Almondvale Astro, October 10th 2017
Rovers lose the first league game of the season but remain one point clear at the top of the division.
Both sides endured light drizzle and a swirling wind but it was the hosts who coped better in the early exchanges despite good passing by the Rovers.
Jack Ogilvie broke the deadlock on 18 minutes when a slip at the back allowed him freedom to shoot, Brian blocked but the Livi man knocked in the rebound 1 – 0
It was Kyle Bell and Yaw Osei who made an impact on the rest of the half, combining well and running at the Livi defence.
A 1-2 ended with Kyle shooting wide from the edge of the box, the next move was better.
A low cross from Bell was back-heeled into the path of Smith who scooped the ball just over from 12 yards.
That was as close as it got as Court, Stevenson and Smith spurned chances before the referee blew for half time and the supporters headed to the cars for a brief heat.
Rovers nearly got off to a flyer with a minute on the second half clock, Bell and Osei turned their markers, Yaw laying off to Smith who saw the keeper block his point-blank shot.
On the 51st minute mark, Livingston cleared up the park and a trip in the box was punished with a spot kick.
Matthew Knox fired low to his left, Brian going the wrong way and Livingston had doubled their lead 2 – 0
Barring a diving header from Smith both sides put in lots of effort for the next half hour to no avail, loose passes, blocked shots and the swirling wind frustrating any attempt to create chances.
Eight minutes from time, Rovers pegged one back, a corner played into a crowded box saw Jack Smith’s header fail to be headed off the line and into the net 2 – 1
Due to a Livingston player receiving treatment, nearly five minutes of added time saw Brian make a double save and his counterpart making a save from a Smith header and a deflected Court shot land at the keeper’s feet.
The last chance fell to Johnny Court with a shot into the wall from a free kick at the edge of the box.
Head Coach of the Player Development Squad, Craig Easton, remarked after the game:
“I’m disappointed for the lads that our undefeated league record came to an end in what has been one of, if not the, best performance this season. We were unbeaten in the Development League East since January – a run of eleven games including ten wins and a draw, but some missed chances and great saves prevented us from extending it further tonight.
We played some excellent football at times and limited Livi to three or four half chances at most. However; they have a couple of really sharp players, scored a good goal and whilst the penalty was soft it was probably the right decision.”
“In terms of what we’ve been working on in recent weeks there were lots of positives as a team, but more importantly also individually. Myself and Scott Robertson can see the lads taking on board aspects from sessions and putting them into practice in games, which is really pleasing from a coaching point of view.”
|sub: White||sub: Dall|
|sub: Hay||sub: Trialist (78)|
|sub: Smith||sub: Crosbie|
|sub: Campbell||sub: McCann|
|sub: Wilson||sub: Peden|
Remember, RRFC Season Ticket holders get free entry to all Development League games. View the Development League (East) Fixture list & Table here.
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