The Lions crashed out of the Scottish Communities League Cup with more of a whimper than a roar. The team were outclassed by their SPL opponents, St Johnstone, as a Frazer Wright goal and a Francisco Sandaza double sealed the win.
The Saint’s pressure began early, with Willie Gibson and ex Lion Murray Davidson both coming close to opening the scoring.
Kenny Deuchar and Liam Fox both had attempts to open the scoring, but Deuchar saw his header deflected wide and Fox saw his volleyed shot go well over.
The Livi chances were few and far between while the home side continued with wave after wave of attack, with Andy McNeil seeing more than his fair share of the ball.
It wasn’t long until the first goal. McNeil initially mishandled a corner, leading to a second corner. The resultant dead ball was fumbled into the back of the net on 13 minutes, with nobody sure who had got the goal; though it was finally awarded to Frazer Wright, his first in Saints colours. This was almost followed up immediately with a cross by Cillian Sheridan going just wide.
Livi tried to respond with a low Fox shot held by Peter Enckelman before Francisco Sandaza got his first goal of the game 17 minutes in. A powerful shot from just outside the box proved too good for McNeil to save.
It was just eight minutes later and Sandaza scored his second and the game’s third. He sidestepped past Watson and sent a low shot past McNeil into the bottom right hand corner.
A Saints free kick was then deflected over and out for a goal kick by Davidson much to the relief of the visitors.
Fox once again tried to bring things back for the Lions with 5 minutes till half time, but saw his shot deflected clear.
The second half was a dull affair by contrast, with the home side content to sit in and Livingston having little to offer in return. Two poor efforts from Livi stalwart Iain Russell were all to take note of in the opening 15 minutes of the half: the first being an 18 yard shot going over, and the latter a soft shot going wide from close range.
Sandaza again threatened on the hour, McNeil coming to the rescue.
A quick 1-2 between Bobby Barr and McNulty saw Barr shoot wide in arguably the best chance of the half.
Keaghan Jacobs provided a dangerous cross into the box but there was no one there to collect it. The Saints then began to pile on the pressure in pursuit of a fourth goal, Jody Morris, Sandaza and Gibson all coming close with efforts as the game came to a close.
Livingston simply didn’t perform in this game and the fans, management and players will expect far better. The team was outclassed in all areas of the park with Scougall and Fox the only players deserving of plaudits. This should act as a wake up call to sharpen up in defence and attack.
St Johnstone: Enckelman, MacKay, Wright (Maybury 33), Anderson, Craig, Morris, Davidson (Robertson 45), Adams, Gibson, Sheridan (Haber 70), Sandaza
Subs not used: Mannus, Higgins
Livingston: McNeil, Brown, Talbot, C.Barr, Watson, Scougall, Fox, Kn.Jacobs, Ky.Jacobs (B.Barr 55), Russell (McNulty 67), Deuchar (Boulding 46)
Subs not used: Jamieson, Sinclair
Ref: S Conroy
Match report by Chris Naismith