Saturday 19 March 2011

Forfar Athletic 0 - 4 Livingston
HT (0 - 2)

The Lions’ impressive march towards the end of the season continued away at Forfar, with an emphatic 4-0 win.  A double from Kenny Deuchar and goals from Liam Fox and Iain Russell ensuring the points would return to the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium.

The game opened brightly with both sides having efforts in the first ten minutes.  It was Iain Russell who had the first meaningful shot of the game, his close range effort, from a Keaghan Jacobs  pass,  knocked out for a throw-in.  Russell had another opportunity just minutes later, but was unlucky to be foiled by the Forfar defence.

Forfar were quick to respond with Brian Sellars seeing his 20 yard effort brilliantly defended by Lions keeper Tony Bullock.

It was the visitors who came closest to opening the scoring after 18 minutes, the unsuspecting Forfar defence caught out by the casually advancing Joe Hamill, who saw his 10 yard effort crash off the right hand post.  Forfar’s Chris Templeman found himself in yards of space, but his powerful effort went high and wide to the relief of the Livi defence.

But the Lions weren’t made to wait long for the opening goal.  A simple throw-in 23 minutes into the game from David Cowan found Joe Hamill who quickly passed back to Cowan for a pin-point perfect cross, finding the head of the towering Kenny Deuchar, who duly converted.

The impressive Joe Hamill had the next significant effort for the visitors, his cracking 20 yard effort straight at the keeper who saved comfortably.

Russell then threatened on the half hour. Finding himself far to the left of the goal, he released a shot which threatened to deceive the keeper, but Scott Gallacher managed to smother the effort.  A minute later, Fox found himself through on goal, but with some distance to go, the captain spotting the keeper off his line, attempted to lob Gallacher from distance, but saw his effort sail over the goal.

It was Liam Fox however that scored the excellent second goal on the stroke of half time with an superb team effort. Iain Russell provided the low cross into the box, Deuchar dummied, deceiving the keeper and defence alike, and Fox powerfully found the back of the net for his 5th goal of the season.

The action didn’t slow down in the second half, and Russell had the first effort of the second period, seeing his shot go just over the cross-bar.

Forfar responded with a quick effort, unlucky to see their attack go just wide of the goal.

Fox had the next effort just minutes later, seeing his shot ricochete back off the defence he headed to substitute David Sinclair whose effort blasted wide of the goal.

Kenny Deuchar got his second goal of the game with 57 minutes on the clock, Liam Fox providing the long low pass to the feet of the powerful striker, who knocked a right-footed shot into the back of the net for his 6th goal of the season.

And it was just a three minutes later before on-form Iain Russell put away the 4th goal of the game.  A long goal-kick by Tony Bullock found the head of Deuchar, who knocked the ball to the feet of Keaghan Jacobs.  The Livi youth graduate, then sent a pinpoint pass to Russell who squeezed by Greg Ross and ex-Lion Mark McCulloch to score a simple effort from 8 yards.

Forfar were rocked and Livi took the foot off the gas after this, and it wasn’t till 13 minutes later before there were any more significant efforts in the game, Livi defender Jason Talbot finding his effort in the hands of Gallacher.

Forfar had a number of opportunities to reduce the deficit as the game advanced.  With 74 minutes on the clock, the Lions’ defence had to work hard to keep out the efforts of Ross Campbell and Brian Deasley.  Sellars had another opportunity just a minute later, with Tony Bullock parrying the effort away.  Deasley saw his shot go wide just a minute later.

The Forfar onslaught continued as they pulled out all stops to improve the goal difference, Bullock saving a shot from Ross Campbell and then a Free Kick with just 3 minutes remaining.

In the end the Lions held on for their 12th clean sheet of the season and an impressive goal tally to add to the excellent goal difference already held in the table.  On what could have been a wholly different game based on history, the Lions ran out comfortable victors, though Forfar weren’t without their threats.  An excellent team effort from the Lions who are on exceptional form just now.

Forfar Athletic: Gallacher, Ross, I.Campbell (Mowat 61), McCulloch, Bolocheweckyj, Sellars, Brady, R.Campbell, Hilson (Deasley 73), Templeman (Gibson 71), Dow
Subs not used: Duffy, Fotheringham

Livingston: Bullock, Cowan (Sinclair 26), Talbot, C.Barr, Watson, Hamill, Fox, Kn.Jacobs, Ky.Jacobs, Deuchar (Winters 68), Russell (De Vita 68)
Subs not used: McDowall, Conway

Att: 552

Ref: J.McKendrick

Report: Chris Naismith