Ayr pressure bursts plucky Livi’s bubble

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LIVINGSTON succumbed to their second defeat to Ayr United this season on Saturday as the Somerset Park side came from behind to defeat Livi 3-1 in manager John Hughes’s second game in charge of the Lions.

The West Lothian side had been hoping to make it a third league win on the bounce in Ayrshire after 3-1 and 4-0 home victories over Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers respectively.

But, despite taking an early lead through Dean Cummings, Livi couldn’t take advantage of early domination and Eddie Malone plus an Andy Geggan double saw the home side cling on to all three points in a pulsating league encounter.

Livi flew out of the blocks and Cummings broke the deadlock in 12 minutes when he flicked a Bobby Barr shot into the net from eight yards out.

It should have been two for the Lions when Barr cut inside from the left but his shot clipped the outside of the post, and Keaghan Jacobs was then denied by a brilliant Liam Tomsett block from close range.

The visitors were piling forward, and Malone denied McNulty a certain goal with his goal-line clearance, while Keaghan Jacobs called Ayr stopper Kevin Cuthbert into action with a ferocious 20-yard drive.

Livi were made to pay for those missed chances, however, as Andy Geggan blasted home from a corner just past the half-hour mark to level the game.

A magnificent Andy McNeil save from Mark Roberts’s volley kept the scores level going into the break, but in the opening ten minutes of the second half Ayr wrapped up the points.

Malone managed to bundle a corner over the line on 52 minutes, before Geggan grabbed his second of the afternoon with a header from six yards out only three minutes later.

Livi regrouped, and Bobby Barr tested Cuthbert with his low shot being shoved round the post before Michael McGowan nearly put Ayr three ahead with a brilliant run and shot that zipped over the bar.

Barr then saw Jonathan Tiffoney swipe his goal-bound shot off the line, and Kyle Jacobs could only send his effort wide after breaking into space on the edge of the box.

But the Lions couldn’t find their way to net again in the driving rain late on, and Brian Reid’s men held out for the points.