Already restricted by a lengthy injury list, Raith Rovers hamstrung their chances further with a series of defensive lapses that gave them a deficit from which they could not recover.
Despite missing Joe Cardle and top scorer Greig Spence, the visitors matched the threat of their hosts in an even opening 45 minutes and could have easily led at the break. Instead, Jason Thomson’s own goal and Martin Scott’s strike on the stroke of half time gave the hosts a comfortable advantage.
“I was pleased with the first half to be honest,” said Raith boss Grant Murray. “We created some great chances and could have been two or three up. Unfortunately you have to bury those chances when they come and Livingston did that.”
In fact, Murray’s side were a goal down before a chance had even occurred. Mark McNulty’s low ball from the right was missed by one defender and the confusion caused a flat-footed Jason Thomson to divert into the net via his shin.
Raith kept their spirits up and Calum Elliot should have brought them level on two separate occasions. The former Livingston striker – who reneged on a pre-contract agreement with the Almondvale club in the summer before joining Raith – first headed over from close range, and later saw a loose ball shot denied by a diving Darren Jamieson.
Sandwiched between those two opportunities was a McNulty miss, but the young striker made up for his earlier wastefulness when he intercepted a slack cross-field pass and brought a save out of Ross Laidlaw. The rebound was then swept home by Martin Scott.
Their determination didn’t waver following the break, but it soon became apparent Raith were out of ideas and Stefan Scougall soon put the result beyond doubt with a low shot into the far corner following another loose pass.