Scottish Premiership
Livingston3Kilmarnock0

Livingston 3-0 Kilmarnock: Gary Holt's side claim first win since October

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Highlights: Livingston 3-0 Kilmarnock

Livingston picked up their first victory since early October - a run of nine games - with a hard-fought win over Kilmarnock.

The West Lothian side moved up to seventh after extending Kilmarnock's win-less streak to seven games.

After a frustrating first half, Jon Guthrie broke the deadlock nine minutes in to the second half with a close-range finish from a set-piece.

Then goals from Lyndon Dykes and Steven Lawless confirmed all three points.

The victory was Livingston's first since a surprise 2-0 win over Celtic on 6 October and only their second in 14 games.

Livingston take advantage of sloppy Kilmarnock

As kick off approached in West Lothian, and the rain and wind had their own little sporting duel to see which could outdo the other (the swirling, driving rain took the prize - just), most people would rather have been anywhere else, doing anything else. Christmas present hunting with the crowds seemed like a more attractive proposition.

There was one hope: that the players of Livingston and Kilmarnock could transcend the conditions. As the old cliche goes, a big ask. But who knew a little Christmas cracker of a second half would break out, banishing all memory of a pretty turgid first?

In the first 45 minutes, there was no shortage of endeavour, energy or application - the traditional meat and two veg of the Scottish game. It's hardly appetising though, is it? The feast of football would come later, dished up from the home kitchen.

The only morsel worth a mention from the early exchanges, Aymen Souda's decent shot following a howler of a mistake in the Kilmarnock defence, who were bailed out by the positioning of goalkeeper Laurentiu Branescu, making the save look routine.

Souda seemed to suck the ball towards him, providing the tastiest teasers of what the match might have been in more benign conditions. A flowing Livingston move ended with the forward's inviting cross but no one was there to lap it up. Minutes later, Souda found himself in the area again, fed by Dykes, but his goal-bound shot was well blocked by a defender.

The last line of defence held up well for Kilmarnock. Even when Rickie Lamie's header from a corner seemed sure to break the deadlock, Branescu again was there to make a fine save before the ball was somehow cleared amid an almighty scramble.

Branescu's credentials for man of the match improved further with a terrific stop just before the break to allow his side to go in level. A cute back-heel from Lawless sent Scott Pittman into the box, one on one with the Romanian, who brilliantly blocked his shot with his feet.

But he could only hold out so long. And, curiously - following Kilmarnock's best spell of the match immediately after the break - Livingston scored. Souda's free-kick was met by the head of Lamie, and his knockdown fell nicely for fellow defender Guthrie to prod the ball over the line just before the hour mark.

Ten minutes later, and the hosts were further ahead. An excellent cross from Lawless superbly glanced in by the towering figure of Dykes - the sixth goal of an impressive season for the big striker.

In between the two Livingston strikes, nearly a bizarre own goal from defender Dario Del Fabro when attempting a routine pass back to Branescu, and a first real effort of note from Kilmarnock, thanks to an Eamonn Brophy shot which went just wide.

Not that the visitors deserved too much. In fact, the outcome could have been considerably worse had captain Gary Dicker not bailed out his defence with a last-ditch tackle to take the ball away from Dykes.

Another goal did come, though, and Dykes was again involved, collecting Craig Sibbald's fine pass before racing towards the area, spotting Lawless better placed, and setting up the midfielder for a cool finish ten minutes left. A well deserved goal for Lawless.

Man of the match - Steven Lawless

Steven Lawless

The nomination goes to the exciting, attacking midfielder. His was a display of skill, endeavour and intelligence.

Lawless set up the second goal, scored the third, and can be thoroughly satisfied with his days work, as can the rest of his Livingston team-mates.

'We more than deserved the win' - reaction

Livingston manager Gary Holt: "I certainly did enjoy that. We've had performances of late that have been really good. Today I think we more than deserved what we got.

"I've been a little bit disappointed with the way the boys have been after games but we were honest within our group to admit we never deserved to win some games."

Kilmarnock manager Angelo Alessio: "In the first half, we were in the game. I thought we played good football. Whereas in the second half, the first goal changed the game.

