Livingston extended their lead at the top of the league to three points with a nervy victory over Airdrie Utd at the Excelsior Stadium. Chances were even throughout the match, with both sides rescued by their goalkeepers and the bar.
The game began an even affair, with Rafa De Vita volleying over from a corner and United’s Jamie Stevenson shooting just past the top corner from a well taken 25 yard free kick.
Robbie Winters had the first meaningful shot from open play 18mins in. A pass from De Vita put Winters into a strong position who powered forward and unleashed a wicked 20 yard shot which was unfortunate to go comfortably into the keepers hands.
The Diamonds almost scored an own goal just minutes later, a well placed cross from David Sinclair was just missed by the head of Winters, and headed just wide of goal by the Airdrie defence.
The Lions continued to pile on the pressure, with De Vita’s 1-on-1 shot saved by the keeper and just a minute later Kyle Jacobs had an effort saved by the keeper after being released into space by a De Vita pass.
Moments later Winters missed a glorious chance, through 1-on-1 from an excellent long ball from defence, he controlled the ball and tried an intricate chip over the keeper, but managed to chip the goalpost too.
The excitement continued in the second half, but it was the Diamonds who were proving more threatening. Seven mins into the second half, Bullock messed up a save under pressure and Cammy MacDonald was called into action to save the rebound shot off the line.
Chris Malone’s long range bouncing shot was saved minutes later at the bottom corner by on-form Diamond’s keeper Marc Ridgers.
Airdrie soon had a close call, a long range shot coming off the bar followed quickly by scuffle in the box ending in a shot just wide Philip Johnston.
But it was substitute Iain Russell who was to get the decisive goal from a well played move. Winters knocked the ball to Russell who quickly returned it to Winters, the veteran forward then crossed the ball to Kyle Jacobs who was unlucky to see his shot ricochet off the bar to the deadly Russell who had time to change feet and put it into the back of the net on 64mins.
There was one more close shave for the Lions, with a 20 yard free kick from Stevenson coming of the bar 6 mins from time.
However, it was the visiting side who held on for all three points and came away with their heads held high after ending their away hoodoo.
Airdrie Utd: Ridgers, Bain, Forrest, Gibson, Lovering, Stallard, Johnston (Sally 79), Devlin, Muir (Craig 45), Watt (Keast 82), Stevenson
Subs Not Used: Szpilcynski, Grant
Livingston: Bullock, C.Barr, MacDonald, Watson, Sinclair, Ky.Jacobs, Malone, Fox, B.Barr, De Vita (Russell 61), Winters
Subs Not Used: McDowall, O'Byrne, Scougall, Conway
Report by Chris Naismith