Greenock Morton 0-1 Livingston

Livi made it three wins from three games against the other top four sides as a sublime strike from Nicky Cadden sealed a third win at Cappielow this season and opened up an eight-point lead in second place in the Ladbrokes Championship.

Cadden struck from 25 yards early in the second half as the Lions defied the ‘Beast from the East’ to inflict a first defeat in eight games on Jim Duffy’s side, extending their own unbeaten run to seven games in the process.

David Hopkin went with the same starting line up and subs bench from the home wins over St Mirren and Dundee United as they looked to continue their unlikely promotion push but it was the home side who made the brighter start and threatened first on four minutes as Gary Harkins fired an effort harmlessly wide of the post.

Livi made their first foray forward shortly after as Scott Pittman tried his luck from a similar distance but saw his effort fly high and wide. The Lions had the ball in the net moments later as Derek Gaston fumbled Raffaele De Vita’s corner into the net but Lee Miller was adjudged to have fouled the Morton keeper and the goal was ruled out.

It was turning into a long-distance contest with Bob McHugh the latest to try his luck on 10 minutes but, like Harkins and Pittman before him, his effort was harmlessly off target. There was finally an effort on target a minute later as Pittman tried is luck with an effort from just inside the box that Gaston got down well to save.

The home side forced a couple of corners in quick succession but the danger was over when McHugh’s cross sailed out of play before he saw a header loop over the bar five minutes later. Ryan Hardie headed De Vita’s cross wide before a quick counter attack saw Robinson release Pittman but his touch let him down and Gaston was able to gather.

Morton were dominating proceedings and came close to breaking the deadlock on 27 minutes when John Baird fed Mark Russell and his shot came off the outside of the post before Michael Doyle tried his luck soon after but saw his effort saved by Alexander.

Livi were forced into a change four minutes from the break as Robinson suffered an injury and was replaced by Keaghan Jacobs as the teams went in at the interval all square.

Half-time: Greenock Morton 0-0 Livingston

Having withstood some heavy pressure from the home side towards the end of the first half, the Lions made the perfect start to the second as they broke the deadlock on 47 minutes when the ball was played across to Cadden and he took a touch before firing a terrific effort high past Gaston from 25 yards for his first goal of the season.

It was almost 2-0 five minutes later as Pittman got in behind the Morton defence but his effort didn’t have enough power and Gaston was able to save comfortably. De Vita picked up the game’s first yellow card for a foul on Kevin Strapp on 54 minutes and that turned out to be his final involvement as he went off two minutes later to be replaced by Jack McMillan. Harkins then tried to catch out Alexander with a quick free kick but the Livi keeper reacted well to save.

Livi captain Craig Halkett was the next to pick up a yellow card on the hour mark before the home side made their first change ten minutes later as Michael Tidser was replaced by Frank Ross. Nicky Cadden tried his luck from distance on 73 minutes but Gaston was equal to his effort on this occasion before Livi made their final change of the night two minutes later as Miller was replaced by Jackson Longridge.

Cadden seemed to have an eye for goal and tried his luck again on 77 minutes but this time his effort was off target. Doyle picked up the home side’s first yellow card with ten minutes to go for a foul on Pittman before they made their second change soon after as Russell was replaced by Gary Oliver.

The home side piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser but two Harkins corners drifted out of play without finding a teammate as Livi weathered both the literal and metaphorical storm to further strengthen their hold on second place in the Ladbrokes Championship.

Full-time: Greenock Morton 0-1 Livingston

Morton: Gaston, Murdoch, O’Ware, Lamie, Doyle, McHugh, Tidser (Ross 71), Harkins, Strapp, Russell (Oliver 83), Baird
Subs not used: Brennan, Tiffoney, Langan, Purdue

Livingston: Alexander, Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Byrne, Pittman, De Vita (McMillan 56), Cadden, Robinson (Jacobs 41), Hardie, Miller (Longridge 75)
Subs not used: Maley, Buchanan, Mullin, Boyd
Goals: Cadden (47)

Euan Anderson
Att: 1,373
Match Report: Andy Crawford

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