Livingston came away with the three points after a dire game at Ochilview Park, with the forward pairing of Iain Russell and Rafaelle De Vita grabbing the Lions’ goals, and an Alex Williams consolation strike for the home side.
The Lions began the game brightly with Iain Russell having his first shot after just 2 minutes go just wide. However he wasn’t made to wait long for his first goal though, as one minute later he beat the Stenny defence and goalkeeper to record his 18th strike of the season, netting from 6yards.
The game failed to remain exciting, and it was almost ten minutes before the 431 strong crowd had any action to see. Jason Talbot and Paul Watson were deceived by a strange shot/cross by Williams, as the ball passed them both and found Grant Anderson who saw his effort held by Tony Bullock.
Livi attempted to double their lead just a few minutes later, with Fox finding himself in possession after a mistake by the home defence. He showed composure to release a right footed shot, which was unfortunately too soft to beat the keeper, Ally Brown.
The game remained end-to-end, with Stenny the next to come close, Williams finding himself just a little too short to meet a well placed cross.
Fox, again, found himself with a chance to score, sending a looping shot from 18 yards after a great pass from Keaghan Jacobs, which was held once more by Brown.
Stenhousemuir tried again with 25 minutes on the clock, Jordan Smith seeing his close up effort plucked out the air by experienced keeper Tony Bullock.
It was Livi’s Italian striker, Rafa De Vita that was to net the second goal of the game, as the half hour approached. A lobbed ball by Keaghan Jacobs found the Italian marksman who neatly chipped the ball on the volley over the keeper, before driving a controlled shot into the net in an effort worthy of goal of the season.
The first half saw a few more efforts by Stenhousemuir as they sought to reduce the deficit. Anderson ,Williams and Eric Paton all saw efforts go wide after good efforts.
Keaghan Jacobs hobbled off shortly before half time, to be replaced by David Sinclair. The team and fans alike will be hoping to see Keaghan is back to full fitness soon.
Russell got the first attempt of the second half, with 49 minutes on the clock, Russell unleashed a powerful shot after gaining hold of a poor keeper clearance. But the effort was comfortably held by the keeper.
It was over 10 minutes later before any further significant action happened, and it was the Warriors who threatened, Bullock unsuccessfully punching clear from a corner straight to substitute Lewis Sloan, who’s effort went high and wide.
Russell had a great chance, but took a moment too long to decide to shoot, and found himself too wide, resulting in the ball going well over.
Stenhousemuir got their well deserved goal on 78mins with Alex Williams finding the back of the net. Bullock charged out to meet a Paton free kick, but spectacularly missed the ball, and Williams was on hand to score.
Stenny ploughed forward as they sought the equaliser, Williams coming close, meeting a cross with an overhead kick, which was sadly too soft to beat the keeper.
Williams threatened again, sending a low cross in towards Bullock who got down successfully to hold the ball.
Livingston had one last effort before the final whistle blew, Joe Hamill shooting wide after successfully bringing the ball brilliantly under control and a tense period of the match.
The game was far from a classic, and one which many will choose to forget, but it’s another three points on the board, putting the Lions 16 clear at the top of the table. The fans will be hoping for better on Saturday when Peterhead visit the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium.
Stenhousemuir: Brown, Lyle, Smith (Sloane 44), Thom, Dickson, Stirling (Lynch 34), I.Thomson, Anderson, Paton, Murray, Williams.
Subs not used: McCluskey, Quinn, S.Thomson
Livingston: Bullock, Cowan, Talbot, C.Barr, Watson, Hamill, Fox, Kn.Jacobs (Sinclair 46), Ky.Jacobs, De Vita (Winters 86), Russell (Conway 86)
Subs not used: McDowall, O'Byrne
Report: Chris Naismith