After a promising opening period during which they took the lead through an excellent finish from Marc McNulty, Livingston eventually succumbed to League One Wolves’ superior firepower at a sun-drenched Almondvale yesterday.
Scorers: Livingston - McNulty 12; Wolves - Elokobi 34; Davis 51
An otherwise routine proposition as a pre-season friendly was given a generous helping of intrigue by the return in Wolves colours of Leigh Griffiths to the ground where it all began for him. The man from Leith always makes for good copy and did not disappoint in a lively opening 45 minutes in which he paraded his usual repertoire of flashes of temper leavened with bursts of compelling skill. All that was missing before he was substituted midway through the second half was the sure touch that saw him help himself to 23 goals for Hibs and an international call-up last season.
It was only a matter of minutes before Griffiths’ nostrils were flaring as he squared up to Jason Talbot after a meaty challenge from the hosts’ left back. Somewhat more out of character however was the failure to put away two gilt-edged chances in the space of a couple of minutes a short while later. Despite drawing a blank, new Wolves manager Kenny Jackett spoke enthusiastically about the prospect of working with Griffiths at Molyneux.
“He’s been with us a week and has been very impressive. He looks a good player and an addition for us,” Jackett insisted. “If we can create the number of chances for him that we did today he’ll be fine – you should never worry about missing chances, only if you’re not getting chances at all.”
The one piece of genuine quality striking in this encounter came, not as anticipated from the lime and tangerine boots of Livingston’s prodigal son, but from the West Lothian club’s current No.9, Marc McNulty. A surging run followed by a sweeping cross by Talbot was met first time and his precision finish flew into the bottom corner of the net. It was a memorable effort to whet the appetite for the forthcoming campaign.
Having played just one pre- season fixture against East Fife so far, it unsurprisingly took some time for Wolves to find their stride but they eventually drew level before half-time through defender George Elokobi, albeit somewhat fortuitously, as his miss-hit shot proceeded to take a deflection and trundle into the net.
The visitors continued their ascendency after the interval and were soon ahead after David Davis found the net, having swept in a cutback from substitute Liam McAlindon.
Livingston: Jamieson; Davidson; Mensing; Talbot; Mampagu; McDonald; Beaumont; Trialist; Trialist; McNulty; Burchill.
Wolves: McCarey; Doherty; Batth; Elokobi; Ricketts; Sako; Evans; Davis; Price; Griffiths; Sigurdson.
Referee: C Allan.