Stenhousemuir v Livingston at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 15.04.17
Ladbrokes SPFL League One Att 472
Stenhousemuir 0 Livingston 1 [Buchanan 55]
This was the second last home game of the season for the Warriors and they realistically needed to take something out of the game. It wasn’t going to be easy though as Livingston had won the league the previous week. As a mark of respect the league champions were given a guard of honour onto the park.
The Warriors had lost all three encounters this season as Livingston showed why they were champions and they needed a change of fortune in this game. The Lions manager made several changes to the starting eleven some of them enforced and although some of the fringe players were to play it was still an experienced team. One area though where they had to change was in defence where Alan Lithgow was the only recognised defender with Nikolay Todorov moving from the forward ling to the defensive three.
For the Warriors there was one change with Ross Meechan replacing Vinnie Berry who was unavailable to play. They were hoping to build on victory over East Fife the previous week.
The game was played in windy conditions and this was to have an eventual bearing on the game. Stenhousemuir made the first real chance in the 13th minute when a swift counter attack found Alan Cook free on the left but his strike was saved by Liam Kelly’s legs. This was followed by a one-two between Mason Robertson and Connor Duthie but once again Kelly was to come to the rescue saving a powerful drive that took a slight deflection.
Livingston’s best chance fell to Mark Millar but Fraser Kerr did just enough to put him off and he missed the target when he had time to spare. Livingston then started a flowing move from a probing ball by Lithgow that ended with Liam Buchanan shooting wide. Just before the end of the half Stenhousemuir could have had a penalty when Colin McMenamin appeared to be fouled but no award was forthcoming.
Immediately after the restart Cook shot just wide after being picked out by a Mark Gilhaney pass. Livingston though were always in with a chance and they took the lead in the 55th minute. Buchanan showed his predatory instinct to take advantage of a mistake by Graham Bowman who misjudged a cross in the wind and Buchanan headed home his 26th goal of the season and his 21st in the league.
A minute later Cook hit a 35 yard effort that Kelly was pleased to smother but that was really the last time that the Livingston keeper was threatened. With a goal advantage they grew in stature and started to create more chances with Nicky Cadden in particular coming close to extending their advantage.
With three minutes to go Ally Roy did well to chest down a driven cross, however he was slightly off balance when he shot and the effort went wide.
There would normally have been positives to take from the game as Stenhousemuir matched the league winners for long periods of the game. Unfortunately though it was another defeat and leaves them five points behind Peterhead after their victory at Methil against East Fife. Time is running out and it means that the game at Peterhead next week could be a significant one for the Warriors.
Stenhousemuir – Bowman, Robertson, Duthie [b39], Marsh, Kerr, Meechan [Manzana 76], Furtado [Roy 84], Millar, McMenamin, Gilhaney [Shaw 66] and Cook. Subs not used – McCormack, Grant, Crawford and Smith.
Livingston –Kelly, Sinclair [De Vita 70], Lithgow, Longridge, Jacobs, Millar, Knox [Simpson 65], Pittman, Cadden, Buchanan [Ogilvie 76] and Todorov. Subs not used – Maley, Mullen, Halkett and Reid.
Referee – Colin Steven Assistants – Ross Haswell and Graham Grainger.
|April 15, 2017||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2016/2017||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|