After three straight home defeats, the Lions returned to winning ways at the Energy Assets Arena as Jason Talbot’s first goal of the season was enough to keep all three points in West Lothian.
Manager John McGlynn made three changes to the side that lost to Hamilton last Friday night with Simon Mensing, Michal Habai and Marc McNulty all taking a place in the starting line-up ahead of Mike Mampuya, Craig Sives and Danny Mullen.
Cowdenbeath enjoyed the better of the opening period and really should have been ahead early on. Some good link up play between Greg Stewart and Rory McKeown sent the latter scurrying down the left wing and he pulled the ball back excellently for Chris Kane but with the goal gaping, he miscued his shot and sent the ball well wide of the post.
It was roles reversed shortly after as Kane done well to win the ball in the middle of the park and send McKeown in behind the Livi backline but he shot straight at Jamieson from the left of the box.
Cowdenbeath again threatened as Stewart this time linked with Jon Robertson who teed up Jamie Stevenson on the edge of the area but his first touch let him down and he sent his shot high over the bar.
As half-time approached, the Lions had a penalty claim waved away by referee Andrew Dallas. Jamieson’s long kick forward was glanced on by McNulty and as Habai tried to get to the ball, John Armstrong appeared to haul him to the ground as he attempted to shield the ball back to his goalkeeper. Despite the frantic claims by both McNulty and Habai, the referee waved play on and the sides went back up the tunnel tied at 0-0.
Livingston started the second half much better than they did the first and Cowdenbeath ‘keeper Thomas Flynn had his first real save to make early on. Martin Scott’s corner from the left was lofted to the edge of the box where Keaghan Jacobs controlled the ball before firing goal wards but Flynn done excellently to tip the shot over the bar.
Minutes later and Keaghan came close again, this time latching on to Scott’s pass before driving at the Cowdenbeath backline but he pulled his shot wide of the left hand post.
With just over an hour on the clock, the Lions took the lead through the most unlikely of sources. The Jacobs brothers linked up well in the middle of the park before feeding the ball out wide to Habai. The ex-Morton man steadied himself before delivering a pin point cross to the back post where full back Jason Talbot had bombed forward and he made no mistake, slamming the ball past Flynn to open the scoring.
That goal seemed to further encourage the home side to press forward as they looked to kill the game off. Keaghan was unlucky not to see his cross turned in after some nice work down the wing but Armstrong cleared just as Habai looked set to knock in his first goal in Livi colours. Martin Scott’s cross was then nearly turned into the Cowdenbeath net by Dean Brett but he’d have been relieved to see his mishit clearance drop on to the roof of his own net.
Cowdenbeath weren’t completely out the game though and Armstrong tried his luck from 30 yards but his shot whistled just wide of Jamieson’s goal.
The final chance of the match did fall to Livingston though and it really should have been 2-0. Flynn miskicked a clearance straight to Scott on the edge of the box and when he pulled the ball back for McNulty 8 yards from goal, not many would have bet against him scoring but the ‘keeper redeemed himself, spreading his body to save the shot with his legs.
A confidence boosting win for the Lions, putting an end to a poor run of home results. With two of the top three up next, it’s a very welcome three points for McGlynn and his players.
Livingston: Jamieson, Talbot , Mensing, Fordyce, Scott, Kn.Jacobs, O'Brien, McNulty (Mullen 90), Habai (Barrowman 72), Ky.Jacobs, Mevlja
Subs not used: Walker, Mampuya, Denholm, Sives,Praprotnik
Cowdenbeath: Flynn, McKeown, Armstrong, Wedderburn, Brett, Stevenson, G.Stewart, Fowler, Robertson, Brownlie, Kane (Morton 73)
Subs not used: Usai, O'Brien, S.Stewart, Gold, Miller, Johnston
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Match report: Dave Black