\Saturday 4 August 2012

Stranraer 0 - 8 Livingston
Morton (17 & 87)
McNulty (23, 66 & 83)
I.Russell (39 & 80)

McCann (62)

A young Livingston side beat several club records as they demolished Stranraer at Stair Park.  A hat-trick from Marc McNulty, doubles from Iain Russell ,Jordan Morton and a goal from Kevin McCann all helped the Lions to their biggest ever victory.

Livingston were dominant from early on, putting constant pressure on the home defence, but it wasn’t until the 10th minute that they had their first real chance.  McNulty found Fordyce on the opposite side of the box, but his low shot went across the face of the goal and wide for a goal kick.

After the that the chances came thick and fast; Tony Andreu saw his shot from 18yds go wide, before Russell’s strike was easily saved.  McNulty was thwarted by the keeper before Scougall and Russell failed to capitalise on a good chance.  But the Lions weren’t made to wait too long for their first goal. 

Iain Russell powered down the pitch, before delivering a perfect through ball to Jordan Morton who calmly slotted home from 8 yards out to open his Livi account.

Livingston almost doubled their lead moments later as McCann slotted the ball through to Andreu, who played in McNulty, but the striker’s shot was just wide.  Livi did double their lead on 23 minutes: a quick counter attack found McCann on the wing, the right back then slotted through to Russell who’s carving pass through the defence found Marc McNulty.  The young striker then made no mistake, dodging by the keeper put it in the back of the net.

Stranraer tried to respond quickly but Frank McKeown just failed to meet a cross.  Livingston continued to pressure, with Scougall next to try his luck, but his effort was deflected over for a corner.  McNulty and Russell followed up with a quick double effort before Iain Russell got his first goal with 39 minutes gone.  Russell collected the ball in midfield and sprinted down the pitch before sending a curling shot around the keeper from close range.

Stranraer tried to reduce the deficit just before the half time interval, McKeown and Craig Malcolm both had chance to test Andy McNeil but failed to beat the Livi keeper.

Livi fans hoping the onslaught would continue were to be kept happy as the second half got under way, David Mitchell brilliantly tipped the ball over just 3mins after the restart.  Sparky then failed to test the Stranraer keeper after Russell set him up just in front of goal.

Sparky then attempted to double his tally after Tony Andreu and Russell combined to play through Sparky, but the Livi favourite’s shot sailed over the small stand.  The fans weren’t made to wait long for number 4 to come along, Jordan Morton sent a brilliant long ball over the top to Russell who’s cross found Kevin McCann in the box to easily put the ball away for his first Livi goal.

As Stranraer heads began to go down, the Livi attack’s confidence began to grow as Mitchell got down well to save a Morton shot from an Andreu cross.

McNulty made it 5 goals in the 66th minute, substitute Bobby Barr played a neat 1-2 with Russell down the wing before sending a great cross to the back post for Marc McNulty to knock in.

Fourteen minutes later a defensive mistake by Stranraer sent Iain Russell through on goal, and the striker, doubled his tally for the day, sliding the ball by the keeper into the opposite side of the net.

Marc McNulty got his hat-trick 3 minutes later after Bobby Barr beat the offside trap on the wing to send in a great cross for the striker to easily knock in.

Bobby Barr’s contribution to the game was completed with an excellent set up of Jordan Morton, whose powerful 20 yard effort left Mitchell with no chance.  A deflated Stranraer side looked well beaten and relieved for the final whistle to blow.

As Livingston beat their previous high scoring record, a 7-0 victory versus Queen of the South in January 2000, Marc McNulty also became the first Livingston player ever to have scored three hat-tricks.  The small band of travelling Livingston fans saw a real piece of history made.

Mitchell, Kinnaird, Staunton, McKeown, Dunlop, Gallagher, Winter, Aitken, Borris (Moore 56), Malcolm (Agnew 72), Love (Forde 72)
Subs not used: Caldwell, Maxwell

McNeil, McCann, Fordyce (McDonald 78), Watson, C.Barr, Docherty (Beaumont 79), Andreu (B.Barr 64), I.Russell, McNulty, Scougall, Morton.
Subs not used: Downie, Hurst

Referee: Gary Hilland

Official Attendance: 284

Match report: Chris Naismith