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Raith Rovers manager Ian Murray has told his Kirkcaldy side to go and finish the job on Friday night after taking a 2-1 win from Firhill this evening.

First-half goals from Scott Brown and Lewis Vaughan gave Raith a comfortable lead going into the break before Jags sub Blair Alston pulled a fortuitous goal back. It energised Thistle – and the Thistle crowd – as Kris Doolan’s side looked to go and snatch a leveller.

Raith prevailed to take a slender lead into the second leg with Murray cautious about what to expect from Thistle.

“I’m very pleased,” he said. “It was a tough game. We are not overzealous with our celebrations. There’s still a long way to go in this tie. Coming here and scoring two goals, I can’t ask for too much more.

“I expected a response. I’m disappointed we didn’t win by more. But I felt we were a wee bit sloppy. I expected that to a certain extent. Over the piece of the game, I’m very happy with the team.

“I think we are in narrow command. I wouldn’t say we are over the line by any stretch of the imagination.”

And Doolan has urged his side to perform across the entirety of the second leg in the same way that did the second period.

Thistle have now gone six games without a victory against the Kirkcaldy side, who finished 14 points clear of their opponents in second place in the Championship table.

But  Alston’s 72nd-minute goal keeps Thistle in it.

“First 45 minutes, we were miles off it,” said Doolan.  “We were sloppy. Second half, we were far more like ourselves. I felt the game changed when Blair Alston came out, he gave us that goal threat. Raith have everything to lose, they need to hold onto a lead.

“We were miles away, sinking away at times. You can’t do that to a team as good as Raith Rovers. It was our slackness that allowed them into the game, but in the second half we tightened up. Raith played decent stuff but we are well in the tie at 2-1.

“First half, everybody gave the ball away and we were all over the place. We changed some things second half and made substitutions quite quickly. There’s a positive feeling back and we go to Kirkcaldy with everything to gain.”

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