Livingston 2-1 Hibernian

The Lions came from a goal down to beat Hibernian by two goals to one at the Tony Macaroni Arena, courtesy of goals by Shaun Byrne and Scott Pittman.

Gary Holt made two changes from last weekend’s 2-0 win against St Mirren, with Keaghan Jacobs replacing Steve Lawson and new signing Dolly Menga replacing Jack Hamilton up front.

The visitors had the first real notable action in the game, as Martin Boyle flashed a shot over the bar from outside the box.

Twelve minutes in there was a great chance for new boy Dolly Menga from a corner. Jacobs’ delivery was headed down by Ricki Lamie, then met by Menga, but the forward’s effort was clawed away well by the out-stretched Adam Bogdan.

On the half hour mark, A long ball from Liam Kelly was cleared, but Scott Pittman was quickest to react to the clearance. The number eight took it past a couple of Hibs defenders but just as he was about to go for goal his effort was blocked.

Livi were creating the better chances, and just two minutes later had another opportunity to break the deadlock. Steven Lawless delivered a lovely cross to Craig Halkett but the skipper’s header went narrowly wide.

Seven minutes from the break, the Livingston faithful saw promising things from Menga as he powered past the Hibs back line on the counter attack, causing the defence all sorts of problems. The Angolan attempted to square to Scott Robinson but the pass was intercepted brilliantly.

The first half came to an end with a fantastic chance for the Hibees. Martin Boyle did what he does best from the right wing and put in a terrific ball. His low-driven delivery was met by full back Lewis Stevenson, but his left footed effort sailed over the bar.

The first half was fairly even, with Hibs dominating the possession, but both sides having an equal amount of opportunities.

Half Time: Livingston 0-0 Hibernian

With just over a minute played of the second half, Livi had a great chance to take the lead. Some nice build-up play resulted in Dolly Menga beating his man on the left wing. The forward cut back for Pittman in between the six-yard box and the penalty spot, but the midfielder’s effort was weak and easily saved by Bogdan.

Hibs took the lead in the 52nd minute after an Efe Ambrose long throw wasn’t dealt with by the Livingston defence. A scramble in the area resulted in the ball breaking for Daryl Horgan, who fired past Kelly to give the visitors the lead.

The Lions had to answer, and did so six minutes later. A Lawless cross was headed away by Ambrose but met by Shaun Byrne on the edge of the box. The midfielder jinked his way wonderfully past Mallan and Boyle before finding the back of the net, pulling Livi level. A superb goal by the Livingston number six.

Hibs brought on midfielder Emerson Hyndman for Jamie McLaren in an attempt to get back in front.

Byrne wasn’t far away from a second when an effort from the right wing on his weaker left foot flew wide, catching the crowd and few players out who would’ve expected a cross.

The Lions made their first change on the 66th minute as speedy winger Egli Kaja replaced Steven Lawless in a like-for-like change.

Immediately after the substitution, Livi nearly took the lead. A great cross from Ricki Lamie was met by Scott Pittman, who saw his effort saved magnificently by Bogdan.

With 20 minutes to go, Stevie Mallan saw his game come to an end as he was replaced by on-loan Manchester City winger Thomas Agyepong as Hibs looked for a route back into the game.

But, straight from the restart after the substitution, the hosts took the lead, and deservedly so after a series of great opportunities. The ball was fed to Scott Pittman on the edge of the box, who, after a bit of luck, wriggled his way past the Hibs defence similar to midfield partner Shaun Byrne and smashed past Bogdan to complete the comeback.

With 15 minutes to go, Lewis Allan made way for Oli Shaw for Hibs, and Nicky Cadden replaced Scott Robinson for Livi.

Cadden nearly had an immediate impact, but yet again Bodgan was there for his side as he denied the tricky winger.

As the West Lothian outfit sat on their lead, Dolly Menga came off, after an impressive debut, for Jack Hamilton with 8 minutes to play.

The Edinburgh club had the majority of the ball in the closing stages, and had five additional minutes given to them by referee Steven McLean, but the Livingston defence remained firm and held out for the impressive victory on a day to remember for Gary Holt on his home debut in his managerial reign.

All in all, it was a deserved win for the hosts, who continue to surprise everyone with their remarkable achievements.

Full Time: Livingston 2-1 Hibernian

Livingston: Kelly, Lamie, Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Byrne, Pittman, Robinson (Cadden 76), Jacobs, Lawless (Kaja 65), Menga (Hamilton 83)
Subs not used: Stewart, McMillan, Lawson, Burns
Goals: Byrne (58), Pittman (70)

Hibernian: Bogdan, Hanlon, Porteous, Ambrose, Whittaker, Stevenson, Boyle, Mallan (Agyepong 70), Horgan, Allan (Shaw 76), MacLaren (Hyndman 64)
Subs not used: Laidlaw, Slivka, Hyndman, Murray, Mackie
Goals: Horgan (52)

Steven McLean
Att: 5,305
Match Report: Calum Brown
Photos: Rae Irvine

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