Bell rings on Lions’ cup challenge as Annan cause shock

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LIVINGSTON suffered a shock defeat at Third Division Annan Athletic on their return to competitive action after the summer break, with defeat at Galabank in the Ramsdens Cup first round.

Graeme Bell grabbed the crucial goal for the home side with only 16 minutes left on the clock, but only after the hosts had rode their luck as the Lions spurned opportunities.

John Hughes had taken his squad south with largely the same faces as completed last campaign, with ex-Hearts midfielder Jordan Morton and Frenchman Anthony 
Andreu the only new names in 
Saturday’s squad.

Marc McNulty was denied three times by home keeper Alex Mitchell within the opening 22 minutes, while Iain Russell just failed to connect with a Kevin McCann cross.

The second half continued with Livi pressure, although Annan’s high pressing game effectively broke down much of Livi’s midfield play.

Paul Watson failed to connect with a cross right in front of goal on 71 minutes, and almost inevitably, three minutes later Bell collected 20 yards out before sending the ball sailing past Andy McNeil.

• Newco Rangers defeated Brechin 2-1 in the same cup yesterday, Lee McCulloch grabbing the winner in extra time.