First team

Match Report | Livi 1-0 RCFC


Ross County were today knocked out of the Scottish Cup in the 4th Round after losing 1-0 to Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

A first half penalty from Ayo Obileye was enough to advance the hosts to the 5th Round as the Staggies struggled to repeat their impressive recent league form.

Livingston took the lead after they were awarded a penalty kick in the 15th minute. Referee Bobby Madden pointed to the spot when Bruce Anderson was felled by Declan Drysdale in the process of attempting to latch onto a long diagonal pass from Jack Fitzwater. Ayo Obileye volunteered to take the resulting penalty and used his composure to maintain eye contact with Ross Laidlaw in his run up, waiting for the County keeper to move before calmy rolling the ball into the left side of the goal.

Perhaps it could not be said that County created anything in the first 45 minutes that could be defined as a chance, but they did ensure that the majority of the first half was played in Livingston’s defensive half.

Besides a pair of left-footed efforts from the edge of the box from Ben Paton and Jack Burroughs, County’s only real opportunity to test Max Stryjek came in the 34th minute. Connor Randall quite often looked to release Alex Samuel down the right hand-side as the striker wanted to pick the ball up in wide areas on the inside of Ayo Obileye, and on this occasion, it nearly provided a goal. Randall’s measured pass found the path of Samuel, but Stryjek was quick to read the danger and swiftly smothered the ball from Samuel’s feet before he could get a shot away.

Malky Mackay and the fantastic travelling Staggies support would have been hoping that the much-changed Staggies squad could produce a second half performance similar to that of Wednesday night’s quality against Motherwell. Unfortunately, Wednesday’s heroics could not be replicated despite an improved second half display.

County started the second half with intent and should have equalised through Alex Samuel just 4 minutes after half time. An excellently swung cross from Jake Vokins picked out Alex Samuel all alone in the centre of the box, but the striker’s attempted header from close range fell just wide of Max Stryjek’s right post.

In the 58th minute, Blair Spittal had his well-driven left-footed shot from distance beaten away Stryjek as the Staggies continued their pursuit of an equalising goal.

With 12 minutes left to play, County passed up another opportunity to level the game. A beautifully whipped deep cross from the right of the box from Blair Spittal found the head of Dominic Samuel in the penalty area, but the striker’s close-range header was sent wide under good pressure from Ayo Obileye.

3 minutes later, Livingston should have sealed the victory when debutant Joel Nouble failed to put the Lions 2 in front. Alan Forrest done well to create the space inside the area before sliding the ball over to his right for the unopposed Nouble whose side-footed attempt was stopped by the feet of Ross Laidlaw in goal.

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