Game 2: Livingston 2-1 Hibernian

Tuesday, July 5, 2011 @ Braidwood Motor Company Stadium, Livingston

I know, I know. Results in pre-season don’t really matter.

Nevertheless I thoroughly enjoyed this one, as my team put together a great team performance to earn a good result against SPL side Hibernian.

Kenny Deuchar got the evening off to the best possible start with a goal inside a minute and from there on in, we rarely looked like surrendering the lead.

There’s no doubt that this wasn’t a vintage Hibs performance and there’s no argument that the current Hibs side is a poor one, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you and we did that well.

The first half was all Livi and although Iain Russell scored a corker of a second goal, the half time 2-0 lead was the least we deserved for dominating the game.

Hibs defender David Stephens was incredibly lucky not to put through his own goal at one stage, and there were a couple of missed chances.

The second half was a different kettle of fish with Hibs enjoying a big territorial advantage while we defending deep and tried to hit on the counter.

The Hibees’ controversial new signing Gary O’Connor pulled a goal back not long after half time, but in general we coped well with what the Easter Road side had to offer up front and deserved to win 2-1 in the end.

Predictably, all the post-match chat has been about Colin Calderwood’s position, with the Hibs manager likely to be lured back down south to become assistant to either Chris Hughton or Steve McClaren at some point.

Hibs chairman Rod Petrie issued a stinging pre-match rebuke to Calderwood’s suitors, but his manager’s words and body language suggest that he’d rather be somewhere else doing something else.

Did that impact on the Hibs performance? Very possibly, but that shouldn’t detract from a very good Livingston performance which built on Saturday’s good showing against Dunfermline.

Defensively we looked strong, although I wasn’t impressed by the performance of trialist right-back Neil McGregor. Further up the field, 18-year old striker Marc McNulty showed that he has the ability to break though and make an impact in the First Division this season.

He has an unbelievable scoring record at Under 19 level – more than a goal a game – and looks like he has worked on his strength over the summer.

Iain Russell and Kenny Deuchar will need to keep scoring, like they did in this game, to keep hold of a starting position when the real action starts in a fortnight’s time.

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