The brilliance of Anthony Andreu and Stefan Scougall ensured a tumultuous week at Livingston culminated with the welcome respite of a convincing triumph.
Livingston - Andreu 21, 39; I Russell 44; Scougall 77
Airdrie United - J Boyle 90
Interim boss Richie Burke remained coy regarding hopes of claiming the managerial position on a permanent basis following the shock departure of Gareth Evans and director of football John Collins last week.
This handsome triumph, however, will do his fledgling hopes to have the word “interim” removed from his title no harm.
“Everybody who is in coaching, or in football, is ambitious,” said Burke. “Gareth and John leaving happened very quickly last week and it was a huge shock across the board. It is up in the air and I don’t have answers to questions about the future.”
Gifted Frenchman Andreu turned in a virtuoso first-half display, opening the scoring with a clinical low drive from the edge of the box before bettering that effort with a superb strike from 25 yards.
An entertaining affair was concluded as a competitive contest minutes before the interval as the ever-impressive Scougall superbly sprung Iain Russell through on goal to lash home a third.
A miserable afternoon for the visitors – who missed an early penalty – was capped late on as Sean Lynch was dismissed before Scougall slid home a deserved fourth goal.
A late strike from spot-kick villain Boyle provided scant solace for the Lanarkshire side.
“It will take a massive push to get out of this,” said United manager Jimmy Boyle, whose side sit at the foot of Division One, five points adrift of Dumbarton.