Livingston boss Hopkin hails his battlers

Liam Buchanan grabbed the opener for Livi
Liam Buchanan grabbed the opener for Livi
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Livingston improved their Championship survival hopes with a precious 2-0 victory over nearest rivals Dumbarton.

The Lions are now 11 points clear of bottom side Alloa in the relegation play-off spot and just a point adrift of the Sons after goals from strike duo Liam Buchanan and Jordan White capped off a fine week for David Hopkin’s men.

Wins over Alloa and Dumbarton, coupled with last Tuesday night’s goalless stalemate with Morton, has instilled some renewed belief that Livi can get themselves out of trouble.

“We’ve had to battle again but I thought we matched a very physical Dumbarton team,” said Hopkin. “We know we’ve got to work hard to get out where we are but since I took the job on we’ve always been looking forward.”

Hopkin made three changes to his starting line-up from the midweek clash with Morton – Scott Pittman, Josh Mullin and Buchanan all coming in for Osman Kakay, Danny Mullen and White respectively.

The opener came when Jackson Longridge’s darting run into the box went unchallenged and the full-back was able to pick out Buchanan, whose initial effort was blocked before the former Partick Thistle man capitalised on the rebound to net the opener.

A fizzing strike, though, from Callum Waters brought goalkeeper Marc McCallum into action before on loan Hibs midfielder Sam Stanton passed up a glorious opportunity to double Livi’s lead when through on Jamie Ewings’ goal – the Dumbarton shot stopper able to palm away his weak effort for a corner.

Stephen Aitken’s side rarely threatened in the second half and White, who had been on the park little more than five minutes, found himself through on goal before cleverly prodding the ball beyond Ewings to seal the points with seven minutes of the contest remaining.

Livingston: McCallum, Halkett, Cole, Gordon, Longridge, Mullin, Fotheringham, Telfer (Sheerin 62), Stanton (Knox 85), Pittman, Buchanan (White 78). Subs: Quinn, Neill, Kakay, Currie.

Dumbarton: Ewings, Docherty, Saunders, Wright, Buchanan, Barr, Walsh (Fleming 62), Lindsay, Waters (Kirkpatrick 71), Nade, Cawley (McCallum 77). Subs: Brown, Taggert, Routledge, Hopkins.