a deal to keep Brennan until the end of the season.

It has been a busy week for Rovers, who have agreed to let defender David Bates join Rangers, with Jordan Thompson remaining at Stark’s Park on loan until the summer and fellow Ibrox youngster Scott Roberts turning his loan into a permanent switch to Fife.

With former Hearts attacker Ryan Stevenson and Rangers marksman Ryan Hardie having also agreed moves to the club, the Championship play-off hopefuls have been active since the January transfer window opened.

Assistant manager Darren Jackson said: “Scott’s found it hard to get into the team here regularly but he was very, very keen to sign, which is a positive thing, and Jordan was very, very keen to stay.

“We’re delighted to get them tied up.

“Having brought in the two Ryans we’re happy with what we’ve got and we’re happy with the squad.”

DOUBT

Stevenson is a major doubt for Saturday’s trip to face Morton, however, after being hospitalised following last week’s 4-1 defeat to Falkirk.

The 32-year-old sustained suspected concussion and an injured back after a clash with Bairns keeper Danny Rogers, who even feared he had left his opponent with a punctured lung when he saw blood running from Stevenson’s mouth.

Stevenson has not been able to join in with his team-mates this week and could now miss the crucial encounter at Cappielow as Raith seek to end a run of eight matches without a victory.

Jackson told Capital City Press: “Ryan’s not trained so it’s going to be touch and go with him.

“It was a huge blow because he is a presence, he’s got experience and he’ll help the other Ryan, Declan McManus and Mark Stewart up front, and he’ll help the team.

“He felt a bit groggy and he got knocked in his back as well. We’ll just need to see how he is.”

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