Report and highlights to follow from the Scottish Premiership clash at the Tony Macaroni Arena as Livingston beat Kilmarnock 2-0; Jaze Kabia and Scott Pittman scored late goals to secure the points; David Martindale’s men are on a 12-game unbeaten run
Thursday 28 January 2021 00:20, UK
A late double salvo proved enough to secure Livingston a 2-0 triumph over Kilmarnock and extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 matches.
A stodgy encounter appeared destined to end in stalemate until 20-year-old Jaze Kabia, a January capture from Shelbourne, notched his first-ever goal for the Lions after 89 minutes.
With Killie rattled, the tireless Scott Pittman, celebrating his 250th outing for the club, almost immediately rippled the net to make the points safe.
The result – which could have been more handsome, given Jon Guthrie struck the bar in the first half – sees the West Lothian outfit move to within five points of fourth-placed Hibernian with a game in hand.
- Match stats | How the teams lined up
- Scottish Premiership table | Fixtures | Results
David Martindale, deemed a fit and proper person by the Scottish FA following a hearing on Tuesday, remains yet to taste defeat since succeeding Gary Holt last November and has overseen 10 wins and two draws.
He made four changes to the side that defeated St Mirren to reach the Betfred Cup final. Gavin Reilly made his first start for the Lions and Jack Fitzwater, Ciaron Brown and Alan Forrest were all drafted in. Hampden goal hero Scott Robinson, Craig Sibbald, Efe Ambrose and Julien Serrano dropped out.
Killie, back in action after an 11-day hiatus, handed a debut to new signing George Oakley.
It was in-form Livi that made the early running, with Forrest forcing a fine finger-tip save from Danny Rogers after scampering in behind full-back Aaron McGowan.
The hosts came even closer to breaking the deadlock when Guthrie, who boasts five goals already this term, once again illustrated his threat by heading a Josh Mullin corner against the bar.
Kilmarnock awoke from their slumber after the interval, with Chris Burke forcing a comfortable low stop from Livi number one Max Stryjek and Oakley fizzing an instinctive drive over the bar from a tight angle.
However, it would be Livingston who snatched the spoils during a breathless finale.
Kabia, thrown on as a late substitute, reacted swiftest to a blocked Sibbald shot and produced a low drive which found the roof of the net via a slight deflection off Ross Millen.
And Pittman marked his milestone appearance by finding the net, haring onto a hopeful ball forward and poking an effort beyond Rogers.
What the managers said
Livingston boss David Martindale: “He [Scott Pittman] is a great boy who just hates the limelight. He will probably get a false moustache to walk around the town now! No, I love him to bits and he is probably the best bit of business I have done at this club.
“I told the boys they needed to pick up the three points, as this was my first ever game as a fit and proper person!”
Kilmarnock boss Alex Dyer: “I thought we’d done enough but we should be professional enough to see the game out and come away with at least a point.
“Two late goals killed us.”
Livingston host Aberdeen on Saturday at 3pm, while Kilmarnock host St Johnstone at the same time – both are Scottish Premiership games.
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