Livi suffered a third pre-season defeat in a row as they slipped to a narrow defeat to Premiership side Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.
The Lions made two changes from the side beaten by Motherwell as Neil Alexander made his first Lions appearance in 16 years, coming in for Gary Maley, while Raffaele De Vita came in for Nikolay Todorov.
The hosts started brightly but it was the visitors that had the first attack at goal. A good ball was sent into the 18-yard area on the seventh minute but Jamie MacDonald was quick off his line to gather. A few moments later the ball crashed off Danny Mullen from MacDonald’s clearance but the Killie stopper calmly smothered the ball. David Hopkin’s side were on the attack again just after the tenth minute, with Mullen making a good run towards goal but he was quickly denied by some clever defending from debutant Power.
With the scoreboard showing just under twenty minutes on the clock, Killie were unlucky not to go ahead. Trialist sent a great ball through for Adam Frizzell but his low drive was well held by Neil Alexander. Lee McCulloch’s men had another great chance just shy of the thirtieth minute. Stephen O’Donnell sent a sublime ball to Rory McKenzie but Shaun Byrne was quick to deny the playmaker a strike at goal. Moments later, Boyd’s low effort was blocked by the ‘Livi defence, only for Waters’ rebound to fly just short of the right post. At the other end of the pitch, Danny Mullen was denied by a superb stop from Jamie MacDonald. Killie had their best chance of the half ten minutes before half time. Adam Frizzell’s low effort was palmed away by Neil Alexander and the keeper pulled off another great stop immediately after from a Kris Boyd shot.
Kilmarnock returned from the break looking sharp and got their reward on the fiftieth minute. Kris Boyd headed the ball on for Calum Waters, whose chipped effort crashed off the underside of the bar and in off the head of Neil Alexander. The game had only just restarted when Killie almost got a second. The ball was sent in long for Boyd but his effort was superbly tipped wide by Alexander. A few minutes later ‘Livi came close to an equaliser, as Mackin headed the ball across goal but the ball whistled just past the left post.
Just after the hour mark, Declan Gallagher tested Jamie MacDonald with a stinging effort, which the Killie keeper held well. A minute later, Jacobs curled the ball just over the bar from a 20-yard free kick. With three minutes remaining of the match, Killie had the ball in the net. The home support were on their feet, as Trialist’s effort was superbly saved by substitute keeper Maley but Boyd’s rebound was deemed offside by the near side assistant referee.
That was the end of things as the Lions slipped to another defeat but the result was secondary to another valuable 90 minutes ahead of the final pre-season test against Sunderland.
Kilmarnock: MacDonald, O’Donnell, Taylor, Dicker, Trialist, Power, McKenzie, Smith, Boyd, Trialist, Waters
Subs: Mackay, Boyd, Higgins, Wilson, Hawkshaw, Cameron, Jones, Trialist, Frizzell, Trialist, Queen
Goals: Waters (50)
Livingston: Alexander, Halkett, Lithgow, Gallagher, Mullin, Pittman, Jacobs, Byrne, De-Vita, Mullen, Knox
Subs: Maley, Peters, Hamilton, Todorov, Mackin, Carrick, Ogilvie, Sampson
Referee: Steven McLean
Match Report: Andy Crawford