Ayr United manager Jim Duffy says his side’s poor first half cost them despite a much stronger second half showing, as they lost 2-1 to Raith Rovers at the weekend.

The Honest Men went into the Scottish Championship clash at Stark’s Park keen to bounce back from their midweek heartbreak, as a late Kilmarnock penalty cost them a point at Somerset Park.

But they did not have the best start in Kirkcaldy, with the hosts taking the lead early on through the head of Ethan Ross.

Former Ayr man Dario Zanatta then popped up once again to haunt his former side, scoring a

stunner from 25 yards to double their lead before the break.

At half time Duffy brought on Jonathan Afolabi and Mark McKenzie to bring an attacking impetus to his side in the second period.

It worked as Ayr grabbed a goal back through Jack Baird, who turned in James Maxwell’s cutback.

Ayr did then press for an equaliser but could not grab one as they slipped to their second defeat in a row.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Duffy said: “Over the course of the 90 minutes I think we certainly deserved to take a point.

“But the first half performance put us on the back foot and ultimately Raith managed to see the game out.”

Aaron Muirhead and Steven Bradley missed out of the weekend’s defeat to Raith due to injury. Muirhead was out through illness and Bradley with a shoulder problem, with Duffy doubtful the pair will be back for the visit of Inverness this weekend.

He said: “Bradley damaged ligaments in his shoulder against Kilmarnock at the start of the second half.

“That was aggravated 24 hours after the game and he had to go for an X-ray.

“Thankfully there was no fracture but there was damage there.

“So, I would think he would be a couple of weeks but I do not know for sure.

“In terms of Muirhead he has been ill so he may come in later on this week and we will assess him.

“But just like Bradley, I think he will be a doubt for the Inverness game at this moment in time.”