Raith Rovers left with no fit goalkeepers for Ayr United clash as John Hughes chases first victory

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RAITH Rovers have been left without a single fit goalkeeper for Tuesday night’s match against Ayr United.

New Stark’s Park manager John Hughes was left frantically making phone calls in a bid to secure a number one for a crucial trip to Somerset Park.

First-choice custodian Kevin Cuthbert has not been available since a groin injury flared up at the start of February and he has since undergone a hernia operation that will keep him sidelined for up to six weeks.

With on-loan Aberdeen shot-stopper Aaron Lennox back home in his native Australia after suffering a fractured jaw and broken hand in a bounce game against Dundee United in January, Conor Brennan was Hughes’ only available goalie.

However, the former Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland under-21 player sustained a foot injury in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Queen of the South and is out of the clash with the Honest Men.

With the club’s under-20s currently working without a signed keeper, it leaves Hughes with a selection crisis for a match that could be key to the club’s relegation battle.

He said: “Connor has picked up an injury and is struggling, and he’s the only goalie. So, at this moment in time we’ve not got a goalkeeper.

“We never had one on the bench at the weekend and that’s it, all the goalies are injured.

“Over the weekend, we’ve been trying very hard to get a goalkeeper in.

“But we cannot do a cross-border transfer, we’ve used up all our four loans and we’ve not got much money. So, we’re right up against it.

“But hopefully something will come up.

“There are wheels in motion to hopefully get someone in place for Tuesday.

“And, whoever it is, is just going to have to come in and get on with it.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We need to stand up and be counted and if they keep doing what they’re doing it will turn.”

PROBLEMS

Saturday’s defeat to Queens leaves Raith without a win since late October, an incredible 16 matches ago.

It means they are just four points above Ayrand nine ahead of bottom side St Mirren, who have a game in hand, and are in desperate need to rid themselves of a dreadful winless run.

Hughes added: “I feel for the boys, for where we are at this moment in time.

“But they’re suffering in terms of confidence. It’s last October since we had a win and that’s affecting them.

“I think they’re trying hard enough but that’s maybe one of the problems, they’re maybe trying too hard.

“It’s just finding that balance to let you be at your best.

“We just need to overcome it. You cannot feel sorry for yourself and you have to stick together.

“No matter the position we’re in, some of them still have to find that form to go and express themselves.

“That’s very difficult on the run we’re on but you have to find a way to go out there and enjoy it.

“There are worse things in life than playing football and getting beat, trust me.”

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