A real tale of two halves at the Tony Macaroni Stadium saw the top 6 clash end in a 1-1 draw. Livingston had started extremely well showing their true progression throughout the campaign. Although defensive mistakes shown to be costly for both sides in the race for European football, especially as Aberdeen were beat 1-0 away to Dundee United this afternoon.
Here’s three things we learned in this top 5 battle:
Livingston’s versatility proves its worth again
Livingston’s adaptability has proven dominate again throughout the match. Hibs’ slow start allowed Livingston a lot of the ball and they showed just how impressive they can be at knocking the ball about and creating lots of chances, something they haven’t been known for in the past. All that was missing was that killer instinct to really finish Hibs early on.
As the game progressed and Doidge got the equaliser, Livingston under stood they were under intense pressure and that allowed them to drop in and be extremely solid in defence throwing them self at the ball to protect the goal. Multiple blocks and a goal line clearance let them soak up the pressure throughout the second half and gain a point on Aberdeen in 4th place.
Talking to Martindale he said, ‘I thought we were a lot better in the first half with the amount of chance we managed to create, but then giving a really sloppy goal away, we’re we have to just clear our lines is disappointing and worst case you’re going into the break one up and that’s enough to win the game.’
‘Second half was a lot more Hibs but we still had a lot of chances, but on reflection a draw was probably fair enough’
Doidge back firing
Having not scored since the 12th of December against Hamilton, you feel it was important for Doidge to grab a goal to get himself firing for the season. His equaliser in the 41st minute was enough to get the point for Hibs, but manager Jack Ross wasn’t too worried.
‘Yeah I’m delighted for him, I was chatting to him yesterday in the build up to the game about different things, and I tell you guys it doesn’t bother me being on this run of not scoring because I think his play has been really good and he helps the team out so much.’
‘I think that leading up to this game we have individual players looking like their best and Christian has been one of them, he’s been really sharp and lively in training which is a good thing for us, it’s important at this stage in the season we have players who look like they are hitting form again at the right time and like you said it can only take one goal for his streak to start which has happened throughout his career.’
European outlook going into the split
Both sides now poised to finish in a European place with livi being the in form team of 3rd to 6th in the league, the split is going to prove ever more important after this game. Livingston now only 5 points behind Aberdeen with a game at home on the last day of the split against the 4th place side sets up a very tasty affair.
Livingston captain Marvin Bartley didn’t want to get ahead of himself with the talk of Europe saying,
‘It would be a huge achievement, you know start of the season we are wanting to finish 10th and now we are chasing Europe so it would be a huge achievement, if we can get there then perfect but we just want to finish as high as we can, if that’s Europe yeah perfect but that’s our plan right now.’
Jack Ross on the other hand was very excited about the now real possibility of gaining a European place.
‘You know we looked at this and we thought as long as we can equal Aberdeen’s result we were going to be in a great position but now we’ve bettered it and that’s what we need to keep doing, gaining success in this league isn’t easy as we all know, but right now we are in as perfect position as anyone could ask for.’