Livi romped to their biggest-ever home win in the top flight as an attacking masterclass from the Lions’ defence put rock-bottom Dundee to the sword at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Goals from Declan Gallagher, Craig Halkett, Stevie Lawless and Alan Lithgow sealed an emphatic win for Gary Holt’s men as the Lions’ set-piece strengths came to the fore in spectacular style.
The Lions were unchanged for the sixth straight game as they looked to equal their longest unbeaten run in the top tier and they came close to breaking the deadlock inside four minutes when Lawless’ free kick was only half-cleared to Shaun Byrne and he sent a volley a yard over the bar from the edge of the box.
Lawless then had a go from distance four minutes later after cutting in from the right but it flew comfortably over before his corner was met by Lithgow whose header was also too high. Former Livi player-boss Kenny Miller came close to breaking the deadlock at the other end on 11 minutes but he curled a shot wide from the edge of the box after being played in by Benjamin Kallman.
Livi were soon back on the front foot and a well-worked move on 14 minutes ended with Keaghan Jacobs crossing for Scott Pittman to head wide. The Lions finally got their reward four minutes later as they broke the deadlock when Jacobs’ free kick found Gallagher at the back post and he powered home a header for his first goal since a 4-2 League One victory over Airdrie in March 2017.
The goal was a hammer blow to the visitors ‘ fragile confidence and Livi came close to a second on 29 minutes when Jacobs let fly from the edge of the box but saw his low effort fizz inches past the post. Jacobs then picked up the first yellow card of the game for breaking up a counter attack before Lewis Spence followed suit for the visitors after a poor challenge on Byrne.
The Lions gave themselves a two-goal cushion three minutes from the interval as another pinpoint free kick from Jacobs found Halkett completely unmarked and he glanced a header past Elliot Parish to send Livi in at the break in control.
Half-time: Livingston 2-0 Dundee
New Dundee boss Jim McIntyre made a change five minutes after the restart, sending on Roarie Deacon for Karl Madianga, to try and spark a revival and the substitute won his side a free kick almost immediately, for which Gallagher picked up an incredibly soft yellow card.
The visitors were enjoying more possession but struggled to lay a glove on Livi’s rock-solid defence and it was Livi who went close on 70 minutes when a looping header from Halkett landed on the roof of the net. The Lions then made their first change a minute later as Jacobs, on a yellow card, went off to be replaced by Steve Lawson.
The points were sealed for the Lions on 75 minutes as a free kick from the right from Lawless bounced all the way through into the far corner of the net without a touch for the ex-Partick Thistle man’s second goal of the season. That was to be his last act as he made his way off to be replaced by Jack McMillan a minute later. Craig Sibbald then replaced Dolly Menga three minutes later.
The Lions rounded off the rout in the final minute as Lithgow – frozen out under Miller – showed his former boss the error of his ways, rising high at the back post to head home Lawson’s deep corner to also notch for the second time this season.
The final whistle followed soon after to seal an eighth league game without defeat for the Lions and lift them up to fourth in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Full-time: Livingston 4-0 Dundee
Livingston: Kelly, Lamie, Gallagher, Halkett, Lithgow, Lawless (McMillan 77), Byrne, Pittman, Jacobs (Lawson 73), Robinson, Menga (Sibbald 78)
Subs not Used: Stewart, Cadden, Hamilton, Burns
Goals: Gallagher (18), Halkett (43), Lawless (76), Lithgow (90)
Dundee: Parish, Kerr, Kamara, Moussa, Inniss, C.Miller, Kallman (Nabi 73), K.Miller, Madianga (Deacon 50), Boyle, Spence
Subs not used: Hamilton, O’Dea, Ngwatala, Mendy, Curran
Referee: Nick Walsh
Match Report: Andy Crawford
Photos: Rae Irvine