Match report as Josh Mullin, Jon Guthrie and Scott Robinson are on target for Livingston in comprehensive 3-0 victory over Hibernian at Easter Road
Saturday 2 January 2021 17:30, UK
Livingston made it seven victories in a row under David Martindale as the Lions swept hapless Hibernian aside 3-0.
The visitors found the net twice in a blistering opening 16 minutes courtesy of efforts from Josh Mullin and Jon Guthrie, condemning Hibs – with just three wins from 11 home games in the Premiership this term – to another miserable outing in Leith.
The excellent Scott Robinson got in on the act after the break to ensure Martindale’s 100 per cent record since replacing Gary Holt at the helm in November was never in danger.
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Livi, who well and truly made amends for their 4-1 home defeat against the same opponents in August, are now nine points behind fourth-placed Hibs and, with two games in hand, may just have the capital club in their sights.
There was a major blow for the hosts before a ball was even kicked, with Ofir Marciano pulling out of the starting line-up after complaining of pain in his calf during the warm-up.
Dillon Barnes was drafted in and goalkeeping coach Craig Samson took his place on the bench.
It took the visitors just nine minutes to breach Barnes. Mullin scampered onto a super Robinson pass, leaving Lewis Stevenson in his wake, and lashed a fantastic low shot into the bottom corner.
Hibs, reeling from a shock defeat against Ross County in midweek, showed no sign of a response in an abject first period, falling further behind when Barnes flapped at a Mullin corner-kick, allowing Guthrie to slam home from close range.
The two-goal deficit flattered Jack Ross’ men at the break, with the omnipresent Mullin curling another effort narrowly wide of the post, before forcing an excellent low stop from Barnes with a drive from the edge of the box.
Things went from bad to worse after the break as the Hibees shipped a comical third.
Ryan Porteous, enduring a testing afternoon, seemed in complete control of possession when he swept up a hopeful pass forward, only to allow the tireless Robinson to rob him inside the box and poke the ball into the net.
Former Hearts and Rangers and Jason Holt then cut inside from the left flank and, as the Hibs defence seemingly parted for him, warmed the palms of Barnes from 16 yards.
Livi substitute Julien Serrano lashed a shot narrowly wide from a tight angle as the visitors came far closer to extending their advantage than Hibs did to reducing arrears. A late header wide by Porteous summed up his afternoon, and Hibs’.
Celtic host Hibernian on Monday January 11, also live on Sky Sports Football; kick-off 7.45pm. Livingston host Ross County next Saturday at 3pm.
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