Jordan White’s sparkling start to his Livi career continued with a splendid hat-trick as the Lions tore Alloa to shreds on a warm afternoon at the Energy Assets Arena.
After Callum Fordyce had ended his year-long wait for a goal to put the Lions in front, White took centre-stage with a powerful display of finishing that completely took the sting out the forlorn Wasps.
After a scrappy start to the match with little in the way of creativity, Livi came close to an opener on 13 minutes when Keaghan Jacobs whipped in a fine cross towards White but the big striker was only inches away from getting on the end of it. After another quiet spell, White came even closer when Jason Talbot took advantage of a mix-up in the visitors defence to whip in a fine cross and, after a smart turn, White fired in a low drive which was deflected just wide.
It proved only a short respite for the visitors as Livi took a deserved lead from the resulting corner. An inch-perfect ball from Talbot was met by a thumping header from Fordyce which bounced down through the legs of the defender on the line to give the big centre-back his first goal since that memorable hat-trick against Cowdenbeath almost a year to the day ago.
Livi doubled their lead just six minutes later as Fordyce turned provider, sending a long-ball forward which brought Wasps keeper, and one-time Lion Craig McDowall, charging from his goal. In truth he was never getting near it as White comfortably out-jumped the keeper to nod into the unguarded net and give the Lions a two-goal cushion.
Livi were rampant by this point and came close to a third barely two minutes later as Gary Glen’s sliderule pass sent White clear but McDowall this time did well to make himself big and block the in-form frontman’s effort from the edge of the box. Keaghan was next to try his luck with a well-struck hooked volley which McDowall gathered comfortably. The half ended with Alloa’s first shot of note, an effort from Ryan McCord which flew wildly over the bar, as Livi went in with the comfort of a 2-0 lead.
Livi picked up where they left off after half-time and Keaghan came close again on 48 minutes but, after being played in down the right, he could only fire over the bar from a fairly tight angle. Michael McKenna then showed good technique down the right hand side but could only curl a cross straight into the arms of McDowall.
Alloa had offered little but came close to a route back into the match when McCord drove forward and lashed in a fine effort from 20 yards which Darren Jamieson did well to push over the bar with his first save of note in the match. McCord then blotted his copybook somewhat with a yellow card for a naughty late lunge on Fordyce.
Gary Glen, still without a Livi goal though not for the want of trying, was denied again when he met a corner from Keaghan but McDowall dived to his left to save. Livi made their first change a couple of minutes later as Myles Hippolyte took to the field in place of David Robertson, the visitors also making their first change as Eddie Ferns replaced McCord.
The Wasps were battling gamely without posing much of a threat but they came close again on 62 minutes when Greig Spence rifled in a free kick which flew just wide of Jamieson’s left-hand post. Having survived that scare, Livi promptly went up the other end and killed the game off once and for all when Glen showed good movement before rifling in a low shot which McDowall could only parry and White was on hand to slam a first time effort high into the net for 3-0.
Livi were cruising now and make their second change a few minutes later as McKenna was replaced by Mark Burchill before it was almost feeding time for Hippo as he went clean through on goal only to see his shot blocked by McDowall.
Alloa almost grabbed a consolation when Spence slipped Kevin Cawley through but his shot was saved well by Jamieson. Once again, Livi went right up the other end and did what Alloa couldn’t do as White rounded off a memorable day for him and Livi by completing his hat-trick. Hippolyte was flattened in the box but, after a good advantage by ref Kevin Clancy, White was left wide open six yards out and he waited for McDowall to go down before lifting his shot high into net.
Hippo went hungry again soon after as he was sent clean through and fired low into the net only to be denied by the linesman’s flag. It must have been a very tight decision. Hat-trick hero White was then given a deserved standing ovation as he left the field to be replaced by Rob Ogleby and was then named sponsors man of the match.
Ogleby quickly got involved, linking up well with Glen but shooting over the bar with what proved to be the final chance of the match as, having passed up numerous chances in their previous two games with differing results, the Lions finally showed their lethal touch to claim an emphatic win and move back into the top half of the Championship table.
Livingston: 1 Jamieson, 2 Sives, 3 Talbot, 5 Fordyce, 6 Ky.Jacobs, 7 Kn.Jacobs, 8 O'Brien, 10 Robertson (Hippolyte 61), 17 McKenna (Burchill 74), 18 White (Ogleby 85), 19 Glen
Subs not used: 16 Beaumont, 20 Mullen, 21 Grant, 31 Rutherford
Alloa: 3 Docherty, 4 Gordon, 5 Meggatt, 6 Simmons, 7 Cawley, 8 McCord (Ferns 61), 9 Spence, 10 Holmes, 17 Doyle, 19 Buchanan, 21 McDowall
Subs not used: 2 Tiffoney, 14 Benedictus, 15 Marr, 18 Hetherington, 20 Asghar, 31 Couser
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Match report: Andrew Crawford