\Wednesday 18 July 2012

Livingston 3-1 Brechin City

A strong first team side proved too strong for Second Division side Brechin City in tonight's 'closed door' friendly at the Spartans Academy in Edinburgh.

The match went ahead thanks to the recently laid artificial pitch at Ainslie Park, which despite incessant rain allowed the ball to run well throughout.

In a dominant first half performance, we maintained possession well as well as creating problems for the City defence, which included former Lions, Ewan Moyes and Jonathan Brown.

Stefan Scougall was outstanding in a central midfield role and he forced the first meaningful save from the City keeper in the seventh minute when he hit a shot from distance which zipped across the surface.

A minute later we grabbed the first goal, Marc McNulty continuing his fine pre-season scoring form with a well struck right foot shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Midway through the half, 'Sparky' grabbed his second from the penalty spot when Gerry McLaughlin fouled Bobby Barr in the box.  His kick could scarcely have been better placed, low with pace into the 'keepers left hand corner.

Before half time we could have made it three when a perfectly weighted through pass from Scougall put Bobby Barr in the clear, but his shot was tipped onto the post.

Two up the break, our lead quickly increased on the restart, Bobby Barr finding the net with another well taken shot from distance.

As is often the case, the second half was disrupted to some extent with substitutions, with John Hughes making a total of seven changes.

Perhaps most notable was the introductions of Mark Hurst and Scott Wilson - two of our Under 17 championship winners last season - for their first taste of first team action.

Iain Russell was another to come off the bench and he set up Tony Andreu for our best chance of a fourth goal with twenty minutes left, but the French midfielder scooped the ball over from close range.

Moments before then, Brechin grabbed what proved to be a consolation goal, David McKenna finishing off an excellent passing move with a clinical shot past McNeil from fifteen yards.

Livingston: McNeil (Hurst 75), McCann, Fordyce (McDonald 66), Watson, C Barr, Ke Jacobs (Cummings 75), B Barr, Andreu (A Russell 75), McNulty (I Russell 66), Scougall (Wilson 62), Morton (Downie 75)