Livi climbed off the foot of the Scottish Championship as they eased past Alloa Athletic to secure a first league win of the campaign at the Indodrill Stadium.
After pushing Scottish Cup winners Inverness all the way in the League Cup on Tuesday night, Lions boss Mark Burchill made three changes to his side as Ben Gordon and Liam Buchanan replaced Morgyn Neill and Jordan White while new loan signing Marc McCallum replaced the injured Darren Jamieson in the Livi goal.
The home side had the first chance of the game on three minutes as Iain Flannigan had a free kick blocked before almost getting on the end of Ryan McAusland’s recycled cross. Livi went up the other end and came close to breaking the deadlock on seven minutes when Gordon met a corner and forced David Crawford into a fine save. Livi forced a number of set pieces in quick succession but they came to nothing.
Debutant McCallum was called into action for the first time on 17 minutes as he produced a tremendous save to tip Michael Chopra’s thunderous 35-yard drive over the crossbar. The Lions made the most of that save as they went up the other end and broke the deadlock. Of course it was ex-Wasps man Buchanan who found the net as he was played in by Jordyn Sheerin to smash the ball home. Remarkably, it was the first time Livi had taken the lead in a league game all season.
The home side tried to respond and came close when Michael Duffy burst past two men and fed Chopra, the ball eventually finding its way to Connor McManus who shot over. Livi thought they had doubled their lead on 32 minutes when Hippolyte fired home but the whistle had already gone for a foul on Mikk Reintam. Chopra then almost caught out McCallum with a free kick but the Livi stopper gathered well in the end.
The home side almost drew level right on the stroke of half-time when Reintam looped a header goalwards but Jackson Longridge was in the perfect position to clear it off the line and ensure the Lions went in at the interval with their lead intact.
Half-time: Alloa 0-1 Livingston
Livi started the second half strongly and almost doubled their lead on 48 minutes when Buchanan got on the end of a diagonal ball and fired in a shot which Crawford saved. Alloa enjoyed a good spell of possession after that chance but were made to pay for doing nothing with it as the Lions doubled their lead on 58 minutes when Ross Millen picked out Sheerin with another pinpoint diagonal ball and the big striker smashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Alloa forced a decent effort as neat link-up play between McManus, Duffy and Chopra ended with a shot from Flannigan which McCallum did well to save. Flannigan then sent in a superb cross from the right but no one could get on the end of it and Livi survived. Wasps boss Danny Lennon then made a triple change to try and spark his side into life as McAusland, Flannigan and ex-Lion Burton O’Brien were replaced by Eddie Ferns, Graeme Holmes and Mark Williams.
Livi should have made it 3-0 on 74 minutes when Buchanan found Faria at the back post and he flashed a shot across goal which Sheerin was inches away from getting a toe on. It was only a brief delay for the Lions, though, as the third goal did arrive barely two minutes later when Buchanan spun Holmes on the half way line and ran on to a clearance from Gordon before coolly slotting home past Crawford.
Alloa continued to press in search of a consolation goal and Williams picked out Colin Hamilton at the back post but, much like Faria’s effort, his shot fizzed across goal and wide. That proved to be the final chance of note in the game as Livi eased to a richly-deserved victory and moved off the foot of the table.
Full-time: Alloa 0-3 Livingston
Next up for the Lions is a trip across the Erskine Bridge to take on Dumbarton at The Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium this Saturday.
Alloa Athletic: Crawford, McAusland (Williams 67), Hill, Reintam, Hamilton, O’Brien (Ferns 67), Chopra, McManus, Flannigan (Holmes 67), Crawford, Duffy
Subs not used: McNeil, Paun, Layne, Hetherington
Livingston: McCallum, Millen, Longridge, Gordon, Gallagher, Cole, Pittman, Hippolyte (Faria 62), Glen (Georgiev 80), Sheerin (White 80), Buchanan
Subs not used: Jamieson, Neill, Gibbons, Currie
Goals: Buchanan (23 & 78), Sheerin (59)
Referee: Mat Northcroft
Match Report: Andy Crawford