Livi ensured their stay at the bottom of the Championship was a brief one as they secured a point away to Falkirk on Tuesday night to move up to eighth, though it was a fifth league match without a goal for the Lions.
Livi knew they needed to respond after Saturday’s mauling by Hibs sent them tumbling to the foot of the table after four straight losses but they knew a tough test lay ahead against a Falkirk side looking for what would have been their seventh-straight win over the Lions. Livi boss John McGlynn made two changes to his side after Saturday, Shaun Rutherford and Rob Ogleby coming in for Keaghan Jacobs and Mark Burchill. There was also a welcome return to first team action for club captain Simon Mensing, who took his place among the substitutes.
It was the Bairns who made the far brighter start and they should have done more with a corner from David Smith which bounced in the six yard box before Darren Jamieson gathered. Jamieson then came to the rescue soon after with a fine double save to deny Alex Cooper and Rory Loy. The Livi no.1 had a scare a few minutes later when he came off worse in a challenge with Loy, fortunately he was able to continue. The Lions created their first chance soon after as Gary Glen, Rob Ogleby and Jordan White linked up well for the latter to fire in a decent low effort which forced Jamie McDonald into a diving save. A couple of corners followed soon after for Livi but no one could get on the end of them.
After soaking up the Livi pressure, Falkirk began to regain control though White tried his luck for Livi with a long-range effort which flew wide. Loy then had a golden chance for the Bairns as he burst through on goal but Jamieson came out to block well. A couple of quickfire bookings followed for Livi as their centre-back pairing of Callum Fordyce and Craig Sives picked up yellows in what proved the final moments of note in the first half as the teams went in at the break all-square.
There weren’t many chances in the early part of the second half but the yellow cards continued to flow as ref Andrew Dallas became somewhat card-happy, Burton O’Brien and Michael McKenna both finding their way into the book inside the first ten minutes. Livi then made their first change as Sives made way for David Robertson. The first chance of the half arrived some fifteen minutes in as McKenna cut in from the right hand side and fired in a decent effort which flew just wide of MacDonald’s left-hand post. Gary Glen came every bit as close a couple of minutes later when he latched on to Kyle Jacobs’ long ball and sent a shot whistling just over the bar. Blair Alston then had Falkirk’s first chance of the half but his neat flick was straight at Jamieson before McKenna tried his luck from fully 30 yards, McDonald saving with ease.
Livi made their final change with around 20 minutes to go, Myles Hippolyte replacing Ogleby, to try and find a winner but it was Peter Houston’s side who came very close to finding it as Loy broke clear again and fired in a low drive which Jamieson did brilliantly to stop. Jamieson was the hero again soon after with another terrific save, this time from David Smith’s effort. Livi’s golden chance came with just under 15 minutes left as Glen sent a fine ball across goal and White was mere inches away from giving Livi the lead but could only watch in agony as the ball just evaded him.
It proved the final action of the match as Livi at least managed to stop the rot after four straight defeats but, worryingly for John McGlynn, it’s now five league games without a goal stretching back to the 4-0 win over Alloa on 13 September. Queen of the South are next up at the Energy Assets Arena on Saturday and the Lions will be hoping they can maintain their impressive record against the Doonhamers so far this season.
Falkirk: 1 MacDonald, 5 McCracken, 6 Vaulks, 8 Alston, 9 Smith, 10 Sibbald (Bia Bi 68), 14 Grant, 17 Maybury, 19 Leahy, 20 Cooper (Shepherd 78), 33 Loy
Subs not used: 3 Shaughnessy, 7 Taiwo, 12 Bowman, 22 Blair, 24 McGeever
Livingston: 1 Jamieson, 2 Sives (Robertson 60), 3 Talbot, 5 Fordyce, 6 Ky.Jacobs, 8 O'Brien, 9 Ogleby (Hippolyte 72), 17 McKenna, 18 White, 19 Glen (Mullen 89). 31 Rutherford
Subs not used: 4 Mensing, 15 Praprotnik, 16 Beaumont, 21 Grant
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Match report: James Lothian