Livingston boss David Martindale backs Raith Rovers to make Scottish Premiership
Livingston manager David Martindale believes Raith Rovers can be a “fantastic addition” to the Scottish Premiership after the Lions needed extra-time to knock John McGlynn’s side out of the Scottish Cup.
Substitute Matej Poplatnik scored a 109th-minute winner in Saturday’s third round tie as Livingston came from behind to win 2-1.
Jack Fitzwater grabbed an equaliser 20 minutes from time after Raith striker Lewis Vaughan had fired his side ahead with a 13th-minute free-kick.
Livingston looked rattled for long spells of the first half and Martindale insists Raith, who lie second in the Championship, are more than capable of earning promotion.
“I thought we were good value for it and deserved the win but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Raith Rovers in the Premiership next year,” said Martindale.
“I think they’d be a fantastic addition.
“They’ve got a right good young squad. It’s a testament to the job John and his staff have done.
“There was a wee 10 or 15-minute spell where we struggled to get to grips with them a little bit.
“It gave them a lift of confidence and they popped the ball about for fun.”
Raith dominated much of the first half and manager McGlynn admits his team were left to regret not being able to extend their lead before the break.
He said: “I thought we were excellent in the first half. Lewis Vaughan executed the goal very well and Jamie Gullan was causing them a lot of problems.
“There was space he was getting into and we probably didn’t take advantage of that like we should have done.
“We should have been getting more attempts at goal and probably rue that now. They were better than half chances and we could have been going in at half-time with a two-goal cushion.”