Scottish League Cup - Final
LivingstonLivingston0St JohnstoneSt Johnstone1

Livingston 0-1 St Johnstone: Scottish League Cup clinched for first time by Perth side

By Clive LindsayBBC Sport Scotland

St Johnstone lifted the Scottish League Cup for the first time as Shaun Rooney's header was enough to edge out Livingston in a scrappy final.

Both managers headed to Hampden looking to win a trophy in their debut season in charge and it was Callum Davidson's side who came out on top.

Livingston's Josh Mullin forced a good save before Rooney headed in off the post from a Craig Conway corner.

St Johnstone took control thereafter against their top-flight rivals.

Rooney, whose Premiership goal at the beginning of February ended Livingston's 14-game unbeaten run since David Martindale took charge, had proved the difference again as St Johnstone made history.

Martindale's side have now failed to win in three games since then and, although they sit seven points and three places above St Johnstone in the league, it is the Perth side who add another trophy to the Scottish Cup they also won for the first time in 2014.

The air of unreality surrounding Hampden was not confined to the lack of fans at the national stadium.

For the first time in five years, Celtic would not be taking their first steps towards a domestic clean sweep, leaving the stage clear for two of the Premiership's less fashionable sides.

Meanwhile, Livingston dispensed with the usual team bus arrival as their squad arrived in a convoy of their own cars to ensure social distancing.

It appeared not to knock the West Lothian side out of their stride as they edged the early proceedings, but Efe Ambrose lashed over from close range then Mullin's fine strike was tipped round the post by goalkeeper Zander Clark.

Martindale had looked to cancel out the threat of Rooney, who had also starred in the semi-final win over Hibernian, by restoring fit-again Marvin Bartley to the side in an unfamiliar wide left role.

It looked to be working until Rooney won a corner off his marker before holding off Jon Guthrie to meet Conway's delivery and his powerful header found the net via the fingers of on-loan Rangers goalkeeper Robby McCrorie and the inside of a post.

Shaun Rooney heads St Johnstone ahead
Shaun Rooney headed St Johnstone ahead in the first half

Davidson had made the surprise tactical decision to drop Guy Melamed to the bench despite the Israeli forward's two goals last weekend against Motherwell and veteran former Scotland winger Conway further justified his inclusion by setting up another chance after the break.

Ali McCann's cut-back was flicked towards goal by David Wotherspoon only for McCrorie's boot to clear off the line.

There were big shouts for a St Johnstone penalty when Bartley challenged Jason Kerr then Ambrose blocked a Jamie McCart header in front of goal as the expected Livingston response failed to materialise.

Deservedly, it was St Johnstone's cheers that rang round an empty Hampden as Livingston failed to add a second League Cup triumph to their first major trophy success in 2004.

Man of the match - Shaun Rooney

St Johnstone scorer Shaun Rooney celebrates
Shaun Rooney was a constant threat down St Johnstone's right in addition to his winning goal

What did we learn?

The lack of fans means there was no opportunity for commentators to wax lyrical about the latent potential of respective fan bases for two of the Premiership's worst supported clubs.

St Johnstone, though, will hope that, on the park at least, they can build on being the most successful club in Scotland after Celtic in the last decade after adding to that 2014 Scottish Cup win during a run of only two defeats in 12 outings.

Davidson has proven himself a worthy successor to Tommy Wright, while his opposite number faces the prospect of recovering from the first major blow in his maiden job in management.

Martindale will perhaps reflect on his own tactical decisions, but he will be stressing to his players that they have still much to play for this season, with a top-six finish almost secured.

What's next?

It's quickly back to Premiership business for the League Cup winners as they visit Hamilton Academical on Wednesday (18:00 GMT), while Livingston must dust themselves down to entertain leaders Rangers.

