A lacklustre performance saw Livingston succumb to their third league defeat of the season; their first one against non-Old Firm opposition; away to Kilmarnock, falling 3-1 after Sean Kelly brought the Lions level from the penalty spot.
The Lions made two changes from the side that triumphed over Motherwell, with Michael Devlin returning to replace the injured Ayo Obileye, and Mo Sangare coming in for Stephen Kelly.
Livingston would start brightly, with a string of early corners however would be unable to land any punches on Will Dennis in the Kilmarnock goal.
And with only quarter of an hour gone, the hosts would draw first blood. Superb hold up play by Kyle Vassell on the left wing saw him cleverly back heel the ball into the path of the on-rushing Corrie Ndaba. His cross would fire across the middle of the box and after an initial fresh air swipe from David Watson, Danny Armstrong’s effort would loop over Shamal George courtesy of a James Penrice deflection.
The Lions had a penalty shout mid-way through the second half, with Dan MacKay’s nifty flick putting him through one-on-one with Dennis. It appeared that his feet were taken from him from behind, however referee Craig Napier adjudged there to be no foul, and play continued.
He would point to the spot on 34 minutes. A long throw found Mo Sangare’s head, and as he turned to control the ball was kicked by Brad Lyons. Up stepped Sean Kelly who made it three penalty goals in three matches, with a beautifully placed ball to the left, once again sending the keeper the wrong way.
Killie would ramp up the pressure and shortly before half time would regain the lead. A free kick awarded on the right wing was whipped in by Armstrong, with Vassell getting down low to steer the ball into the far corner with his head.
The hosts started the second half well and were piling on the pressure looking for a third to kill the game. A left footed cross from Armstrong again found Vassell at the back post, but the number nine couldn’t direct his attempt on target, with the ball crashing off the crossbar. From the next phase of play, Killie would get their third. The ball found its way to Watson on the right wing, his cross was pin perfect and Vassell looped a header past George to kill off the Lion’s chances of a comeback.
Livingston would record two efforts close to full time, with Kilmarnock taking their foot off the pedal. A Danny Lloyd free kick fizzed agonisingly past the left post, and a nice cross from Cristian Montano found James Penrice in the six yard box, but his attempt was screwed over the bar.
Match Report: David Hastie
Dennis, Mayo, Findlay, Wright, Ndaba, Armstrong (Kennedy 81), Lyons ▊, Watson ▊(Donnelly 81), Polworth (Dallas 90), Watkins, Vassell ©️ (McKenzie 80)
Subs not used:
George, Devlin ©️ ▊, Pittman (Bradley 64), Anderson (Lloyd 79), MacKay (Guthrie 58), Holt (Montaño 64), Nouble, Sangare (Shinnie 79), de Lucas, Sn.Kelly, Penrice
Subs not used:
|Referee: Craig Napier | HT: 1-2 | Att: 4,679