Livi were held to a drab goalless draw by National League side Gateshead in their final pre-season friendly at Kingston Park in Newcastle.
In a match that won’t live long in the memory, both sides hit the woodwork after the interval as Kenny Miller took the opportunity to field some trialists as he continues to build his squad ahead of the Ladbrokes Premiership opener against Celtic next Saturday.
There were first appearances for Ross Stewart, Steven Saunders and Egli Kaja while two trialists also started for the Lions.
It was the home side who had the first chance of the match on eight minutes as Greg Olley tried his luck from the edge of the box but Stewart was able to save with ease. Stewart had to be alert again three minutes later as Tom White wriggled into space in the Livi box and fired in a low strike that was superbly saved by the former St Mirren stopper.
The Lions made a change on 26 minutes as Matthew Knox came on for Sibbald before the Lions came close four minutes before the break as Kaja and Hamilton tried to find an opening and the ball fell to a trialist, whose effort was well saved by Mark Foden. That was as good as it got in the first half as the teams went in level at the break.
Half-time: Gateshead 0-0 Livingston
Livi made one change as Keaghan Jacobs was replaced by a trialist, the playoff final goal hero having made his first start since returning from injury.
The home side went close on 47 minutes as Luke Armstrong wriggled free just inside the box but sent his effort high over the bar. They came closer still six minutes later as trialist Tom Devitt headed against the bar from close range. Up the other end, Alan Lithgow launched one of his trademark long throws into the box and Saunders got on the end of it but sent his header wide.
The Lions made their third change on 63 minutes as Callum Crane came on for a Trialist before another chance fell Gateshead’s way a minute later, Stewart getting down well to save a low strike from Ben Clark. Connor Thomson then had a great chance on 66 minutes as a cross found him unmarked in the box but he didn’t connect properly and Stewart saved comfortably.
The Lions came close to a fortuitous winner on 83 minutes as Lamie’s mishit cross caught out Foden, only to cannon back off the crossbar. A Livi trialist tried his luck from distance in added time but saw his effort whistle just over the bar as the two sides were forced to settle for a share of the spoils.
Full-time: Gateshead 0-0 Livingston
Gateshead: Foden, Tinkler, Mellish, Olley, Devitt, Maloney (Forbes 56), Salkeild (Trialist 63), White, Armstrong (Boden 56), Trialist, O’Donnell (Thomson 63)
Subs not used: Trialist, Clark
Livingston: Stewart (Maley 73), Saunders, Trialist (Lamie 67), McMillan, Lithgow, Byrne (Trialist 67), Jacobs (Trialist 45), Trialist (Crane 63), Sibbald (Knox 26), Kaja, Hamilton
Subs not Used: K.Miller
Referee: Tony Harrington
Match Report: Andy Crawford
Photos: Rae Irvine