East Fife vs Livingston

League October 31st 1998

Livingston FC:

1. Alexander, 2. Boyle, 3. Deas, 4. McManus, 5. Sweeney, 6. Millar, 7. King, 8. Sherry,

9. Robertson, 10. Bennett, 11. Bingham, 12. McMartin, 14. McPhee, 15. McCormick

East Fife:

1. McCulloch, 2. Munro, 3. Gibb, 4. Cusick, 5. Kirk, 6. Coyle , 7. Trialist , 8. Trialist

9. Brown, 10. Moffat, 11. Allan, 12. Dyer, 14. Martin, 15. McPherson

As this was probably going to be the last ever match played at Bayview park we did expect a slight bit more commemorative effort from the home team -perhaps a special program - but it seems they did nothing apart from request that fans did not take pieces of the clover ridden excuse for turf in case they needed the "playing surface" again?

The starting line up reverted to Ray Stewart's standard team sheet which perhaps suprisingly did not include Gordon Forrest who most Livi fans expected to retain his central midfield berth after two battling performances in the previous couple of games.

The most positive thing to say about this performance is that the team won and got the three points. It was not a good performance indeed the team played far better against Inverness Caley and lost and should have beaten Kilmarnock but lost so these things perhaps even themselves out.

After a nervy start Livi gradually began to assert control over the match and broke the deadlock after 10 minutes when John Robertson headed home a Millar corner. East Fife equalised almost immediately when a mistake by Sean Sweeney allowed in Gilbert Allan to slot past Neil Alexander. The remainder of the first half was mostly one way traffic with East Fife coming close on more than one occasion. Livingston were saved by the woodwork on one occasion when an East fife shot came off the bar with Alexander beaten.

Whatever Ray Stewart said to his charges at half-time clearly worked as they came back onto the park looking far more hungry as they took the game right back to their hosts. This more positive attitude was rewarded when John Robertson was allowed time in the box to brilliantly pick out Dave Bingham on the edge of the box who, with the keeper stranded but still facing two defenders, coolly slotted home on the hour mark.

Livingston ,almost criminally this time, gifted their hosts right back into the game with a terrible own goal from McManus less than a minute after the restart. Around this point the travelling support began to think that this was probably just not going to be their day.

Ray Stewart then surprised be at least by two real attacking substitutions first McPhee came on for Bennett then shortly after Mark McCormick replaced Jimmy Boyle. Both McPhee and McCormick were fighting to get a top team start and McCormick probably just made the better case scoring the winner with a hooked shot over his shoulder on 83 minutes and hitting the bar just before the end.


MoM: Neil Bennett There wasn't really a Livingston player who really shone in this match, in fact most were really quiet. Neil was one of the few who played to his full ability and put the work rate in.

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