Saturday 7 December 2013

2 - 3
Hemmings (56 & 69)
HT 0-0
McNulty (77 & 90)
Barrowman (87)

Livi staged a spectacular fightback to claim an improbable three points at Central Park to move to within five points of the promotion play-offs and put further daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.

Not since an Andy Halliday-inspired comeback against Annan Athletic in February 2010 have Livi come from 2-0 down to claim all three points, but given the dire situation the team found themselves in with 15 minutes to go on Saturday, this has to go down as one of our greatest fightbacks.

Livi’s last league match had seen the Lions crush bottom side Morton 5-1 at Cappielow two weeks ago, while Cowdenbeath were out to impress new manager Jimmy Nicholl, who had replaced Colin Cameron last week, and unsurprisingly it was the home side who had the bit between their teeth in the early stages, with Jamie Stevenson having the first shot in anger, though his 20-yard effort barely troubled the returning Darren Jamieson in the Livi goal.

The Blue Brazil then passed up a golden chance as Kane Hemmings’ shot was deflected across to the unmarked John Robertson whose shot was well saved by Jamieson’s left leg. Livi came agonisingly close to taking the lead as Callum Fordyce rose unmarked to meet Martin Scott’s corner with a bullet header which was only just cleared off the line by a home defender. Livi were then gifted a great chance when keeper Grant Adam scuffed a clearance straight to Marc McNulty who ran in on goal but could only drag his shot across goal and wide. That was about the extent of the first half action as the two teams went in at the break level at 0-0.

Cowden continued to take the game to Livi in the second half and came close again when Hemmings drilled in a low shot which Jamieson held comfortably. It wasn’t long before the home side were in front as Livi academy graduate Kenny Adamson was played in down the left on 56 minutes and he sent in a perfect low cross for Hemmings to slide the ball into the net. Cowden’s confidence soared after the goal and it wasn’t long before they doubled their lead as Hemmings was sent clear and he showed great composure to slot the ball under the advancing Jamieson and give Cowden a seemingly unassailable 2-0 lead.

The game should have been dead and buried for Cowden but for a stunning stop from Jamieson, who launched himself to his right to push away Hemmings’ deflected strike. That let-off gave Livi a boost and they made full use of it to come roaring back into the game. Supersub Danny Denholm was played in down the left by Jason Talbot and he turned the full-back one way and then the other before standing up an inch-perfect cross for McNulty to rise and power a header into the corner to give Livi a lifeline with 13 minutes to go.

Livi should have levelled soon after when a hopeful ball from Simon Mensing turned into a perfect one for McNulty but he tugged his shot agonisingly wide of the near post. Suddenly, Livi were rampant and came within inches of an equaliser when Stefan Scougall’s low ball in was clear only to Denholm who smashed in a low shot that was deflected just wide of the post. They weren’t to be denied however and, from the resulting corner, Adam fumbled a simple catch under no pressure and when McNulty’s shot was cleared off the line, Andy Barrowman was there to force the ball over the line and seemingly rescue a point for the Lions.

That was far from the end of the action and Cowden almost snatched a winner when Adamson’s shot was deflected wide by Kyle Wilkie before Jamieson produced another stunning stop to push away an acrobatic effort from Craig Stewart. After that save, Livi charged up the other end and, after good work on the wing by Wilkie, Barrowman had a low shot saved by Adam but the ball broke for McNulty to slot home and seal a remarkable victory against all the odds for John McGlynn’s side.

After back-to-back away wins, Livi next return home to take on deposed leaders Hamilton at the Energy Assets Arena next week, looking to put further distance between themselves and the bottom of the league while also looking to narrow the gap on the promotion race above them.

Cowdenbeath: Adam, Cowan, Adamson. Wedderburn, Armstrong (O'Brien 36), Robertson, Milne, Stevenson (Morton 42), Hemmings, Stewart, Miller
Subs not used:
Flynn, McKenzie, Russell, Brett, Pyper

Livingston: Jamieson, Jacobs (Wilkie 70), Donaldson, Talbot, Mensing, Fordyce, Scott (Denholm 60), O'Brien, Barrowman, McNulty, Scougall
Subs not used:
Docherty, Beaumont, Walker, Twardzik, Burchill

Referee: Don Robertson

Attendance: 363

Match report: Andrew Crawford