The Braidwood Motor Company Stadium was treated to an entertaining opening pre-season fixture as Gary Bollan welcomed Jim McIntyre’s Dunfermline side to Livingston.
The SPL new-boys wasted no time in stating their intentions and after only 5 minutes, Martin Hardie rose highest in the box to head home from a corner, despite the best efforts of Iain Russell on the line.
This appeared to be a very early wake-up call to the Lions and within 4 minutes, we’d drawn level. A deep cross from Dunfermline was headed clear by Keaghan Jacobs and Marc McNulty made the most of some slack control to pounce on the ball and thread a pass forward to Iain Russell. New Pars signing Paul Gallagher raced from his line to close Russell’s angle but last years top goalscorer made no mistake in stroking the home the equaliser.
Both McNulty and David Sinclair then had chances to give us the lead. Kyle Jacobs disposed Hardie and the loose ball fell to Sinclair who fired a 30 yard strike at goal which Gallagher gathered well. McNulty seen his effort trundle wide after the ball fell to him after ricocheting off Rutkiewicz from a Kyle Jacobs cross.
Sinclair soon had Gallagher scrambling again, and this time the young midfielder may have felt hard done to. His whipped corner was caught by the goalkeeper but the former Scotland international appeared to be behind his line. Despite his appeals, neither the referee or linesman agreed and no goal was given.
Dunfermline ended the half with a chance of their own but Andy Barrowman failed to connect with a deep cross into the box.
Early into the second period and Liam Buchanan really should have restored Dunfermline’s lead. A low drive into the box was missed by Paul Watson and after teeing himself up, Buchanan shot wide from 10 yards with the goal at his mercy. ‘Sinky’ then had his next dual with Gallagher, sending a low free-kick towards the bottom left-hand corner from 30 yards out but the ‘keeper dealt with it well.
Both teams pushed for a winner with Livingston looking the likeliest to sneak it. A cross from Jason Talbot was blocked and fell to Bobby Barr who was desperately unlucky to see his controlled drive crash off the top of the bar and out for a goal-kick.
Dunfermline closed out the game with a couple of long range efforts but sub-keeper Darren Jamieson got down well to push both shots wide.
All in all a fair result and a good work-out under the belts of our guys. Livingston: Bullock (Jamieson 59), MacDonald, Talbot, Ky Jacobs (Scougall 62), C Barr, Watson, Kn.Jacobs (Cummings 69), Sinclair (Fox 62), McNulty (Ky.Jacobs 74), Russell, B Barr (Turner 74)
Dunfermline Athletic (first half): Gallacher, Trialist, McCann, Mason, Rutkiewicz, Keddie, Cardle, Hardie, Barrowman, Kirk, Graham
Dunfermline Athletic (second half): Smith, Thomson, Boyle, Phinn, Dowie, Potter, Burns, Willis, Buchanan, McDougall, Clarke
Ref: M Tumilty
Match report by Dave Black