Wednesday 4 July 2012

FC Concordia Chiajna 2-0 Livingston

We were defeated by Romanian side CS Concordia this afternoon, but can take positives from our first pre-season friendly run out.

The bulk of the squad were given game time at Grangemouth Stadium, but with the pitch becoming progressively heavier, the match became a test of stamina as well an opportunity for John Hughes to take a look at the players in a match situation.

As expected, Concordia were technically strong and they raced into an early lead with two well taken goals inside the first quarter of an hour.

It took time for our players to settle, but the final twenty minutes of the first half saw us carve out a couple of chances. Marc McNulty had two good opportunities to get his first goal of the season, but passed up both.

The first half was notable for the debut appearances of Jordan Morton and Tony Andreu, both making a positive first impression.

Nine changes were made at the break with only Calum Fordyce and Bobby Barr playing through for a full ninety minutes.

Iain Russell replaced McNulty as our prime attacking threat, but he was unable to find the finish to match some impressive build-up play.

As friendlies go, it was a very keenly contested affair with plenty of tackles going in. Paul Watson was fortunate to escape a yellow card for one fully-bloodied sliding challenge, although Ross Docherty did pick up a yellow later on. The Romanian side took one of their players off in the wake of a minor flashpoint.

Arguably our nearest thing to a second half goal came from Paul Watson, who outjumped the Concordia defence to produce a powerful header that went close.

All in all, it was a useful exercise against a good side which finished ninth in last year's Romanian top division.

An even tougher test is expected against Rapid Bucuresti, one of Romania's Europa League representatives, this Saturday.

Livingston (first half): Jamieson, McCann, McDonald, Fordyce, C Barr, Downie, B Barr, Ky Jacobs, McNulty, Andreu, Morton.
Livingston (second half): McNeil, Cummings, Hastings, Fordyce, Watson, Docherty, B Barr, Ke Jacobs, I Russell, A Russell, Scougall.