Soccer

Hibernian woes continue with defeat to Livingston

Lee Johnson saw his Hibernian side beaten again (Isaac Parkin/PA)
Lee Johnson saw his Hibernian side beaten again (Isaac Parkin/PA) Lee Johnson saw his Hibernian side beaten again (Isaac Parkin/PA)

Hibernian’s disappointing start to the season continued as Livingston secured a deserved 3-2 win at Easter Road in the cinch Premiership.

The visitors took an early lead as the unfortunate Jordan Obita got the final touch as he slid in with Scott Pittman to turn the ball into his own net.

Martin Boyle pulled Hibs level with a stunning solo goal early in the second half but Bruce Anderson restored Livi’s advantage with a header just a minute later.

And another Livingston substitute, Mo Sangare, heaped further misery on Hibs as he lashed home a spectacular third for the visitors from just outside the area.

Josh Campbell got on the scoresheet as Hibs threatened a comeback but it was in vain as they fell to a third straight defeat in the league to increase the pressure on manager Lee Johnson.

The Hibs boss had made five changes to the side who were humbled 5-0 by Aston Villa in Europe on Wednesday, with Rocky Bushiri, Riley Harbottle, Allan Delferriere, James Jeggo and Christian Doidge coming into the starting line-up.

Livingston manager David Martindale, meanwhile, made just two changes with Jamie Brandon and Scott Pittman replacing Steven Kelly and Cristian Montano.

After a scrappy start to the game it was the visitors who grabbed the advantage in the eighth minute. James Penrice delivered a delicious low cross from the left and Pittman and Obita slid in together at the back post, with the Hibs defender credited with the own goal.

Hibernian looked to reply and Doidge had their first chance after a quarter of an hour as he glanced a header over following an inswinging cross from Delferriere.

Livi were happy to play on the counter-attack as the half progressed but Hibs struggled to create anything of note despite lots of possession and the home fans made their feelings known as the half-time whistle was blown.

Hibs were forced into a change at the interval as David Marshall was replaced by Max Boruc and the young goalkeeper was called into action almost immediately, making a crucial stop as Joel Nouble went through one on one after a Will Fish error.

The home side had improved slightly after the break and they did haul themselves level just after the hour mark through a moment of magic. Boyle was released by a Doidge flick-on and the winger showed all his pace as he cut onto his left foot and thrashed a thunderous strike past Shamal George.

Hibs’ joy was short-lived though and the majority of fans inside Easter Road were left stunned just a minute later as Livingston’s lead was restored. The tireless Penrice was the architect again as he stood up a deep cross that was headed home by substitute Anderson with virtually his first touch.

It soon got worse for the hosts. Nouble had given the home defence a torrid afternoon and it was his inch-perfect aerial ball that released Sangare, who drilled home a thunderous half-volley with his left foot from just outside the box.

Livingston nearly made it 4-1 through Nouble before Hibs cut the deficit as Campbell tapped home on 86 minutes to set up a grandstand finish.

But the hosts were unable to find a leveller as their pointless start to their campaign continued, while Livingston secured their first away league win since January.