Livi won their first home league game of the season for the first time since 2009 as Jordan White’s first Lions goal secured victory over Cowdenbeath on a blustery day at the Energy Assets Arena.
Not since they opened their Third Division campaign with a 2-0 win over Montrose five years ago have Livi opened their home campaign with full points, with three draws and a defeat kicking off the last four seasons.
Livi started brightly and won a free kick early on for a foul on White but Keaghan Jacobs curled his effort high over the bar. Cowdenbeath had their first chance soon after as Sean Higgins fired over from the edge of the box before Livi went up the other end and White fired in a near post volley which keeper Thomas Flynn did well to palm wide. Livi continued to press and Gary Glen made a great run before finding Jason Talbot but his cross was just too high for White.
Much of the first half was spent in the midfield area and it was little surprise when the two sides went in at the break still locked at 0-0.
What was surprising was how Livi blasted out of the traps in the second half, taking the lead just 27 seconds after the restart! Keaghan Jacobs fired in a wicked cross which Flynn had to react sharply to push onto the post and, after his first shot was blocked, Danny Mullen was there to fire the ball high into the net and make it a dream start to the half for the Lions.
There was an injury scare early in the half for Livi as Jason Talbot suffered a sore one but, having initially called for a stretcher, the long-serving full-back unexpectedly returned to the action.
Cowdenbeath continued to press for a way back into the match and Dean Brett came close with a drive that flew just over the crossbar. Centre-back Nat Wedderburn then made a driving run forward through the middle before teeing up Higgins but his shot was deflected over the bar.
Livi then came agonisingly close to a second when Kyle Jacobs made a run down the right and swung in a terrific far post cross for White but he could only head agonisingly wide, with half of the main stand crowd already on their feet ready to acclaim a goal that never arrived. Mullen and Glen then linked up well for the latter to fire in a shot which was deflected to safety by the visitors’ defence. Mullen then had an effort of his own from distance which Flynn did well to hold on to.
The pressure and momentum remained with Livi and they finally grabbed their second goal on 74 minutes. Keaghan Jacobs and Glen linked up well to put White clear and the big striker showed terrific skill and poise to skip round the keeper and tap into an empty net to give Livi a two-goal cushion.
Having established that cushion, boss John McGlynn took the opportunity to let Talbot rest his injury, sending Craig Sives on in his place. Talbot headed straight down the tunnel to get his injury more thoroughly checked.
Cowdenbeath started to press for a goal that might allow them to play on Livi’s nerves and they came mightily close to doing just that when Stuart Campbell’s cross found Jon Robertson but his shot crashed back off the bar with Darren Jamieson, who hadn’t made a save all game, well beaten. White then picked up a silly booking for kicking the ball away after Cowdenbeath won a throw before Jamieson made his first save of the match, comfortably holding a long range effort from Craig Sutherland. Goal hero Mullen was then replaced by David Robertson as Livi looked to see things out.
That didn’t quite work out as intended as Cowdenbeath pulled one back within 90 seconds as Lewis Milne slammed the ball home after Sutherland cut in from the left and cut the ball back.
As Cowdenbeath poured forward in search of an unlikely equaliser, Livi were able to get in behind on the counter to try and kill the game once and for all but, after a fine run down the right, Michael McKenna’s cross was hit too far in front of advancing sub Mark Burchill. Livi then shouted for a penalty when Keaghan Jacobs was brought down but nothing was given. It proved to be the final act of the match as Livi secured their first league win of the season to build on the encouraging performance at Easter Road on the opening day.
Livingston: 1 Jamieson, 3 Talbot (Sives 76), 5 Fordyce, 6 Ky.Jacobs, 7 Kn.Jacobs, 8 O’Brien, 14 Gallagher, 17 McKenna, 18 White, 19 Glen (Burchill 83), 20 Mullen (Robertson 88)
Subs not used:
11 Hippolyte, 16 Beaumont, 21 Grant, 31 Rutherford
Cowdenbeath: 1 Flynn, 3 Adamson (Campbell 77), 4 O’Brien, 5 Armstrong, 6 Wedderburn, 7 Robertson, 8 Milne, 10 Higgins, 12 Kane (Jurisic 77), 14 Brett, 20 Miller (Sutherland 67)
Subs not used: 17 Thomson, 18 Brownlie, 22 Lynas, 24 Callaghan
Referee: Euan Anderson
Match report: Andrew Crawford