Sixth defeat in seven for Livi at Dens

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Dundee’s Dens Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the Livi Lions in recent times, and their poor record continued on Saturday as Ryan Conroy, Neil McGregor and Nicky Riley scored to secure a 3-0 victory for the home side.

The Lions could have levelled from chances that fell to Liam Fox or Kenny Deuchar in the second half, but they couldn’t find the net and the loss of a second goal minutes before Mark Fotheringham was red carded with just less than a quarter of an hour remaining, was crucial.

It was Livi’s sixth defeat in their last seven visits to Dens and boss Gary Bollan bemoaned missed opportunities. “I thought we did well enough for spells and matched Dundee pretty well. Rab Douglas has pulled off a great save from Liam Fox’s lob, and any other day Kenny Deuchar would have put the ball away to get us level. That would have put Dundee on the back foot and applied some pressure.

“We’ve got to then defend set plays better and we didn’t. We need to dust ourselves down for a big game against Queens next week.”

The Lions were by far the brighter in the opening stages and striker Iain Russell twice caused problems for Douglas in the Dundee goal, but, with their first real attack of the match, Dundee took the lead. A fine passing move down the right resulted in Gavin Rae’s deft flick setting up Conroy, and he drilled the ball home.

Fox and Deuchar both saw their efforts held by Douglas as Livi tried to get level, while Steven Milne had a rasping shot beaten away by Lions keeper Andy McNeil. Paul Watson’s block then thwarted Stephen O’Donnell just short of the break.

Livi upped the pressure in the second half and Fox was twice denied by the impressive Douglas, before Bobby Barr set up Deuchar ten yards out only for the striker to blaze over the crossbar.

Livi were left to rue those missed chances as McGregor turned the ball in from close range from a whipped free-kick after 73 minutes, and after Fotheringham had seen red for a challenge from behind that produced a second yellow card, Riley headed home powerfully from a corner to seal the win.