Jason Thomson admits Lewis Vaughan’s goals add to ‘strangest season’ as Raith Rovers battle drop

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JASON THOMSON is praying that the ‘strangest’ of seasons does not take an even more bizarre twist amidst fears that a team-mate’s goals could end up relegating Raith Rovers.

The Stark’s Park outfit farmed out youngster Lewis Vaughan on loan to Dumbarton in January in a move that is in danger of coming back to haunt the Fife club.

Vaughan has scored three times in his last six games to earn the Sons five crucial points in their battle to beat the drop.

Thomson was at Stark’s Park’s ‘pop-up’ pitch as the SPFL Trust’s ‘Trusted Trophy Tour’ reached Raith Rovers

Raith manager John Hughes confessed to wanting to ‘strangle’ the 21-year-old after learning he had netted the winner in Dumbarton’s recent 1-0 win over Morton that took them above Rovers.

But skipper Thomson has confessed he and his colleagues were a bit happier with the youngster at the weekend when his strike prevented St Mirren from taking all three points.

Raith are now second bottom, just two points above bottom spot with only four games remaining, and are two points adrift of Dumbarton.

But Thomson admits Vaughan – who has another year on his contract at Stark’s Park – has been put in an impossible position.

In a campaign that has seen Ryan Stevenson play in goals, after three keepers were injured, and then retire from professional football only weeks after joining the club, Thomson said: “Last week Lewis wasn’t our favourite and this week he’s redeemed himself a little bit.

“That’s a situation that is outwith our hands. That decision was made in January and it’s coming back to bite us a little bit at the moment.

“We’re just hoping he doesn’t score too many more goals!

“He needs to stay professional. He spoke to us and we told him he has to look after himself.

“But he’s contracted here next season.

“So, it is a really difficult one for him and it’s probably a situation he shouldn’t have been put in, because of what’s happening now.

“But it’s where we are and it’s just another part of the season that’s been one of the strangest I’ve experienced.

“There’s been players playing in goals, people retiring halfway through the season – it’s been quite the season.

“I’ll be happy to see the back of it – once we’re safe.”

Raith face Morton this weekend desperate for points, with vital games against Hibs, St Mirren and Ayr United to come.

And the magnitude of the fight to stay away from bottom spot and get out of the dreaded relegation play-off place is not lost on Thomson.

The former Hearts defender said: “I’ve been at the club a while now and I know how the fans are feeling.

“I know what it means and what the reality of relegation would be. It would mean people’s jobs, which isn’t a nice feeling to have on your shoulders, that people are depending on you.

“But it does drive you on at the same time.

“For myself, with family, I’ve got bills and mortgages, so of course that comes into it, but it’s about the rest of the staff around the club.”

• Thomson was speaking as the SPFL Trust’s ‘Trusted Trophy Tour’ visited Raith Rovers. For more information visit www.trustedtrophytour.co.uk.

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