"We were ready for set-pieces and throw-ins but we conceded after a free-kick. Then it was difficult for us to get back in to the game. After the second goal my team lacked consistency and played badly."

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Livingston deserved to beat Kilmarnock - Holt

Line-ups

Livingston

  • 30Sarkic
  • 33Lawson
  • 5Lamie
  • 27Guthrie
  • 29Taylor-Sinclair
  • 6Bartley
  • 11LawlessSubstituted forRobinsonat 84'minutes
  • 8Pittman
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forJacobsat 86'minutes
  • 20SoudaSubstituted forLithgowat 80'minutes
  • 9Dykes

Substitutes

  • 1Stewart
  • 4Lithgow
  • 7Jacobs
  • 14Odoffin
  • 17Robinson
  • 19Erskine
  • 21McMillan

Kilmarnock

  • 12Branescu
  • 2O'Donnell
  • 26Del Fabro
  • 4Bruce
  • 14Hämäläinen
  • 6PowerBooked at 86mins
  • 8Dicker
  • 15El MakriniSubstituted forSowat 69'minutes
  • 7McKenzieBooked at 27minsSubstituted forThomasat 72'minutes
  • 9Brophy
  • 11MillarSubstituted forBurkeat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Johnson
  • 16Jackson
  • 20Wilson
  • 23Thomas
  • 24Koprivec
  • 28Sow
  • 29Burke
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
1,531

Match Stats

Home TeamLivingstonAway TeamKilmarnock
Possession
Home44%
Away56%
Shots
Home16
Away7
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home6
Away2
Fouls
Home11
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Livingston 3, Kilmarnock 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Livingston 3, Kilmarnock 0.

Foul by Dom Thomas (Kilmarnock).

Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Keaghan Jacobs replaces Craig Sibbald.

Booking

Alan Power (Kilmarnock) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. Craig Sibbald (Livingston) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Steve Tevi Lawson.

Attempt missed. Osman Sow (Kilmarnock) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Dom Thomas with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Scott Robinson replaces Steven Lawless.

Goal!

Goal! Livingston 3, Kilmarnock 0. Steven Lawless (Livingston) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lyndon Dykes following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Alan Lithgow replaces Aymen Souda.

Foul by Dom Thomas (Kilmarnock).

Steven Lawless (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Chris Burke replaces Liam Millar.

Ricki Lamie (Livingston) hits the right post with a header from the right side of the six yard box. Assisted by Steve Tevi Lawson with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Gary Dicker.

Alan Power (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Pittman (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Dom Thomas replaces Rory McKenzie.

Foul by Liam Millar (Kilmarnock).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Kilmarnock. Osman Sow replaces Mohamed El Makrini.

Foul by Niko Hämäläinen (Kilmarnock).

Steven Lawless (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Mohamed El Makrini (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Niko Hämäläinen.

Goal!

Goal! Livingston 2, Kilmarnock 0. Lyndon Dykes (Livingston) header from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Steven Lawless with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Jon Guthrie (Livingston) header from very close range is blocked. Assisted by Steve Tevi Lawson with a cross.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Gary Dicker.

Attempt blocked. Aymen Souda (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Eamonn Brophy (Kilmarnock) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mohamed El Makrini.

Mohamed El Makrini (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Sibbald (Livingston).

Foul by Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock).

Aymen Souda (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Stephen O'Donnell (Kilmarnock) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Aymen Souda (Livingston).

Attempt missed. Gary Dicker (Kilmarnock) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Alan Power with a cross.

Goal!

Goal! Livingston 1, Kilmarnock 0. Jon Guthrie (Livingston) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ricki Lamie following a set piece situation.

Attempt blocked. Ricki Lamie (Livingston) header from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Aymen Souda with a cross.

Foul by Mohamed El Makrini (Kilmarnock).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1513114693740
2Rangers15122145103538
3Motherwell1710162922731
4Aberdeen178542522329
5Kilmarnock176561720-323
6Hibernian175752729-222
7Livingston174672024-418
8Ross County164571935-1617
9St Mirren1742111224-1214
10Hearts162681627-1112
11Hamilton172691630-1412
12St Johnstone152671333-2012
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