Saturday 19 October 2013

3 - 2
Alloa Athletic
Scougall (2)
Donaldson (69))
Barrowman (90)

HT 1-1
Cawley (8)
Gordon (87)

Andy Barrowman was the last gasp hero as Livi edged a thriller with Alloa at the Energy Assets Arena, but in truth the game should have been well won long before.

Livi dominated virtually throughout the 90 minutes but needed Barrowman's late show to seal a third win in four league games after the Wasps had threatened to steal a point with an 88th minute equaliser.

Alloa went into the match on the back of seven points from their last three games, as well as three consecutive clean sheets, but Livi were in front inside two minutes as Stefan Scougall cut in from the right and fired in a low shot which keeper Scott Bain could only fumble into the net. The keeper will feel he should have done better but that didn't matter to Scougall as he wheeled away to celebrate his first goal of the season.

Livi's lead was short lived though as Alloa drew level just six minutes later when Andy Kirk got the better of Simon Mensing in a shoulder to shoulder challenge before squaring for Kevin Cawley to tap in from less than a yard out.

The game went into a bit of a lull from then on until Livi came close to a wonder goal just after the half hour. Keaghan Jacobs picked up in midfield and played in Barrowman who cleverly back-heeled to Marc McNulty. He couldn't get a shot away but teed up Jacobs who curled a sweet strike towards the top corner which Bain saved brilliantly.

That chance sparked Livi into life and they came close again just before the break as Burton O'Brien played an inch perfect ball across to Jason Talbot who took a touch inside and let fly with a terrific strike which Bain had to be smart to push past the near post and ensure the teams went in all square at the break.

Livi picked up where they left off in the second half and laid siege to the Alloa goal in search of the lead. And on 54 minutes, McNulty played a smart one-two with Kyle Wilkie before firing in a tremendous strike from long distance which Bain again had to stretch to tip over.

Within a minute, Livi went close again as Scougall took advantage of a mistake from the Alloa defence and squared for Barrowman whose shot was saved at the near post.

To their credit Livi kept going and finally got their reward on 69 minutes as a corner from Scougall found its way back to the Scotland under-21 international who stood up a perfect cross to the back post where Coll Donaldson rose superbly to bullet home his first senior goal and restore Livi's lead.

For all Livi's dominance, Alloa came close to an equaliser on 74 minutes as Cawley weaved his way into the box and fired in a fierce shot which Darren Jamieson did well to parry before Mensing cleared.

Barrowman could have put the game to bed when he was played through but fired wide of the near post and it looked as though Livi would pay for their wasted chances as Alloa captain Ben Gordon swept home after some pinball in the Livi box on 88 minutes to make it 2-2 and seemingly break Livi hearts.

John McGlynn's Livi are made of strong stuff though and they were rewarded for their unwillingness to accept their lot as Danny Denholm drove at the Wasps defence and, when his cut back was blocked, the ball fell perfectly for Barrowman to sweep the ball low into the corner for his third goal of the season and spark wild celebrations on the pitch, in the dugout and among the home support.

The result sees Livi up to seventh in the Championship, four points behind fourth-placed Falkirk but with a game in hand.

Livingston: Jamieson, Fordyce, Donaldson, Mensing, Talbot, Jacobs, O'Brien, Scougall, Wilkie (Denholm 65), McNulty (Mullen 90), Barrowman
Subs not used:
Beaumont, Walker, Downie, McDonald, Lander

Alloa: Bain, Doyle, Creaney, Gordon, Meggatt, Simmons, Cawley, McCord (McManus 67), Kirk, Holmes (Ferns 81), Robertson (Flannigan 59)
Subs not used:
McDowall, Young, Salmon, Tiffoney

Referee: John McKendrick

Attendance: 869

Match report: Andrew Crawford