HIBS emphatically regained third place in the SPL after the most one-sided encounter of the season. Livingston’s yellow-and-black jerseys may be reminiscent of training tops, but it was the home side who were able to treat the match as little more than a practice session.
Hibs 7-0 Livingston
February 8, 2006
Two goals in the first 32 minutes were an early indication that the three points would go to Tony Mowbray’s side, and the home team added five more in the second-half against a dispirited Livingston, who crumbled to a defeat as bad as any team has suffered in the SPL.
It was virtually one-way traffic from the fourth minute when Derek Riordan had an effort saved by McKenzie.
Scott Brown and Kevin Thomson were both out with knocks, but the absence of those two creative influences did not prevent Hibs from taking control of midfield. It was clearly only a matter of time before Hibs did score, and in the 18th minute they were ahead. It took them three attempts, mind you, to find the net from an Ivan Sproule cross: first Garry O’Connor’s shot on the turn was blocked by McKenzie, then the goalkeeper blocked the rebound, and finally Chris Killen shot into what was by then an unguarded net from no more than a couple of yards out.
The game was all but over when Riordan made it 2-0 from the penalty spot. He had won the award himself when, receiving possession close to the goal-line, he turned quickly and was taken down by Lambert. The penalty itself was dispatched neatly to McKenzie’s left.
When Livingston lost their leading scorer, Paul Dalglish, to Hibs during the previous transfer window it was obvious that they would struggle to find a supply of goals, and the rest of the half was proof of that.
Dalglish himself was suspended for this encounter and so at least did no direct damage to his former club on this occasion.
Only a couple of minutes after the restart Hibs added another to make it 3-0.
Stephen Glass found Riordan with a long pass, and the No 10 cut into the box and bore down on McKenzie. The goalkeeper failed to stop Riordan’s neatly placed low shot, which looked like going just wide of the far post — until his Hibs strike partner O’Connor slid in to bundle the ball over the line.
In the 64th minute, Sproule burst into the box and shot at goal, and although McKenzie blocked, the ball fell to Riordan, who struck calmly for his second goal of the night.
Livingston lost a fifth 20 minutes from time when a low corner from Glass crept into the net. It may have taken a slight deflection off David MacKay on the way in, but the midfielder deserved to be credited with the goal.
Substitute Steven Fletcher made it six two minutes from time with a shot from the edge of the box, then gave the Hibs fans the prized score they wanted with a second goal in injury-time.