Sunday 10 July 2011

Livingston 1 - 1 Inverness Caley Thistle
HT (0 - 1)

Terry Butcher's Inverness side were next up at the 'Vale and he'd have been hoping his side could grab the win that fellow SPL sides Dunfermline and Hibs couldn't manage.

Caley dominated large spells of the first-half but the first chance fell to Livi as Keaghan Jacobs went close. A long clearance was excellently controlled by Marc McNulty and he fed Jacobs in but the midfielder shot wide after beating his marker. Moments later, Iain Russell would have expected to do better as a flapped corner landed at his feet just a few yards out but he fired high and wide from a tight angle.

Young Darren Jamieson was handed a start for this one and he showed what he can do with a brilliant save from a free-kick. Caley midfield man Jonny Hayes whipped a low free-kick towards the corner but 'DJ' reacted quickly to get down and tip the ball round the post.

Hayes was again involved, this time more controversially, as the highland side took the lead. A defensive clearance was played forward towards Richie Foran who made an obvious movement towards the ball but was flagged offside by the linesman. As the Livi defence stopped following the linesman's signal, he then changed his mind, putting his flag down as Hayes made a run deep from midfield to collect the loose ball. He drove forward before squaring the ball to a now active Foran who coolly rolled the ball into the corner. Despite desperate appeals from our players, referee Steve Conroy waved them away and allowed the goal to stand.

The players had to put this to the back of their mind as they now chased an equaliser. Iain Russell had the last chance of the half as he watched Tuffey in the Caley goal tip his 25 yard effort wide for a corner after a Jacobs burst through from midfield.

The second-half proved to be a complete role reversal from the first as we came out the blocks determined to fight back into the game. A Collin Samuel lay-off was fired at goal from Liam Fox but Tuffey again got fingertips to it and seen it wide. Samuel himself was next to test Tuffey but his tame shot from a tight angle was easily saved by the Northern Irish 'keeper

Craig Barr snatched at a half chance, sending it over the bar before Ross Gray's shot was expertly saved by Tuffey following some neat footwork and a defence splitting pass from the impressive Samuel .

It did seem to be only a matter of time before Livi got back on level terms and Kyle Jacobs was the man who made sure of that. Jason Talbot's deep cross was pulled down by Deuchar who chested the ball into Jacobs path and the youngster made no mistake as he fired the ball into the top corner from 18 yards. It was nothing more than the Lions deserved and they continued pushing forward, looking for their second SPL scalp in 5 days.

Samuel was left frustrated again after being thwarted by another Tuffey save and Craig Barr watched his header from a corner fall into the 'keepers hands. Deuchar then glanced a header wide from a Talbot cross and Lewis Turner followed suit, heading wide our final chance from David Sinclair's free-kick despite being left unmarked in the Caley box.

Another friendly down and another SPL side unable to pick up a win at the Braidwood Motor Company Stadium after a strong, gutsy performance from Livingston.

Livingston: Jamieson, Brown, Talbot, Ky.Jacobs, C.Barr, MacDonald, Fox (Turner 76), Kn.Jacobs (R.Gray 61), McNulty (Trialist 45), Russell (Deuchar 45), Scougall (Sinclair 24).
Subs not used: Travis, Murphy

Inverness Caley Thistle: Tuffey, Aldred, Tokely, Proctor, Meekings, Stevenson (Greig 72), Hayes (Morrison 66), Tansey, Foran, Shinnie (Polworth 86), Ross.
Subs not used: Smith, Laing, Sutherland, Esson

Att: 507

Ref: S Conroy

Match report by Dave Black