Livingston got 2022 off to a flyer on Tuesday night with a big victory over Dundee thanks to two second half goals from top scorer Bruce Anderson.
Both sides were a little bit rusty in the opening 45 with the three-week winter break probably playing its part.
The visitors were looking to end an unwanted run of five defeats on the bounce as they created the first opportunity of the match. Paul McMullan worked some space for a shot just inside the box. The midfielder’s effort was goal bound but Max Stryjek was down well to his left to push behind for a corner.
Livingston came into the game though, and nearly took the lead through Bruce Anderson who had earned a start after his goal from the bench at Fir Park. The striker got onto a brilliant channel ball from Nicky Devlin and tried to dink the advancing Adam Legzdins, the Dundee goalkeeper spread himself well though to keep out the number nine.
Scott Pittman, who was back in the starting eleven after a recent injury, was next to go close. Devlin’s cross to the back post was met by the head of the midfielder but he nodded just wide of the post.
Devlin was involved again down the right-hand side. His cross for Pittman was deflected into the path of Anderson who set himself before firing at goal only to see his strike blocked on the line by Jordan McGhee.
Ayo Obileye then headed wide from an Odin Bailey delivery before Luke McCowan blazed over from a free kick on the edge of the box as the sides went in goalless at the break.
The Lions came flying out of the traps in the second half, and took the lead just a minute after the restart. After he’d been denied by a combination of Legzdins and the crossbar, Anderson finally had his goal that his play had deserved. Bailey’s corner broke to the edge of the box and James Penrice found the striker who poked the ball through the legs of the Dundee goalkeeper.
On 57 minutes, Anderson’s second came in similar fashion. Bailey’s corner dropped for Obileye who fired at goal. The ball was parried by Legzdins but The Lions’ number nine was alert to the loose ball as he wriggled his way between two defenders to turn and smash into the back of the net for his, and Livi’s second of the evening!
Dundee desperately pushed to try and get back into the game but struggled to create any real clear-cut chances. Danny Mullen headed straight at Stryjek before Leigh Griffiths tried his luck from distance, but the Polish stopper was there to earn his 21st Livingston clean sheet in just 54 matches.
It was a comfortable victory in the end for the hosts who earned an invaluable three points, claiming their third victory of the season on home soil. Bruce Anderson’s 6th and 7th Premiership goals takes him to just two behind the league’s leading scorer Tony Watt.
The win puts David Martindale’s men seven points clear of 11th placed Dundee and nine points clear of 12th placed St Johnstone. Attention turns to the Scottish Cup now as The Lions welcome fellow Premiership side Ross County to West Lothian on Saturday.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obileye, Penrice (Longridge 84), Holt ▊, Omeonga, Pittman ▊, Bailey (Forrest 70), Shinnie ▊ Chukwuemeka (67), Anderson (Montano 84)
Subs not used: Maley, Boyes, McMillan, Jacobs, Kabia
Goals: Anderson (46 & 56)
Dundee: Legzdins, Kerr, Marshall (Elliott 7), Fontaine, McGhee, Mullen, McGowan (Jakubiak 65), McCowan, McMullan (Griffiths 65), Anderson ▊, Adam ▊ (Mulligan ▊ 58)
Subs not used: Lawlor, Byrne, Robertson, Cummings
Referee: David Dickinson