IN sport, everything is about fine margins.

One minute you can be running the show; the next you’re on the back foot. One minute your title hopes are on the line, and then, suddenly, it’s in your hands.

Raith Rovers were unbeaten in six League One games when they arrived at Somerset Park on Saturday to face promotion rivals Ayr United.

The Kirkcaldy men were top of the table, held a four-point advantage over the Honest Men in second and had only suffered one defeat in 15 since losing 3-0 to Ayr in November.

Raith would have hoped to be heading back to Stark’s Park knowing automatic promotion was firmly in their grasp. Instead, goals from Lawrence Shankland, Jamie Adams and Michael Moffat turned the title race on its head as Rovers slumped to yet another 3-0 defeat.

Now, sitting one point behind with a game in hand, Ian McCall’s side have become masters of their own fate and Shankland admitted the title was now the target.

“It [the title] has to be aim now,” said the 22-year-old. “We are up there and we’re only a point behind the leaders and we’ve got a game in hand. But we’ve got a tough couple of weeks coming up and we’ve just got to take every game as it comes and try and pick three points up.

“That’s twice we’ve beaten Raith 3-0 here this season so that’s a good points return against them but we’ve got to make sure we’re picking up three points against other teams.”

Shankland netted his 24th of the season when he broke the deadlock after 34 minutes from a Declan McDaid free kick. And after surpassing his previous season’s best of 15 goals with Queen’s Park, he said he isn’t setting any limits on how many he can end up with.

“I just want to score as many as I can this season,” he said, “I’ll try and get into good positions and if they keep going in I’ll be happy. The most I’ve ever scored was 15 at Queen’s Park and thankfully I’ve left that well behind and I’m not going to put a limit on it.”

Adams doubled Ayr’s lead just before half-time as he fired in a volley following a poor clearance and after the break, Moffat sealed the deal when he turned in the ball from a corner. There was a bit of debate after the game as to whether Shankland should’ve been on the field after treading on Raith’s Ross Matthews before he scored. But the striker insisted he didn’t intend to hurt the midfielder.

Shankland said: “I turned to speak to the ref and the boy was on the floor. I thought he rolled up and I just stepped on the bottom of his sole. There was no malice in it. I didn’t stamp him.”

United now face Arbroath on Wednesday who will be looking to hang on to their play-off spot. But despite admitting the challenge they will face over on the East Coast, Shankland is confident Ayr, who have now won three on the bounce, can keep up their form.

Shankland added: “The title is in our hands but the teams we’re playing are going for play-offs and some are trying to stay up. Every game is going to be tough. We just need to concentrate on ourselves. A few extra games in the play-offs would be tough so to win [the title] would be great. We’ve just got to stay in the top two and see where we end up.”