Livingston strike a blow for the poor relations

Hibernian 0 Livingston 2
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The Independent Online

They might be poorer than Cinderella, but Livingston completed a fairytale rise to success yesterday as they secured their first piece of silverware just nine years after switching identity.

The days of being Meadowbank Thistle, not to mention Ferranti Thistle - the club's name when it came into the Scottish League in 1974 - seemed a million miles away from Hampden Park as they killed off Hibernian with two ruthless early second-half goals from Derek Lilley and Jamie McAllister to win the CIS Insurance Cup.

No one cheered more than Dominic Keane, the chairman who was kicked out by the club's bank six weeks ago over debts of just £3.5m, as Livingston were forced into administration and into sacking seven players.

Keane sat with David Hay, who masterminded the triumph, up in the stand in an exile enforced upon him.

Hay, who won the title for Celtic as manager two decades ago, is the general manager but returned to the dugout in mid-season after the departure of the Brazilian coach, Marcio Maximo. "This is even sweeter," Hay said. "The pleasure becomes greater the older you get."

The wait was not worth it for Hibernian. The Edinburgh club took nearly 40,000 fans to Hampden, many hoping to see the club's first trophy in 13 years, but the vigour that had accounted for Celtic and Rangers in the previous rounds was absent on the most crucial day of all. Hibernian looked as if they were going to reward their fans when Scott Brown was put clear in the 19th minute by Roland Edge, but the teenager's shot was parried by the Livingston goalkeeper, Roddy McKenzie, who then recovered to dive at the feet of Garry O'Connor before the vigilant Marvin Andrews cleared the Hibernian striker's shot off the line.

It took Livingston almost 40 minutes before they carved out their first real chance when McAllister's long ball released David Fernandez, who was thwarted by the goalkeeper Daniel Andersson's desperate lunge outside the box to deflect his shot wide.

However, four minutes into the second half, Livingston exposed Hibernian's vulnerability. Burton O'Brien gathered Lee Makel's fine pass and cut it back for Lilley to steer a fine left-foot finish past Andersson.

Hibernian tried to conjure up an immediate response but that only proved their downfall. They were hit by a counter-attack two minutes later as Fernandez held the ball up for the galloping McAllister, who burst from his own half and ended his long run by planting a left-foot shot past the exposed Andersson to spark wild celebrations among Livingston's 8,000 fans. There was no way back for Hibernian.

Hibernian (4-3-3): Andersson; Smith (McManus, 62), Murdock, Doumbe, Edge; Caldwell, Thomson, Reid (Dobbie, 69); S Brown, O'Connor, Riordan. Substitutes not used: A Brown (gk), Whittaker, Nicol.

Livingston (3-5-2): R McKenzie; Rubio, Andrews, Dorado; D McNamee (McLaughlin, 79), Makel, Lovell, O'Brien (McGovern, 90), McAllister; Fernandez (Pasquinelli, 88), Lilley. Substitutes not used: Main (gk), Snowdon.

Referee: W Young (Scotland).

Booked: Hibernian: S Brown, Thomson. Livingston: McAllister, Dorado.

Man of the match: Fernandez.

Attendance: 45,445.

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