Kilmarnock 2-3 Livingston: Life after administration for Livi
LIVINGSTON showed there is plenty of life – at least on the pitch – in Scottish football beyond the top-flight as they defeated SPL opponents Kilmarnock.
Scorers: Kilmarnock - Harkins (16), McKenzie (42);Livingston - Andreu (53), B. Barr (68), McNulty (73)
Granted, they may be a fortnight ahead of their Rugby Park opponents in their pre-season preparations, but the First Division outfit were impressive as their mix of effervescent youths and experienced pros came back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to snatch a morale-boosting victory ahead of their competitive opener against Annan Athletic in the Ramsdens Cup in less than a fortnight.
Just three years ago, the Almondvale outfit were in a similar position to Rangers having been banished to the Third Division following administration. Since then they have rebuilt prudently and shown that, with a successful youth policy, tight finances can help clubs flourish in other ways.
Money is the worry at Kilmarnock, however, with manager Kenny Shiels confessing that having signed Jeroen Tesselaar from St Mirren he cannot make any further signings because of a lack of cash. Off the pitch, there is speculation too that Rangers’ banishment to the Third Division could mean the death of the Ayrshire outfit.
Shiels would, however, have been happy with the way his team started, with Gary Harkins’ deflected shot giving them an early lead that youngster Rory McKenzie doubled when he shot into the net via the upright.
But John Hughes’ side roared back after the interval. New signing Tony Andreu struck first before substitute Bobby Barr equalised a minute after coming on. Marc McNulty then sealed victory with a cute chip after Ryan O’Leary misjudged Andy McNeil’s long kick out.
Killie will welcome the three weeks they have to prepare for the new season and Harkins is hoping to meet some friendly faces on an uncertain opening day, with today’s SPL agm expected to clarify whether old club Dundee or Dunfermline take up the ‘club 12’ place vacated by Rangers.
Harkins said: “I’d rather Dundee had won the league and got to the SPL that way, and I’m sure they would want that as well. But the SPL is where they should be”.
Kilmarnock: Jaakkola; Pursehouse, Nelson, O’Leary, Tesselaar; Johnson, Pascali, Harkins, Racchi (Winchester 78); McKenzie, Gros. Subs not used: Letheren, Kelly, Dayton, Fisher, McKeown.
Livingston: McNeil; McCan, Watson, C. Barr, Fordyce (McDonald 70); Kyle Jacobs (McNulty 12), Scougall, Andreu (Downie 83), Keaghan Jacobs, Morton (Cummings 80); I. Russell (B. Barr 67). Subs not used: A. Russell, Jamieson.
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Tuesday 18 June 2013
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