Livi’s slim play-off hopes were finally extinguished as an insipid display saw Cowdenbeath run riot to claim their first win over the Lions in 19 years.
The Lions knew only a win would do to keep them in the race for fourth place while the Blue Brazil had a similar need for points in their battle to avoid the play-offs at the other end of the Championship table.
Cowden were dominant throughout and had their first chance when John Armstrong smashed in a low free kick from 20 yards which Darren Jamieson blocked with his legs before John Stewart then cut in from the left and fired in a low shot which Jamieson did well to parry. Their dominance was soon rewarded when Armstrong rose highest to meet a corner and his header slipped between Jamieson’s legs to put Cowden in front. The Livi stopper may feel he should have done better but he could argue he was distracted by Kyle Jacobs’ attempt to clear the header.
The second half saw wave after wave of home pressure and they were soon cruising as Stewart slipped in Kane Hemmings and the former Rangers youngster made the most of a lame offside trap to run into acres of space and fire a shot high into the net. More misery was to follow as more weak defending saw Cowden go 3-0 up. Substitute Jamie Stevenson was the architect this time as he played in Hemmings and he easily outmuscled Martin Scott to run clear and slot home his second of the match.
The rout was completed soon after as Stevenson swung in a corner and, although Callum Fordyce was able to initially clear, Nathaniel Wedderburn then set up Rory McKeown to swing in a cross which Armstrong rose highest to meet and bullet home a header for his second of the game. With the job done, Cowden simply went through the motions for the last 20 minutes and allowed Livi a couple of chances for a consolation. Their execution of those chances summed up the limp nature of the performance. First, Burton O’Brien set up Keaghan Jacobs who cut on to his right and fire in a tame low shot which Thomas Flynn saved easily. McNulty was next to go close as he played a one-two with Mark Burchill before firing in a similarly weak shot which Flynn again gathered with ease.
Having looked set to be a play-off decider, next week’s trip to Palmerston to take on Queen of the South is now set to be a meaningless end of season game for the Lions as they look to at least end a turbulent season on a high.
Cowdenbeath: Flynn, Armstrong, Wedderburn, Brownlie (Stevenson 77), McKeown (Johnston 83), O'Brien, Brett, Milne, Kane, Stewart, Hemmings (Adamson 83)
Subs not used: Morton, Gold, Usai, Miller
Livingston: Jamieson, Mampuya (Talbot 69), Fordyce, Sives, Mevlja (Kn.Jacobs 69), Scott, O'Brien, Wilkie (Lander 69), Ky.Jacobs, McNulty, Burchill
Subs not used: Denholm, Beaumont, Walker, Praprotnik,
Referee: George Salmond
Match report: Andrew Crawford