Saturday 11 January 2014

0 - 1

HT 0-1
Burchill (11)

Livi produced a tremendous performance to leave Dens Park with a surprise, but richly-deserved, victory over league leaders Dundee and close the gap on the playoff places to just two points.

The Lions had slipped to a first defeat since mid-November in their last fixture at home to Falkirk and were determined to bounce back against a Dundee side looking for a victory to take them into their crunch match with second-placed Hamilton next weekend with confidence.

It was Livi who made the stronger start and Keaghan Jacobs had the first shot in anger as he fired in a long-range which bounced up in front of Kyle Letheren and the Dark Blues keeper did well to hold. Livi weren't to be denied for much longer and they moved in front on 11 minutes. Martin Scott floated in a free kick and Mark Burchill made a clever run to lose his marker before rising unchallenged to head past Letheren and put Livi into a shock lead.

Dundee weren't offering much in attack but came close to levelling in unlikely fashion as Darren Jamieson reacted quickly to prevent Ryan Conroy's corner from flying straight in before Simon Mensing scrambled the ball clear. The home side then passed up a golden chance to level as Conroy was played in by Craig Wighton but Jamieson was off his line sharply to save well with Dees striker Martin Boyle standing unmarked and furious with his teammate for not squaring to him.

Livi went up the other end and when Jacobs played in Mike Mampuya, making his first start since the win at Dumbarton in September, his cutback was met by Marc McNulty but he could only toe an effort wide of the near post. Dundee then came close once more as Boyoe was played in down the left and he cut the ball back to Conroy whose shot flew harmlessly wide.

Livi continued to control proceedings in the second half with Dundee mostly restricted to increasingly desperate long range efforts. It was the Lions who had the first chance after the restart when Burchill picked the ball up in midfield and showed good skill to run into space down the left before cutting back to Scott who took a touch before firing over. Dundee then had a chance when Leighton McIntosh latched on to a misplaced pass from Jacobs but he rushed his shot and dragged it wide from 25 yards. Scott was then denied by Letheren as he picked up McNulty's through ball and made some space for himself before firing in a low strike which the keeper gathered at the second attempt.

Dundee then passed up their best chance of the half as Declan Gallagher rose highest at a corner but could only bullet a header across goal and wide. Livi then wasted a gilt-edged chance of their own when Stefan Scougall showed great tenacity to retain possession in the face of some hefty challenges from the Dundee defenders before producing a masterful flick over the defenders to play himself clean through but he could only prod a shot under Letheren and wide of the post. Scougall was then denied again as his long range strike was deflected over the bar, with Livi players appealing for handball.

Livi's resolute defending saw Dundee becoming increasingly reliant on aimless long balls forward and when one of those balls was knocked down, McIntosh fired in a low drive which Jamieson comfortably pushed wide. Dundee had the final chance when another hopeful ball forward fell to Conroy who shaped up for a spectacular volley but was left red-faced as he scuffed it well wide of the post.

Livi saw out the remainder of the match comfortably to secure an unexpected and impressive win over the leaders and cut the gap on fourth-placed Raith Rovers to just two points. Next up for the Lions is a visit from bottom-of-the-table Morton next Saturday for a game which both sides will be desperate to win for very different reasons.

Livingston: 1 Jamieson, 2 Mampuya, 3 Talbot, 4 Mensing, 6 Scott, 7 Jacobs, 8 O'Brien, 9 McNulty(Mullen 92), 10 Scougall (Wilkie 89), 15 Docherty, 27 Burchill (Denholm 63)
Subs not used:
16 Beaumont, 17 Walker, 20 Downie, 45 Rutherford

Dundee: 1 Letheren, 2 Irvine, 3 Lockwood, 6 Davidson, 8 McBride (Kerr 80), 10 Rae, 11 Conroy, 18 Gallagher, 20 McAlister, 23 Boyle (Monti 70), 33 Wighton (Mcintosh 63)
Subs not used:
5 Dyre, 17 Benedictus, 24 Twardzik, 25 Cummins

Referee: Steven McLean

Attendance: 4367

Match report: Andrew Crawford