Livingston striker Jordan White hit his first hat-trick for the Championship club to take him to the summit of the league’s scoring charts – and then revealed he is targeting a 20-goal haul this season.
The Lions leapfrogged opponents Alloa in to fifth place with a comprehensive 4-0 win as summer-signing White took his league tally to five.
With difficult fixtures ahead against third-placed Raith Rovers next weekend, followed by top-of-the-table Hearts and second-placed Rangers, plus a League Cup tie away to Premiership side Aberdeen in between, the West Lothian club are hitting form at the right time.
Team-mate Myles Hippolyte has become a cult hero for the Lions with his goal scoring exploits from off the bench, the Livingston club shop cashing in on their star as T-shirts with the slogan ‘Feed the Hippo’ went on sale on Saturday.
White, however, is just happy to concentrate on his football, the former Stirling and Falkirk striker admitting he isn’t too bothered about making the headlines, although if he keeps his scoring form up he could be next to have his name emblazoned on a clothing line.
“At the end of the day I’m here to score goals and I just want to concentrate on the football,” said the level-headed 22 year-old. “In the first half I didn’t play as well as I would’ve hoped, but then I went and scored – that’s just football for you. I know I’ve played better and not scored.
“We totally controlled the game in the second half. Alloa had been on a good run, beating Hibs and they are still in the Petrofac [Training] Cup, so it’s brilliant to get such a convincing win. I set myself a target of 20 goals and I knew that was always going to be difficult in this league, but I’m more than capable of doing that now.”
Livingston boss John McGlynn deployed three at the back with defender Declan Gallagher still out with a knee injury and after a drab start, it took until the 16th minute for either side to get a sight of goal. White slid in to try and meet Keaghan Jacobs’ whipped ball to the back post, but it just evaded him.
Alloa, who came into the match with victories over Cowdenbeath and Hibs, then came close as Liam Buchanan was inches away from converting Ryan McCord’s cross.
The first goal came on 27 minutes from a corner after White’s shot was deflected wide. Captain Jason Talbot swung it in and defender Callum Fordyce rose unmarked to bullet a header past Craig McDowall.
If Alloa’s defending for the opener was bad, then for the second it was shambolic. Again, they were outdone in the air, as White got on the end of Keaghan Jacobs’ deep free-kick to nod in to an empty net after McDowall had made the rash attempt to gather in the air.
Alloa’s No.1 did make amends in some respects moments later when he came out to block at White’s feet after the 6ft 4in striker had been played through one-on-one.
Greig Spence had come close from a free-kick 25 yards out for Alloa before White got his second on 63 minutes. Strike partner Gary Glen’s shot was saved, but White was quickest to the rebound and he lifted over McDowall and in.
Hippolyte had entered the fray on the hour and looked certain to make it four for the Lions on 75 minutes, but McDowall took it off his feet after a heavy touch.
Hippolyte provided White with his third and the match ball three minutes later though. The 19-year-old was felled by McDowall in the area, but the ball squirmed into White’s path and he made no mistake from ten yards with a typical poacher’s effort.
Livingston: Jamieson, Sives, Talbot, Fordyce, Kyle Jacobs, Keaghan Jacobs, O’Brien, Robertson (Hippolyte 60), McKenna (Burchill 74), White (Ogleby 85), Glen.
Alloa Athletic: McDowall, Doyle, Docherty, Gordon, Meggatt, Simmons, Holmes, Crawley, Buchanan, McCord (Ferns 60), Spence.