Lewis has first in the can

For the second season running Lewis McCann scored Dunfermline’s first competitive goal and what an effort it was. The 22 year old was sent up the left by Josh Edwards and he brilliantly took care of the challenges of Raith defenders Scott McGill and Keith Watson to cut inside and drill a right footed shot into the bottom right of Kevin Dabrowski’s net.

Lewis’ goal on the half hour was just what his manager was looking for after he advised the young striker to shoot on sight. The extreme downpour twenty minutes before kick off had influenced James McPake’s advice explained Lewis:-

“The gaffer said to me before the game, he thought it would be a slippery surface so whenever you get the chance just shoot. So I did, there were a few that were a bit ambitious but he gave me licence to do it.”

Lewis certainly accepted the challenge and after sitting on the bench for five of the Pars matches against Raith, Saturday’s Viaplay Cup tie was just his second start against the club he represented for two seasons at under 20 level.  He was delighted to find the net right in front of the travelling support:-

“It was a decent goal, good definitely up there for me and it’s my first goal against Raith as well – it only took me four seasons playing against them. I’m buzzing and really happy. It is always good to see the fans jumping up and down, going mad but I’m just happy that I got on the scoresheet. 

“I feel that throughout pre-season I was saying that I just needed one to go into the back of the net and hopefully more will come. I felt the same last season, I just needed one to go in the back of the net so I went on a wee run and then got injured so I feel that it is just a big confidence boost especially in the first competitive game to get on the scoresheet.”

Lewis scored ten goals in his 35 games last season missing nine matches while out with a hamstring injury from mid October to Christmas Eve. With Saturday’s cup tie level at full time the Viaplay Cup bonus point went the Pars way as they won the penalty shoot out 4-2.  It was a confident Lewis who stepped up to take the very first penalty. He continued:-

“We don’t really have set penalty takers when it comes to penalty shoot outs. We practised a couple on Friday but the gaffer just said whoever feels confident just go up and do it. It was an odd bunch that went up but luckily the majority converted. Paul (Allan) was unlucky, it was a good penalty and it was a good save.”

As the manager suggested in his post match comments neither side deserved to lose and Lewis who admitted to have been heavy legged by the end, observed:-

“Raith are a very good team, they pop the ball about well and in the second half they probably had the majority of the possession.  Around 70-75 minutes I ran down the line and felt my calves were like cement. It is a different level from friendlies but a good test to see where we are. It is good that we can come up a league and still compete against an established Championship team.

“You saw last season when we played Partick and we played Dundee in the cups. We held our own, we did have a very good season last season so we have just taken it on from that. The boys have had a good pre-season and it is a confidence booster for us to know that we can compete at this level.”

Like the rest of his team mates Lewis has kept himself fit over the summer and has come back feeling good in the pre-season training and games. The return to the Championship suggests that the season ahead is a big one for both player and club but with over 100 appearances for Dunfermline Lewis reasoned:-

“The season we got relegated I probably would have said that it was going to be a good season, you never know. Our team is in a very good place right now, the boys who have come in have gelled really easily.”

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