Raith lose 1-0 to Ayr with midfielder Stevenson in goal


Ryan Stevenson had to pull on the gloves for injury-hit Raith Rovers

Farid El Alagui’s header was enough for Ayr United to beat Raith Rovers, who were forced to play midfielder Ryan Stevenson as a goalkeeper.

Stevenson had to start in goal because Raith’s three keepers are all injured.

Kevin Cuthbert, Conor Brennan and Aaron Lennox were missing with hernia, foot and jaw injuries respectively.

Rovers failed to sign a goalkeeper on an emergency loan basis, so Stevenson stepped up and was beaten only by El Alagui’s back post header.

That apart, Stevenson was largely untested and his goal-kicks, catches and sweeping were generally competent.

The 32-year-old was wearing the gloves of Dundee United goalkeeper Cammy Bell, which had been left in the car of Raith team-mate Ryan Hardie.

Former Ayr player Stevenson saved well from El Alagui and Michael Rose in the first half, but the expected peppering of balls into his goal-mouth never materialised.

And he could not be blamed for El Alagui’s first goal for Ayr, which gave the hosts their first league win since 22 October.

Raith’s Ryan Hardie hit the crossbar with a header and Chris Johnston watched his shot cleared by United defender Nicky Devlin in the opening 45 minutes.

Ninth-placed Ayr are now only one point behind the Kirkcaldy men after a first win in 16 attempts in the league.

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