Scottish Championship

Hibernian 2-1 Livingston

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at Easter Road
James Keatings (left) is congratulated by fellow Hibs striker Jason Cummings
Keatings (left) is congratulated by fellow Hibs striker Jason Cummings

James Keatings struck twice as Hibernian closed to within two points of Championship leaders Rangers.

The clinical second-half goals were enough to see off a well-organised Livingston side that scored late on through Jordyn Sheerin.

Hibs spurned a series of chances but Keatings found his range for his fourth and fifth goals in two games.

The forward almost struck a second consecutive hat-trick but his late overhead kick bounced wide.

Hibs carried a sense of momentum and adventure into the game, having defeated Rangers, St Mirren and Dundee United in recent weeks, but enterprise alone would not be enough to overcome Livingston.

The visitors were organised, spirited and shrewdly instructed and found plenty of worth in playing off the tall, angular centre-forward Jordan White.

Livi were often capable in possession and White's ability to flick the ball on or bring others into play, along with Ross Millen's set-piece delivery caused moments of anxiety for the home side.

Even so, Hibs ought to have scored several times in the first-half and patience became the most critical asset for Alan Stubbs' in-form side, who have played one more game than Rangers.

Jason Cummings, with a goal in each of the last seven games, rounded the Livingston goalkeeper Marc McCallum only to shoot into the side-netting.

The glaring miss was early enough for Cummings not to be perturbed but he could never shake the hesitancy and wasted two more good openings after the interval.

The opening period was strewn with poor decision-making in the final third by Hibs' players; John McGinn passing when he should have shot, David Gray shooting when he should have passed, while Martin Boyle drifted around aimlessly.

Jason Cummings missed a hat-trick of good chances for Hibs
Cummings missed a hat-trick of good chances for Hibs

Livingston could have taken advantage just after the interval when they created a series of openings.

Darren McGregor was culpable when he conceded possession after dribbling out of his own area, leading to Scott Pittman digging out a shot that Mark Oxley had to dive to push away. The Hibs keeper then had to move smartly to save from Myles Hippolyte.

Dylan McGeouch then replaced Boyle and the midfielder brought drive and assurance to the home team. That seemed to free up others and Hibs were soon in front.

McGinn provided the quality, carrying the ball infield before releasing a reverse pass that sent Keatings through to finish crisply.

Having struck a hat-trick at St Mirren in his previous outing, Keatings' sharpness was evident and he created the second goal himself, side-stepping two defenders before rifling a shot beyond McCallum's reach from 20 yards.

There was joy in response to the piece of aplomb but also relief. In between the two goals, Cummings spurned his two chances while McGinn saw a fierce shot well saved by McCallum.

Livingston remained sprightly and two of their substitutes provided consolation plus cause for Hibs to worry late on. Liam Buchanan created the goal with a fine run and cross, with Sheerin sweeping the ball into the net.

Keatings proved to be the difference in the scoreline but McGinn and the introduction of the impressive McGeouch were also significant to a Hibs side earning its eighth straight victory and stretching their unbeaten run to 14.

What the managers said

Hibernian manager Alan Stubbs: "At 2-0 we were in command of the game and a little bit of carelessness let them in. We had plenty of chances so is 2-1 a fair reflection on the game? Probably not.

"We weren't at the level we've been at but the most important thing is we've won the game.

"Where we are in the league is irrelevant. All we've done is win another game of football and there's a long, long way to go."

Livingston manager Mark Burchill: "I felt we had a stonewall penalty and we had two fantastic chances before they scored - one-on-one with the keeper twice. You need to take those chances if you want to beat the best.

"I'm delighted with the performance level. I think we matched them in a lot of things, we just need to be clinical in the final third.

"It will turn, I've got no doubt about that. We're not going to be fighting relegation, I feel we're a middle of the table side."



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Oxley
  • 2Gray
  • 24McGregor
  • 5FontaineBooked at 45mins
  • 16Stevenson
  • 17BoyleSubstituted forMcGeouchat 54'minutes
  • 8Fyvie
  • 3HendersonBooked at 66minsSubstituted forBartleyat 75'minutes
  • 18McGinn
  • 19Keatings
  • 35CummingsSubstituted forFeruzat 83'minutes


  • 6Bartley
  • 9El Alagui
  • 10McGeouch
  • 20Feruz
  • 23Forster
  • 25Eckersley
  • 31Reguero


Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 26McCallum
  • 15NeillBooked at 58mins
  • 14Gallagher
  • 6Gordon
  • 3LongridgeBooked at 9mins
  • 2Millen
  • 16Gibbons
  • 8da Encarnação Pires FariaSubstituted forGeorgievat 83'minutes
  • 11HippolyteSubstituted forBuchananat 68'minutes
  • 7Pittman
  • 9WhiteSubstituted forSheerinat 83'minutes


  • 1Jamieson
  • 17Georgiev
  • 18Sheerin
  • 19Buchanan
  • 31Glen
Craig Thomson

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamLivingston
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Hibernian 2, Livingston 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Hibernian 2, Livingston 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Islam Feruz (Hibernian).

  4. Post update

    Ben Gordon (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Spas Georgiev (Livingston).

  7. Post update

    James Keatings (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Morgyn Neill (Livingston).

  9. Post update

    Marvyn Bartley (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Kieran Gibbons (Livingston).

  11. Goal!

    Goal! Hibernian 2, Livingston 1. Jordyn Sheerin (Livingston) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the top left corner. Assisted by Liam Buchanan.

  12. Post update

    Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Liam Buchanan (Livingston).

  14. Post update

    Corner, Hibernian. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Livingston. Spas Georgiev replaces Hugo Faria.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Livingston. Jordyn Sheerin replaces Jordan White.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Hibernian. Islam Feruz replaces Jason Cummings.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Keatings (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

  19. Post update

    Fraser Fyvie (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Scott Pittman (Livingston).

As It Stood

5Raith Rovers137061517-221
6Queen of Sth156271523-820
8St Mirren132471221-910
View full Scottish Championship table

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