Saturday 14 December 2013

0 - 0
HT 0-0

The weather was the only winner on a wild afternoon in West Lothian, though Livi were left frustrated after a strong second half display failed to produce a deserved goal.

High winds and driving rain meant quality football was at a premium throughout, with any good play coming from the Lions, though Hamilton boss Alex Neil's assertions that the match should have been abandoned were slightly wide of the mark as the pitch held up particularly well in the monsoon conditions.

Hamilton had the first chance of the game early on as Ali Crawford fired in a drive from the edge of the box which bounced in front of Darren Jamieson and flew just wide of the post.

The chances were at a premium for the remainder of the half but there were some amusing moments to entertain the 794 hardy souls who had braved the elements, starting when a kick out by Accies' keeper Kevin Cuthbert landed in a large puddle, giving an unsuspecting ballboy a soaking. To his credit, he got right back on with his job!

There was a moment of embarrassment for referee Mat Northcroft at the start of the second half as he blew to restart the half with Livi keeper Jamieson still in the dressing room though fortunately he soon realised his mistake.

Restored to their full compliment, Livi began the second half looking to make the most of having the wind at their backs and should have made more of an early chance when a rapid counter attack saw Keaghan Jacobs played clean through but his indecision over whether to shoot or square to an unmarked Marc McNulty allowed the Accies' defenders to get back and clear. Ziggy Gordon then came close for Hamilton with a low, long range strike which fizzed just wide of Jamieson's right hand post.

A puddle came to Accies' rescue soon after as McNulty beat the onrushing Cuthbert to a ball down the right hand side but his attempted cutback to Jacobs was slowed by the surface water meaning he couldn't get a clean contact on his shot and the visitors were able to scramble clear. McNulty was then denied by Cuthbert as he diverted a Callum Fordyce cross goalwards but couldn't get enough purchase to trouble the Hamilton keeper.

Livi were denied again as McNulty was played in down the left and his low ball in was almost diverted to his own net by ex-Lion Jesus Garcia Tena and when the ball broke to the edge of the box, Jacobs' piledriver cannoned off teammate Andy Barrowman and wide. The Lions then produced a flowing counter attack involving Barrowman, Kyle Wilkie and sub Martin Scott and when Scott's cross was turned back by Danny Denholm, Burton O'Brien was desperately unlucky to see a thunderous left foot strike come crashing back off the post, which is probably still shaking now.

Accies almost stole it when Andy Ryan's low strike was turned wide by Jamieson, but Livi held out to secure a first clean sheet in the league all season, with the only frustration that they didn't take all three points along with it, instead being held to just their second goalless draw this calendar year, on both occasions against Hamilton.

The result means Livi stay sixth but are now six points behind surprise package Alloa in fourth ahead of next week's journey south to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South.

Livingston: 1 Jamieson 3 Talbot 4 Mensing 5 Fordyce 7 Jacobs (Wilkie 66) 8 O'Brien 9 McNulty (Burchill 76) 10 Scougall (Scott 76) 11 Denholm 19 Donaldson 22 Barrowman
Subs not used:
15 Docherty 16 Beaumont 17 Taylor 23 Twardzik

Hamilton: 1 Cuthbert 2 Gordon 5 Canning 6 Gillespie 7 Keatings (Ryan 79) 9 McShane (Antoine Curier 69) 11 Crawford (Longridge 69) 18 Mackinnon 22 Andreu 24 Garcia Tena 33 Kilday
Subs not used:
15 McMann 16 Watson 21 Docherty 19 Currie

Referee: Mat Northcroft

Attendance: 794

Match report: Andrew Crawford