It was a memorable victory for The Lions in one of the performances of the season on Saturday as they blew Dundee away at Dens Park.
David Martindale’s side got off to the best possible start when Bruce Anderson netted his 10th Premiership goal of the season after just six minutes. A phenomenal solo run by Alan Forrest took three Dundee players out of the game as the winger drove to the byline and cut back for Anderson who was positioned perfectly inside the six-yard box to tap home.
On 18 minutes, Livingston added a second as they carved open Dundee on the wing again. Anderson held up fantastically for Nouble, who drove beyond Cammy Kerr on the right wing before squaring for Scott Pittman who had made his trademark run from the edge of the box into the penalty area. The midfielder’s finish was a simple one as he added a second, netting his first goal since a 3-0 victory at St Johnstone in October.
If Dundee fans were in shock at their side’s start to the game, they were stunned just three minutes later as the visitors put in goal number three of the afternoon. Nicky Devlin was fouled just outside the box, but his quick thinking saw him make a run down the right-hand side. Alan Forrest was on the same wavelength as his teammate as the winger quickly played him in down the right with the Dundee defence still trying to get organised for the free kick. Devlin then squared for Anderson who was clinical again from close range, adding his second of the afternoon to bag another brace against the Premiership’s bottom side. This prompted many to swiftly exit the stadium in anger and disbelief.
With the Lions three goals to the good after just 21 minutes, the game was all but over. The away side would perhaps be forgiven for switching off a little at this stage, but bar a little flurry towards the end of the first half, Livi continued to dominate and looked like adding a fourth before Dundee looked like getting themselves back into the game.
In the hopes of a change in attitude and performance, defender Zeno Ibsen Rossi was replaced after Livi’s third as Paul McMullan came on to inject some pace into the game as Dundee changed shape. Ryan Sweeney saw a header go towards goal, but Max Stryjek held comfortably.
James Penrice then saw a free kick deflect just wide of the post after Danny Mullen tripped Scott Pittman. Penrice lined up the set piece, which looked goal bound, but the Dundee wall did its job.
Vontae Daley-Campbell was proving a threat down the right wing for the hosts, and put in a number of dangerous crosses. Despite their best efforts Zak Rudden and Danny Mullen couldn’t shake Ayo Obileye and Jack Fitzwater who were first to everything.
Into the second half, and Livingston coped well with Dundee’s attempt to ramp up the pressure and push for a goal that could get them back into the game. Mark McGhee’s men created very little, and it was the Lions who found the net next with probably the pick of the bunch.
Alan Forrest’s corner was cleared off the line by Danny Mullen, and the ball fell back to the winger on the left-hand side. Jack Fitzwater found himself in acres of space and he was picked out by Forrest. The defender took a touch and bent a curling effort into the far corner beyond the diving Lawlor, who picked the ball out of the net for the fourth time. If the three points weren’t sealed beforehand, they certainly were now.
It was arguably the performance of the season by Livingston who bossed Dundee in all departments. The victory takes them 13 points clear of the side rock bottom of the Premiership, but more importantly it catapults them into 6th place as David Martindale’s side look for a remarkable third top six finish on the trot.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Dundee: Lawlor, Kerr, Sweeney, McGhee, Byrne (Adam 45), Mullen ▊ (Marshall 60), Mulligan (McGinn 45), Rudden, Daley-Campbell ▊, Anderson (McGowan 81), Ibsen Rossi (McMullan 23)
Subs not used: Sharp, Fontaine, Elliott, McCowan
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obileye, Penrice (Longridge 81), Holt, Omeonga, Pittman (Shinnie 85), Forrest (Chukwuemeka 81), Nouble (Bailey 72), Anderson (Soto 72)
Subs not used: Konovalov, Boyes, Kelly, Montaño
Goals: Anderson (6 & 21), Pittman (18), Fitzwater (65)
Referee: Bobby Madden