Scottish Premiership
Livingston1Hamilton0

Livingston 1-0 Hamilton Academical: Lawless stunner gives Livi third straight win

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Highlights: Livingston 1-0 Hamilton Academical

A stunning Steven Lawless goal gave Livingston their third straight Premiership victory with a comfortable win over Hamilton Academical.

Lawless thundered home a brilliant left-foot drive from around 25 yards after just three minutes.

In a turgid contest of few chances, Gary Woods denied Livi a second just after the interval, brilliantly saving Alan Lithgow's header on to the post.

The Lions climb to third - level on points with champions Celtic.

Accies remain second-bottom with only three points from their four league outings.

All-action Lions roar again

Livingston look like a nightmarish team to tackle. They are quick, tenacious and abrasive when they have to be.

And despite their meagre budget and their most turbulent of starts to an unexpected return to the Premiership, they are thriving.

Their formidable backline dealt easily with the pitiful ammunition Accies fired at them. They never looked like conceding a goal to a visiting team that had registered the fewest shots and efforts on target in the league this term, scoring only three times.

The first half passed without Hamilton shooting once, while the second only yielded two shots from the away side.

Scott Pittman fizzed around midfield while Dolly Menga was a constant nuisance to the Accies defence with his dynamism and persistence up front. He found space on several occasions but could not find the target.

Instead, it was Lawless who provided the phenomenal breakthrough. Jettisoned by Partick Thistle after their relegation last term, the little midfielder is helping his new team flourish in the top flight, while his old one flounder in the second tier.

He unleashed a howitzer of a left-foot drive first-time after Keaghan Jacobs' free-kick bounced into his path.

Only that excellent Woods save prevented Livi attaining a more comfortable margin of victory.

Scott Pittman and Darian MacKinnon contest possession
Livingston held off battling Accies

'Livi are flying' - analysis

BBC Scotland's Jane Lewis in Livingston

Livingston thoroughly deserved all three points, with their first-half showing especially impressive.

They passed the ball around well in the middle of the park, Pittman and Jacobs controlling things with style and confidence. They also have pace in Scott Robinson and Menga, who uses his strength to great effect.

In Lawless they have a player who's always looking for the ball and as his pinging shot demonstrated, he knows how to finish.

While Livi are flying, the same can't be said for Accies. After a poor first half, they got better after the break, and certainly had more possession without the attacking threat to make it count.

Former Rangers midfielder Derek Ferguson in Livingston

There were fingers pointed at Livingston last season in terms of their physicality and people saying they just lumped the ball forward.

They try and play in the opposition half and they've got good players. Today, the midfield, Byrne and Pittman in there were excellent, Jacobs sits a little deeper. Lawless was fantastic. They get the ball to the forward players.

Their work ethic, they just tick the boxes. They seem really grounded and a lot of teams will not fancy going up against them. Accies asked them a question in the second half in terms of their battling qualities and they stood up to it. They should have won this game by three or four.

'We've got some quality players' - reaction

Livingston manager Gary Holt: "The table makes good reading and it's testament to the boys' endeavour and desire to produce at a level not many have been at.

"It's well-documented that we bang it long, throw it long but we've got some quality players. The goals we've seen in the last few weeks are testament to that."

Hamilton Academical manager Martin Canning: "We didn't create anywhere near enough and for that we're disappointed. Our strikers didn't link the game well enough, our movement wasn't sharp enough. Every department knows they can do better.

"It does take time when new players come to a club, but that's no excuse - we still expect better than that. We've allowed teams roundabout us to get three points from us and that's not good enough."

Line-ups

Livingston

  • 1Kelly
  • 31GallagherBooked at 47mins
  • 26HalkettBooked at 57mins
  • 4Lithgow
  • 15LawlessSubstituted forLawsonat 67'minutes
  • 8Pittman
  • 6Byrne
  • 7Jacobs
  • 3Lamie
  • 45MengaSubstituted forBurnsat 88'minutes
  • 17RobinsonSubstituted forHardieat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Hardie
  • 11Cadden
  • 14Kaja
  • 19Burns
  • 21Stewart
  • 30Hamilton
  • 33Lawson

Hamilton

  • 1Woods
  • 4Gordon
  • 6Kilgallon
  • 3McMannSubstituted forImrieat 33'minutes
  • 5Tshiembe
  • 25Martin
  • 18MacKinnonBooked at 66mins
  • 11Miller
  • 46SowahSubstituted forKeatingsat 84'minutes
  • 31BrustadSubstituted forBoydat 67'minutes
  • 9BinghamBooked at 35mins

Substitutes

  • 2McGowan
  • 7Imrie
  • 10Keatings
  • 12Taiwo
  • 21Want
  • 23Fulton
  • 30Boyd
Referee:
Alan Muir
Attendance:
1,342

Match Stats

Home TeamLivingstonAway TeamHamilton
Possession
Home41%
Away59%
Shots
Home7
Away2
Shots on Target
Home3
Away0
Corners
Home3
Away4
Fouls
Home21
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Livingston 1, Hamilton Academical 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Livingston 1, Hamilton Academical 0.

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Rakish Bingham (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Hand ball by Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical).

Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical).

Foul by Ryan Hardie (Livingston).

Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Bobby Burns replaces Dolly Menga.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Scott Martin.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. James Keatings replaces Lennard Sowah.

Scott Pittman (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Ryan Hardie replaces Scott Robinson.

Scott Martin (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Shaun Byrne (Livingston).

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston).

Foul by Lennard Sowah (Hamilton Academical).

Dolly Menga (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Dougie Imrie (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston).

Foul by Delphin Tshiembe (Hamilton Academical).

Scott Robinson (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Hamilton Academical. Steven Boyd replaces Fredrik Brustad.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Steve Tevi Lawson replaces Steven Lawless.

Booking

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Craig Halkett (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Mickel Miller (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Foul by Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical).

Alan Lithgow (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Ziggy Gordon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Dolly Menga (Livingston).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.

Darian MacKinnon (Hamilton Academical) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston).

Corner, Hamilton Academical. Conceded by Keaghan Jacobs.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hearts5500112915
2Celtic531152310
3Livingston531164210
4Rangers522110558
5Hibernian52219638
6St Johnstone52215508
7Kilmarnock52126427
8Aberdeen513145-16
9Motherwell511369-34
10St Mirren511339-64
11Hamilton510438-53
12Dundee5005211-90
View full Scottish Premiership table

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