An excellent counter attacking goal by Dundee’s Jamie Reid was enough to consign Livingston to defeat in the final game of the season. There were plenty of chances for both sides but Reid’s goal was proved the winner as both sides fought to sit as high in the table as possible.
Dundee began the game in bright form, as they aimed to consolidate a second place finish, with Andy McNeil having to make his first save just 42 seconds into the game, diving at the feet of Nicky Riley to smother the ball. Just twenty seconds later, Riley saw his shot go just wide from 20yds with McNeil well beaten.
There were penalty calls after just five minutes after Riley went down in the box under pressure from Ross Docherty and Paul Watson, but the calls were waved away by the referee.
With just eight minutes on the clock, Livingston were forced to make their first change of the game, Jack Beaumont replacing the injured Kevin McCann. Beaumont’s time on the park was short lived however, as a clattering challenge by Stephen O’Donnell led to the youngster stumbling off with a bloodied nose.
Dundee almost went ahead 20mins in, with a fantastically struck shot by Ryan Conroy crashed off the post much to the relief of Livi keeper McNeil who was reduced to little more than a spectator. It was Conroy who was to provide the next chance, with the Livi defence only just clearing free kick by the Dundee playmaker.
Livingston’s first effort didn’t come until almost half an hour in, a nice passing move put Bobby Barr into a good position to strike, but the winger’s effort went well wide without troubling ex-Livi keeper Rab Douglas.
The move, however, clearly gave the young Lions some confidence with Dean Cumming’s shot tipped over less than a minute later, and Fordyce should have put away the ball 20secs later as Bobby Barr provided an excellent ball into the box.
t was McNeil to the as Conroy once again threatened, a brilliant free kick being well held by the Livi keeper.
Substitute Andy Russell came close to putting the Lions ahead as the seconds ticked away for half time, Kyle Jacobs providing an excellent cross but the young striker shot wide. Moments later, Bobby Barr has his own effort saved, the winger collected the ball from the centre circle before striding the length of the park and putting in a well placed strike, but Douglas smothered the ball effortlessly.
Livingston had the first chance of the second half, Rory Boulding’s effort being deflected over the cross bar, but it was Dundee that went ahead just 3 minutes into the second half. A brilliant counter attack by Dundee put Jamie Reid through in space after a minor mistake by Ross Docherty allowed the player through. Dundee almost doubled their lead a few minutes later, with McNeil proving himself equal to the impressive Riley’s 20yd effort.
As Livingston aimed to bring things back on an even keel, Bobby Barr shot just wide from a tight angle.
Dundee continued to dominate, with Conroy and Riley both seeing efforts go just past the woodwork. Substitute Jake Hyde then passed up a glorious opportunity to put the Dee’s further ahead, McNeil saved a Steven Milne strike, but the ball spilled to Hyde who put the ball wide.
Stefan Scougall provided the Lions best effort of the match so far, his well struck effort from the edge of the box was deflected agonisingly wide with Douglas beaten.
A recently in-form Boulding had clearly left his scoring boots at home, as he passed up an opportunity provided by the combined efforts of Bobby Barr and Cummings.
Riley continued to lead the Dundee attack, shooting just wide from space before O’Donnell latched onto slack passing by the Livi defence, shooting just wide.
Bobby Barr then set up Boulding as the Lions were determined to get an end of season draw, but the striker volleyed over. Bobby Barr then found himself through in one-on-one with Rab Douglas, but struck his effort straight at the big keeper. A well placed corner provided Livi with their last chance to equalise, some scrapping in the box eventually led to the ball being cleared when it could as easily gone the other way.
So the Lions consolidated their position in the middle of the league, a position which can rightly be regarded as a success of the season. With many new, young faces breaking through in recent weeks, the future looks bright for Livingston.
Douglas, Irvine, Conroy, McKeown, Benedictis, Reid, O'Donnell, McBride, Mcintosh (Hyde 46), Milne (Bayne 90), Riley (Fotheringham 85)
Subs not used: Gibson, Chisholm
McNeil, McCann (Beaumont 7 (A.Russell 18)), Fordyce, Watson, C Barr, Ky Jacobs, B Barr, Docherty, Boulding, Scougall, Cummings (Downie 82)
Subs not used: Murphy, McDonald
Ref: S Finnie
Match report by Chris Naismith