The Lions recorded a convincing 6-0 victory against local side Linlithgow Rose as they bounced back from Saturday’s disappointing friendly defeat to Morton.
Livingston, as expected, controlled the match and created lots of chances from the outset. Three minutes in, Sean Kelly’s diagonal switch found Jamie Brandon whose cross was met by Esmael Goncalves, but the striker’s header was tipped over the bar by Rose keeper Binnie, however the offside flag was up.
Just three minutes later, a fantastic move saw Livi go 1-0 up. Cristian Montaño found Josh Mullin at the back post, and the winger headed home from close range.
On 22 minutes, Mullin came close again. A clever reversed pass from Andrew Shinnie slipped in his teammate, but Mullin’s effort went just wide of the target.
With the hosts in full control, Mullin eventually did get his second goal. A strong run from Goncalves saw the striker breeze past his man and square for Mullin to finish.
A couple of minutes later, Livingston had a third, and goalscorer Mullin turned provider. His deep cross sat perfectly for Montaño at the back post and he calmly headed home.
Linlithgow Rose had a couple of half chances towards the end of the first half. Trialist (No. 19) fired over from the edge of the box before Mark Stowe came close with an ambitions free kick which forced Konovalov into a save down to his left.
Half Time Livingston 3-0 Linlithgow Rose
The Lions made two half time alterations as Jackson Longridge and Jason Holt replaced James Penrice and Andrew Shinnie.
Just three minutes after the restart, Livingston made it 4-0. Trialist robbed a Rose midfielder on the edge of the box and slotted through Montaño who had time to pick his spot, lashing into the top corner for his second of the evening.
Goncalves added a quick-fire fifth shortly after. Sean Kelly’s sweetly struck volley, which looked destined for the target, rebounded to edge of the box, and Goncalves let rip with a screamer which looped over Binnie and into the top corner.
The striker nearly had a double before the hour mark. Mullin swung in a trademark delivery but Goncalves’ header sailed over the bar.
On 62 minutes, Mullin came close to his hat trick. A nice long ball from Phil Cancar found the winger one on one with Binnie, but the Rose keeper stood firm.
Cancar was involved moments later as he continued to impress with his ball playing ability from the back. His pass put Jamie Brandon through down the right wing, but after a good cross from the full back, Goncalves couldn’t apply the finish.
There was another double change for Livi as Kelly and Montaño made way for Ayo Obileye and Joel Nouble, and quickly the latter was involved. The forward slipped Mullin through on goal, and he made no mistake this time as he slotted in off the post to net his hat trick.
Scott Pittman and Harrison Clark were Livi’s final changes as David Martindale continued to rotate. Clark made a good impact immediately, beating a couple of players before seeing a shot blocked.
As we approached the final few minutes, Linlithgow Rose pushed for a consolation. Trialist (No. 6) was denied by good stop from Konovalov who protected his clean sheet.
It was a very comfortable victory in the end for Livingston, who can take confidence from their six goals into the weekend against Albion Rovers. Cliftonhill awaits as the new season gets underway with Premier Sports Cup action!
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Konovalov, Brandon (Pittman 77), Cancar, Trialist, Penrice (Longridge 45), Kelly (Nouble 65), Trialist (Clark 77), Shinnie©️ (Holt 45), Mullin, Montaño (Obileye 65), Gonçalves
Subs not used: Trialist, Trialist
Goals: Mullin (6, 32 & 70), Montaño (34 & 48), Gonçalves (51)
Linlithgow: Binnie, Trialist (Thom 58), Thomson, Trialist (McMullan 58), Stowe, McKenzie, Davidson, Sneddon©️, MacPherson, Trialist, Allan (Allison 58)
Subs not used: McMinn, Heaver, Ogilvie, Whyte, Trialist
Referee: Chris Graham