Cowie pleased with ‘deserved’ County win but disappointed to concede

Yan Dhanda and Jack Baldwin gave the Staggies a two goal lead before Raith pulled one back.

Don Cowie felt Ross County fully merited their cinch Premiership play-off first-leg victory although he was disappointed they did not come away from rain-lashed Stark’s Park with more than a 2-1 lead over Raith Rovers.

The Staggies looked to be well on course to securing their top-flight survival when they opened up a 2-0 second-half lead through a penalty from Yan Dhanda and a Jack Baldwin header.

But Championship promotion hopefuls Rovers rallied in the closing stages and pulled one back through Sam Stanton in the 82nd minute, leaving the tie delicately poised ahead of the return leg in Dingwall on Sunday.

“I thought the performance deserved a lead,” said manager Cowie. “I’m disappointed we didn’t get the clean sheet because I thought at 2-0 we started to look really comfortable.

“That’s the only real frustration, apart from that I’m really proud of the group.

“We knew there was going to be a big crowd here tonight, rightly so because of the great season they’ve had, so it was important we tried to keep the crowd as quiet as possible and I thought we did that really well until the last seven or eight minutes.

“I felt we should have seen the game out and at least have a 2-0 lead going into the second leg because we started to look really confident and were passing the ball about really well and I thought at that stage, if anything, we could have maybe got a third.”

Raith boss Ian Murray was frustrated with the way his team started but delighted that they managed to keep themselves in the tie.

“I thought Ross County started well, it’s difficult playing against a team that are at a higher level,” he said.

“We were just a bit sloppy at times, a bit rushed with the ball. A couple of tweaks helped us and most of the second half apart from 10 minutes I thought we were the better side.

“The late goal gives us a chance. We know it will be difficult but we know what we have to do which is good.

“We have to play better than we did in the first half because Ross County put us under a lot of pressure without creating too much, but we had to defend really well.

“We are back in the tie. The subs gave us energy, and we have nothing to lose now. It comes down to one game on Sunday afternoon.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code