Falkirk 1 – 2 Livingston

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Livi survived an almighty scare to claim the scalp of second-placed Falkirk and cut the gap to eighth place to just two points after a frenetic finish at the Falkirk Stadium.

The Lions went into injury-time two goals up but almost contrived to throw it away after conceding once and then needing a last-gasp penalty save from Marc McCallum to see them over the line to a huge three points as they won at the Falkirk Stadium for the first time since August 2012.

Lions boss David Hopkin made one change to the side that lost 3-2 to St Mirren as Jackson Longridge returned from suspension in place of Osman Kakay, who dropped to the bench.

With Dumbarton idle after their match at Hibs was postponed, the match gave Livi a huge opportunity to put pressure on Stephen Aitken’s side in the fight for Ladbrokes Championship survival but it was Peter Houston’s side, who were looking to increase their lead over Hibs in the fight for second spot, who started brighter – Will Vaulks heading a corner over inside two minutes.

The Lions were quite happy to soak up the home side’s pressure and John Baird knocked the ball down to Blair Alston but his quick cross was booted clear. Luke Leahy then played in Sibbald and he returned the ball to the full back who flashed an effort across goal.

Two minutes later Bob McHugh latched onto a loose ball in the box and fired in an effort which Ben Gordon did well to clear off the line. It was all Falkirk by now and Aaron Muirhead played a great ball into the box for Baird but his effort was met by a fine fingertip save from McCallum.

After their lightning start, Falkirk settled down and, although they continued to dominate, their chances were less frequent as the final ball started to let them down. Livi then had their first chance on 34 minutes when Scott Pittman fired in an effort from inside the box which debutant keeper Deniz Dogan Mehmet did well to push clear. David McCracken then had to be alert to boot clear Jordan White’s dangerous cross.

Falkirk had the last two chances of the half as, first, Aaron Muirhead saw his long-range effort gathered at the second attempt by McCallum before Vaulks went even closer with a rocket shot which beat McCallum but skimmed off the bar.

Half-time: Falkirk 0-0 Livingston

Falkirk started the second half brightly and Muirhead played in Alston and his cut back was knocked just wide by Baird at the back post. Bob McHugh then flicked an effort goalwards but it was deflected wide for a corner. McHugh was then replaced by Lee Miller before Livi’s first change saw Jordyn Sheerin replace Charlie Telfer.

Myles Hippolyte then came on for Muirhead and within three minutes he went close to scoring as he met Leahy’s cross but saw his header saved by McCallum. Miller than played in Sibbald but his effort was blocked.

Having frustrated the Bairns, Livi burst into life on 74 minutes and broke the deadlock when a lightning counter attack ended with Jordan White flicking a low cross into the back of the net to give the Lions an unlikely lead. David Hopkin reacted to the goal by sending defender Morgyn Neill on for striker Liam Buchanan before White came close to a second goal only to be denied by a fine save from Deniz.

Livi were soaking up the pressure and stunned their hosts by doubling their lead in the last minute of normal time as Stanton worked his way into space at the edge of the box before firing beyond Deniz into the far corner of the net.

That surely should have been it but Falkirk had other ideas and pulled a goal back in the first minute of injury time when Vaulks headed home. Livi keeper McCallum would have been disappointed to have conceded that goal but he more than made up for it a few minutes later in a sensational end to the match.

The Bairns were awarded a penalty deep into added time when Longridge was penalised. The Livi defender was shown a second yellow card for the foul that presented Baird with the chance to rescue an unlikely point for the home team. The Falkirk striker opted for power over placement and McCallum guessed right to parry his fierce effort away. Livi eventually scrambled the ball clear and referee Nick Walsh blew for full time as Livi claimed an extraordinary win.

Full-time: Falkirk 1-2 Livingston

Falkirk: Deniz, Leahy, Muirhead (Hippolyte 63), McCracken, Vaulks, Alston, Baird, Sibbald, Kerr, McHugh (Miller 60), Watson
Subs not used: McMinn, Taiwo, Smith, Shepherd, McCann
Goals: Vaulks (90)

Livingston: McCallum, Longridge, Cole, Gordon, Pitman, Fotheringham, White, Halkett, Buchanan (Neill 79), Telfer (Sheerin 61), Mullin (Stanton 45)
Subs not used: Quinn, Kakay, , Currie, Knox
Goals: White (76), Stanton (90)

Referee: Nick Walsh
Att: 4,116
Match Report: Andy Crawford

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