LIVINGSTON stalwart Burton O’Brien, the only man to play in both of the club’s trophy wins, insists Sunday’s Petrofac Training Cup final triumph brought back memories of their famous League Cup victory 11 years ago.
The 33-year-old is enjoying his second spell at Almondvale and cut a cultured figure at the heart of midfield as goals by Scott Pittman, Callum Fordyce and a Jordan White brace secured a handsome 4-0 win over Alloa.
With 2,869 supporters in attendance – the lowest crowd since the competition’s inception – scenes at McDiarmid Park were more low key than Hampden Park in 2004, when Livi stunned Hibs 2-0 in front of 45,500 spectators in the West Lothian outfit’s finest hour.
Nevertheless, O’Brien was in no mood to downplay the club’s first win in this tournament’s 25-year history. “When you get to a cup final, it doesn’t matter how well you play or what the result is as long as you win . We’ve managed to do that and we’re delighted,” the former Falkirk and Sheffield Wednesday playmaker said. “It brings back memories of the League Cup final.
“The two games are different in their own way, but I’m getting towards the end of my career so the chance to play in another cup final – no matter what one it was – was wonderful.
“Maybe when you are younger you’ll take it for granted that you will play in cup finals throughout your career, but it doesn’t always work like that.”
O’Brien was flanked by his sons, Flynn and Harrison, as he addressed the media. “I think they enjoyed it,” he smiled. “No doubt they will be looking for themselves in the paper! I think they even managed to get on to BBC Alba doing an interview as well. It was a special day and one I’ll remember forever.”
Livingston’s celebrations were understated by necessity, as they were back in for training yesterday morning ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Falkirk.
The Lions, who were docked five points due to financial irregularities in December and are currently subject to a transfer embargo, are six points adrift of Alloa at the foot of the Championship, but O’Brien said: “This should give the lads a big lift going into the final stretch of the season so we’ll go again on Wednesday and try to pick up as many points as we can.”
O’Brien also paid tribute to Darren Cole, who was immense in Sunday’s final, having opted to participate in the fixture a matter of days after the death of his cousin, Shaun.
“I thought he was different class and it shows a lot of character for him to come through,” he added. “I’m sure Shaun would have wanted him to play and he performed fantastically well.”
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