Livi moved into the second round of the Scottish League Cup as they defeated Clyde for the second week in a row, although they needed extra-time to get past the challenge of the League Two side at Almondvale.
The two sides met just seven days earlier in the Petrofac Training Cup, with Livi running out 2-1 winners, and Livi boss Mark Burchill made two changes to his side from that win as Spas Georgiev and the newly re-signed Declan Gallagher came into the side in place of Myles Hippolyte and Ross Millen.
Having got off to a flyer in last week’s match, scoring twice in the first 20 minutes, Livi started with similar intent and came close inside two minutes when Ben Gordon peeled away from his marker in the box and bulleted a header goalwards which John Gibson eventually gathered after a spot of juggling under pressure. Gordon was denied again soon after as Craig Sives flicked the ball on in his direction but Gibson was quick to react to thwart the danger.
An even better chance fell Livi’s way on 20 minutes as Jackson Longridge produced a pinpoint cross into the box which Danny Mullen ghosted in to meet with a powerful header only for Gibson to deny him with a tremendous point blank save. Soon after, a free kick from Mullen was met by Gordon on the stretch but his glancing header flew wide.
It was one-way traffic by now and Georgiev was alert to pick up on a slack pass from veteran Mark McLaughlin and drive towards goal but his shot lacked power and Gibson gathered with ease. The final chance of the half came from another set piece as Kieran Gibbons whipped in a free kick which Sives could only head wide as the two sides went in at the interval deadlocked.
Having rarely been seen as an attacking force in the first half, the visitors came very close to breaking the deadlock on 51 minutes as Scott Linton whipped in a cross to the back post which was met by David Gormley but Darren Jamieson was equal to his header and produced a fine save to push it wide. There was another let-off for Livi from the resulting corner as it fell to Gormley but he could only poke an effort wide.
Livi eventually recovered from the shock of Clyde’s bright start and forced a half chance when Longridge’s cross into the box found Jordan White but his tame header was easily saved by Gibson. Boss Burchill had resisted the temptation to make changes, perhaps with extra-time in mind, but he made their first change on 83 minutes as Liam Buchanan headed off to be replaced by Jordyn Sheerin.
The change so nearly paid off in injury time when Sheerin and Georgiev linked up brilliantly to tee up White but his curling effort went inches wide as the match headed into extra-time.
Livi continued to do most of the pressing as the extra half-hour got underway and Gallagher made an impressive run forward to tee up Scott Pittman but he didn’t get the connection he wanted on the shot and it trundled wide in what proved the only action of note in the first period of extra time. The Lions made a second change during the changeover as Gallagher was replaced by Millen.
After 109 frustrating minutes the deadlock finally arrived as a long ball from Jamieson was brought under control by Sheerin and he teed up White to blast a thunderous effort beyond Gibson and into the bottom corner. Livi saw out the remaining ten minutes fairly comfortably, sending on Morgyn Neill in place of Georgiev to help keep things tight, and booked their place in the second round, where we now know they will make their first-ever trip to New St Mirren Park to take on Ian Murray’s recently-relegated Buddies on Tuesday 25 August.
Next up for the Lions is the big kick-off in the Ladbrokes Championship as we head across the Forth to Kirkcaldy for a clash against Raith Rovers. The away sides held the upper hand in the four meetings last season, Raith winning 1-0 and 2-0 in West Lothian and Livi claiming two emphatic wins (5-1 and 4-0) at Stark’s Park – here’s hoping for something similar on Saturday!
Livingston: Jamieson, Longridge, Sives, Gordon, Gallagher (Millen 106), Pittman, White, Mullen, Georgiev (Neill 119), Gibbons, Buchanan (Sheerin 85)
Subs not used: Quinn, , Auriemma, Fraser, Smith
Goals: White (110)
Clyde: Gibson, Linton, M.McLaughlin (Ferguson 58), Bolochoweckyj, Smith, S.McLaughlin, Murray (McQueen 80), Gormley, Higgins, Brisbane (Campbell 79), Mitchell
Subs not used: McMillan, Marsh, Lynass, Fisher
Referee: John McKendrick
Match report: Andy Crawford