Darren Jamieson was the hero again as Livi secured a first penalty shootout win in 17 years to squeeze past Albion Rovers and reach the second round of the Scottish League Cup on a wet and wild day at Cliftonhill.
Not since a Challenge Cup second round win at Stenhousemuir in 1997 had the Lions prevailed in a shootout but, unsurprisingly, they had Jamieson to thank as his double save saw Livi come out on top on an otherwise forgettable afternoon in Coatbridge.
In difficult conditions, it was Livi who made the brighter start and had the first chance when Rob Ogleby headed down for Gary Glen but his shot flew high over the bar. The Lions front two then linked up well again with Ogleby seeing his shot well blocked by Rovers keeper Neil Parry. Young left-back Shaun Rutherford was next to try his luck but his shot from the edge of the box was tame and Parry saved with ease.
Rovers were struggling to gain a foothold in the game but managed to force a half-chance as John Gemmell worked his way into space but saw his shot blocked by Craig Sives. Livi were then forced into an early change as Ogleby suffered an ankle injury and was replaced by Jordan White. Michael McKenna was next to threaten for Livi when he flicked an effort goalwards but Parry was again equal to it. White had his first involvement soon after when good work took him past the keeper but he couldn’t bundle the ball home and the teams went in at the break still inseparable at 0-0.
Livi continued to press as the second half got underway and they came close again when Callum Fordyce curled in a fine cross to Danny Mullen but he flicked his header wide. After Livi’s bright start, Rovers suddenly forced themselves onto the front foot and came close when Ally Love fired a low shot which seemed destined for the bottom corner until Jamieson appeared almost from nowhere to tip it wide. The Livi keeper produced another magnificent save and it was Love who was left cursing his luck again as he sprung to his left to push the Rovers winger’s shot wide. Glen then fired a shot from distance which Parry did well to save.
Rovers continued to dominate and substitute Josh Mullen fired a shot just wide from a tight angle with the final chance of the 90 minutes as both sides headed into extra-time for the second week running.
Rovers had the best chance of the first period when Gemmell was left unmarked in the box but somehow headed wide. Livi went up the other end and were awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time when Gemmell was adjudged to have handled. Mullen stepped up but fired his penalty so far over the bar it cannoned back off a brick wall which stood a full 50 feet above pitch level.
The best chances of the second period both fell to Livi as Rutherford’s cross found Robertson who glanced a header just wide of the bar before Kyle Jacobs curled a shot wide from Myles Hippolyte’s cross to ensure a penalty shootout was necessary.
It was Rovers who took the first advantage in the shootout as Hippolyte saw his penalty brilliantly tipped onto the post by Parry to give them a 2-1 lead but Jamieson saved from Gary Phillips to square the shootout once more at 3-3. After White and Robertson had scored for Livi, with Rovers player-boss Darren Young replying, Jamieson sprung to his right to save from Mark McGuigan and send Livi through to the second round.
Albion Rovers: Parry, Reid, R.Dunlop, M.Dunlop, Turnbull, McKenzie (Pollock 106), Young, McGuigan, Phillips, Love (Mullin 67), Gemmell
Subs not used: Hughes, Maguire, Cusack, Donnelly, Dallas
Livingston: Jamieson, Sives, Gallagher, Fordyce, Rutherford, Ky.Jacobs, O'Brien, McKenna, Mullen (Hippolyte 105), Glen (Robertson 66), Ogleby (White 26)
Subs not used: Grant, Kn.Jacobs, Beaumont, Burchill
Referee: Des Roache
Match report: Andrew Crawford