Tuesday 15 February 2011

Livingston 2 - 0 Airdrie United
HT (1 - 0)

Livingston moved nine points clear at the top of Division Two with a 2-0 win over Airdire at the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium.

A double from top scorer Iain Russell was enough to see Gary Bollan’s men pick up the three points, and extended Livingston’s home record to only two defeats in their last 28 matches.

In the tight opening stages, the visitors were the first to threaten when a deep cross from the left needed Tony Bullock in the home goal to tip the ball over for a corner.

Livi responded with a Keaghan Jacobs free kick, which his brother Kyle could only head wide of the post.

A great ball from Jason Talbot on the left hand side then sent Bobby Barr clear, and with the winger’s cross being fumbled by Mark Ridgers, Keaghan Jacobs saw his effort blocked on the line.

Airdrie then worked Bullock again, with a long-range drive being beaten out by the big keeper, and the rebound blazed over the bar by McKeown.

The away side were made to rue that missed chance, as only minutes later Kyle Jacobs sent Russell one-on-one, and the striker coolly rounded the oncoming Ridgers to finish from a tight angle.

Russell and Keaghan then combined well on the edge of the box minutes before half time, but when the former sent the latter through on goal, the young midfielder could only fire low into the keeper’s body.

Kenny Deuchar could have grabbed his first home goal for the club just before the whistle, but after evading the offside trap thanks to a delicate lob from Joe Hamill, the striker’s effort was superbly saved by Ridgers.

At the start of the second half, Bobby Barr could have doubled Livi’s advantage after being played in by Russell, but he couldn’t regain his balance and blazed over the bar.

The home side did double their advantage not long after, however. Sub Robbie Winters tied the Airdrie defence on knots in the box before playing the ball across the six-yard box, and in the ensuing goalmouth stramash referee Neil Watters awarded a penalty for handball against Kieron Stallard, spotted by the assistant referee.

Russell stepped up to slot the ball home from twelve yards.

In the closing stages Airdrie could have grabbed a consolation. Paul Watson was judged to have fouled on the edge of the box, and from the resultant free kick Bullock saw his bar rattled by Jamie Stevenson’s effort.

The win sets up the Lions for the visit of Stenhousemuir to Almondvale on Saturday.

Livingston: Bullock, Cowan, Talbot, Hamill, D.Jacobs, Watson, Ky.Jacobs, Ke.Jacobs, Deuchar (Winters 66), Russell (De Vita 78), B.Barr
Subs not used: Fox, O'Byrne, McDowall

Airdrie United: Ridgers, Bain (Mackay-Steven 45), Lovering, Stallard, Hill, Devlin, Gray (Stevenson 56), McCord, Craig, McKeown (Morton 79), Grant
Subs not used: Szpilcynski, Johnston

Att: 890

Ref: N Watters

Report: Calum Leslie