Saturday 20 November 2010

Elgin City 2 - 1 Livingston
HT (0 - 0)

Livingston crashed out of the Scottish Cup at the first hurdle, putting an end to an unsuccessful season of cup campaigns. Third Division opposition Elgin City tamed the Lions in emphatic form, with goals from Craig Gunn and Jason Crooks, meaning Iain Russell�s goal was nothing more than a consolation.

Liam Fox had the first attempt of the game, with a chance soaring over the crossbar much to the relief of the home defence.

Livingston continued the first half brightly with experienced forward Robbie Winters providing plenty of pressure for Elgin�s debutant goalkeeper Peter Donnelly.

With 22 minutes on the clock, visiting defender Cameron McDonald fouled Craig Gunn just outside the box. Former Lion Barry Wilson the delivered an excellent free kick which stalwart keeper Tony Bullock did well to touch over the bar for a corner kick.

Minutes later, Russell latched on to a well placed through ball and was unlucky to see his shot deflect off the City defence.

Winters had the next chance, with a shot deflected just over after creative work by Bobby Barr down the wing.

The Second half was to prove more eventful, with David Sinclair and Russell seeing shots go by the post. Elgin were quick to respond, with Bullock forced into making a fine save.

Livingston did find the back of the net after a Bobby Barr cross was neatly prodded home by Russell only to see the linesman�s flag signalling offside, much to the dismay of the small but vocal travelling support.

Just minutes later, Elgin City responded in style with the first goal of the game: Craig Gunn scoring with a fantastic drive from the stand side of the box.

Livingston tried to respond quickly, but Fox was unfortunate to see his shot go wide after a pinpoint pass by Bobby Barr.

Then came the game�s major talking point. 70 minutes in and Livingston were awarded a penalty after Craig Barr went down theatrically in the box, only for the linesman to rightly overrule the decision in a situation mirroring Celtic�s controversial situation against Dundee Utd. Both Barrs went into the referee�s book following this, Bobby for his protests and Craig for simulation.

Livingston quickly picked up their spirits though with a fine goal by Iain Russell from a tight angle on the edge of the 6 yard box after a Sinclair corner.

But parity lasted just a few minutes as Elgin regained the lead in the most devastating of ways. Experienced keeper Bullock came to clear a long ball from just outside his penalty box, but disastrously missed, and Crooks happily took the ball, rounded the keeper and slotted into the back of the net.

Second Division Livingston huffed and puffed, but had nothing left to offer and the game ended 2-1 to the delight of the large home support, and the fans and player of Livingston FC made the long trip home with frustration and disappointment in the air.

Livingston now have a week off with Brechin playing their replay on Saturday and manager Gary Bollan will be hoping to use the time to fire up his squad and rebuild confidence after a flat performance.

Elgin City: Donnelly, Dempsie, Duff, Nicolson, Kaczan, Cameron, O'Donoghue (Niven 20), Inglis, Wilson (Millar 79), Crooks, Gunn (MacDonald 86)
Subs Not Used: Calder, Edwards

Livingston: Bullock, C.Barr, MacDonald, Watson, Malone, Ky.Jacobs (De Vita 65), Fox, Sinclair, B.Barr, Russell, Winters (Scougall 82)
Subs Not Used: McDowall, O'Byrne, Conway

Att: 802

Ref: G.Hilland

Report by Chris Naismith