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Rafa De Vita: Staggies showed good spirit but quality must improve

Rafa De Vita has found game-time hard to come by this season.
Rafa De Vita has found game-time hard to come by this season.

Ross County midfielder Rafa De Vita was relieved his side scraped through to the fifth round of the Scottish Cup, with his goal handing the Staggies a 1-0 victory in a nervy replay against Dunfermline Athletic at Victoria Park last night.

Substitute De Vita struck after 71 minutes of the tie to finally see off the League 1 leaders, who proved a tricky opponent for the Dingwall men.

County drew 2-2 against the Pars at East End Park on Saturday, with manager Jim McIntyre conceding his side had been fortunate to escape with a replay.

De Vita celebrates his winning goal with Alex Schalk
De Vita celebrates his winning goal with Alex Schalk

The Fifers proved tricky opposition once again last night, and Italian midfielder De Vita reckoned his side did well to keep its cool despite not performing well.

De Vita said: “I don’t think we were at our best in either game. We were probably fortunate to go through. We had a few chances over the two games, but eventually we took one that got us through.

“We’ve always shown when we need to dig in, we do it really well. That’s never been in doubt by anyone. We’ve shown that in so many games in the league when we’ve had to.

“We did it against a team from a lower division which we probably should have dealt with more comfortably.

“It’s a bit disappointing, but I’m sure our quality will come back in the next few games.”

The Highlanders’ reward for defeating the Fifers is a fifth round tie at home to the winners of next Tuesday’s replay between League 1 strugglers Forfar Athletic and junior club Linlithgow Rose.

After struggling in large spells against Dunfermline, De Vita is hopeful his side will show an improvement in the bid to reach the quarter-finals of the competition.

He added: “It’s especially good that we’re at home. Forfar was one of my least favourite grounds to go when I played for Livingston, it was one I always wanted to avoid going to.

“We’re at home and we’re a good Premiership side so I don’t see why we shouldn’t go on and dominate a game like that.”

Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston felt his team was unlucky and the better side in both matches.

He said: “Over the two games I think we were the team that deserved to go through. We were definitely on the front foot. The only criticism I can maybe have is that we didn’t take our chances again and we were made to pay.”

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