Player of the match

RooneyShaun Rooney

with an average of 7.78

Livingston

  1. Squad number1Player nameMcCrorie
    Average rating

    5.59

  2. Squad number18Player nameHolt
    Average rating

    5.06

  3. Squad number10Player nameSibbald
    Average rating

    4.67

  4. Squad number12Player nameSerrano
    Average rating

    4.66

  5. Squad number14Player nameMullin
    Average rating

    4.61

  6. Squad number2Player nameDevlin
    Average rating

    4.60

  7. Squad number27Player nameGuthrie
    Average rating

    4.54

  8. Squad number25Player nameEfe Ambrose
    Average rating

    4.46

  9. Squad number33Player nameLawson
    Average rating

    4.39

  10. Squad number20Player nameReilly
    Average rating

    4.36

  11. Squad number17Player nameRobinson
    Average rating

    4.29

  12. Squad number8Player namePittman
    Average rating

    4.23

  13. Squad number11Player nameForrest
    Average rating

    4.22

  14. Squad number9Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas
    Average rating

    4.04

  15. Squad number6Player nameBartley
    Average rating

    4.01

St Johnstone

  1. Squad number19Player nameRooney
    Average rating

    7.78

  2. Squad number4Player nameMcCart
    Average rating

    6.87

  3. Squad number5Player nameKerr
    Average rating

    6.80

  4. Squad number7Player nameConway
    Average rating

    6.78

  5. Squad number6Player nameGordon
    Average rating

    6.77

  6. Squad number18Player nameMcCann
    Average rating

    6.70

  7. Squad number9Player nameKane
    Average rating

    6.65

  8. Squad number10Player nameWotherspoon
    Average rating

    6.60

  9. Squad number26Player nameCraig
    Average rating

    6.47

  10. Squad number24Player nameBooth
    Average rating

    6.42

  11. Squad number1Player nameClark
    Average rating

    6.39

  12. Squad number14Player nameMay
    Average rating

    6.30

Line-ups

Livingston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1McCrorie
  • 2Devlin
  • 25Ambrose
  • 27Guthrie
  • 12SerranoBooked at 90mins
  • 33LawsonSubstituted forSibbaldat 60'minutes
  • 18HoltSubstituted forEmmanuel-Thomasat 71'minutes
  • 14MullinSubstituted forForrestat 65'minutes
  • 8PittmanSubstituted forReillyat 65'minutes
  • 6BartleyBooked at 80mins
  • 17Robinson

Substitutes

  • 5Fitzwater
  • 9Emmanuel-Thomas
  • 10Sibbald
  • 11Forrest
  • 20Reilly
  • 21McMillan
  • 29Taylor-Sinclair
  • 32Stryjek
  • 37Kabia

St Johnstone

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Clark
  • 5Kerr
  • 6GordonBooked at 82mins
  • 4McCart
  • 19Rooney
  • 18McCann
  • 26Craig
  • 24Booth
  • 7ConwaySubstituted forMayat 77'minutes
  • 10Wotherspoon
  • 9KaneBooked at 89mins

Substitutes

  • 2Brown
  • 3Tanser
  • 11O'Halloran
  • 12Parish
  • 13Bryson
  • 14May
  • 15Gilmour
  • 17Melamed
Referee:
Don Robertson

Match Stats

Home TeamLivingstonAway TeamSt Johnstone
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home3
Away5
Shots on Target
Home1
Away3
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Livingston 0, St. Johnstone 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Livingston 0, St. Johnstone 1.

  3. Post update

    Craig Sibbald (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

  5. Booking

    Julien Serrano (Livingston) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Julien Serrano (Livingston).

  7. Post update

    Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Booking

    Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card.

  9. Post update

    Jon Guthrie (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

  11. Post update

    Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Julien Serrano.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Marvin Bartley (Livingston).

  13. Post update

    Shaun Rooney (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Gavin Reilly (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Callum Booth (St. Johnstone).

  16. Post update

    Scott Robinson (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by David Wotherspoon (St. Johnstone).

  18. Post update

    Craig Sibbald (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Around the BBC - SoundsAround the BBC footer - Sounds

Top Stories

Around Scottish sport

Elsewhere on the BBC

Also in Sport