No case for the defence, says Livingston manager Hopkin

David HopkinDavid Hopkin
David Hopkin
Livingston manager David Hopkin described his team's part in Raith Rovers' opening goal in the 2-0 defeat at Stark's Park on Saturday as '˜embarrassing'.

Goals either side of half-time from Mark Stewart and Aidan Connolly condemned the Lions to their 16th defeat of the season, a result that leaves Livi just four points better off than bottom side Alloa who they meet this weekend.

But, it was the manner in which the visitors allowed Stewart to pounce eight minutes before the interval that really riled Hopkin – defender Darren Cole’s intended pass back going beyond goalkeeper Marc McCallum and into the path of Stewart who had the simplest of tasks in rolling the ball into an empty net.

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“It’s just embarrassing,” Hopkin raged. “We don’t get chances like that and I’ve said that to the players. I don’t know what happened but it’s down to communication so I’m really disappointed. We then came out in the second half and conceded early which gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

“But fair play to the lads, we had seven or eight chances but it’s the same thing again where we don’t hit the target or work the goalie. We had a lot of possession and balls into their box and I don’t think Raith really had another chance after that.”

Despite the hosts pressing their opponents early, on-loan Hibs midfielder Sam Stanton should have hit the target after collecting a neat flick from Jordan White before thundering his effort just past the post midway through the first half.

Raith’s Harry Panayiotou’s long-range effort then came back off the crossbar with McCallum well beaten before the home side capitalised on Cole’s defensive blunder.

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With no apparent danger in the Livi rearguard, the ex-Rangers player somehow managed to over hit his pass to McCallum, who had already come off his line, and Stewart pounced to fire home the opener.

Stewart was again proving a nuisance just minutes after the restart, out muscling defender Craig Halkett before squaring the ball across the six-yard box for Connolly to tap in Raith’s second from close range.

White and strike partner Liam Buchanan both spurned several opportunities thereafter with Livi now having failed to score in their last three outings.

Raith Rovers: Cuthbert, Thomson, Barr, Callachan, McKeown, Robertson, Craigen, Panayiotou (Hardie 71), Davidson, Connolly (Anderson 83), Stewart. Subs: Law, McCord, Matthews, Court, Mackie.

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Livingston: McCallum, Halkett, Cole, Gordon, Kakay, Mullin (Sheerin 82), Pittman (Mullen 60), Fotheringham, Stanton, White, Buchanan (Telfer 69). Subs: Quinn, Longridge, Currie, Glen.

Referee: Willie Collum.

Attendance: 1617.