Ian Murray says Raith will improve for play-off final after shootout success

Rovers edged out Partick Thistle on penalties.

The Raith Rovers manager has taken his side to the play-off final
The Raith Rovers manager has taken his side to the play-off final (Steve Welsh/PA)

Raith Rovers boss Ian Murray is confident his side will improve in the cinch Premiership play-off final after beating Partick Thistle on penalties.

Thistle won 2-1 at Stark’s Park and came closest to winning the tie late on before the game went to penalties after a 3-3 aggregate draw.

Rovers captain Scott Brown saw his side’s first penalty saved by David Mitchell, but Jack McMillan and Ricco Diack missed for the Jags to allow Lewis Vaughan to seal a 4-3 shoot-out win.

The Championship runners-up will now take on either Ross County or St Johnstone in next week’s two-legged final.

Murray said: “When it gets to penalties it becomes a lottery and fair play to both sets of players.

“They have shown again the Championship is such a competitive league – anything can happen, another away win.

“But the overriding fact is it’s fantastic for the players and supporters. We want to go one further now against top-flight opposition. We will have to play better then that but we will do.”

It was familiar pain for Thistle manager Kris Doolan, whose side lost on penalties against County in last year’s final.

“Penalty kicks are the cruellest way to lose, we have obviously been through this before, but I am really proud of the players,” Doolan said.

“They gave everything. Everything we worked on, we saw.

“When it gets to penalty kicks it’s a lottery. I said to the players, it takes a certain type of person to go up and hit a penalty. If you are that confident, you keep that, because that’s what makes careers. We have two 19-year-olds (Ben Stanway and Diack) who volunteered to hit penalties.

“I am really proud of everybody.”