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First home win for Livingston as red card proves costly for Motherwell

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Oct 2023

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Livingston made 10-man Motherwell pay a heavy price as second-half goals from Bruce Anderson and Sean Kelly earned them a first home league win of the season.

With the match goalless in trying weather conditions, the visitors had youngster Lennon Miller sent off in first-half stoppage time.

Livi made the most of their man advantage after the break as they grabbed all three points.

Anderson flashed in the opener in the 53rd minute and Kelly’s penalty nine minutes later sealed victory.

In a lively opening, both sides forced corners inside the first two minutes. From the second, Livi defender Ayo Obileye glanced his header across goal and wide from Sean Kelly’s delivery from the left.

That opportunity encouraged the home side and they enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges before almost getting the breakthrough they sought in the eighth minute.

Joel Nouble threaded a pass wide for Dan MacKay and the on-loan Hibernian winger brilliantly picked out the run of Stephen Kelly with his cutback.

However, twice the midfielder saw efforts at goal blocked by the retreating Motherwell rearguard.

It was a day for defensive bravery and at the other end Sean Kelly was resolute as he got his foot in the way of a Theo Bair shot on the break.

It looked like the kind of game that was going to take something special to find a breakthrough, and it almost came in the 30th minute.

Motherwell were awarded a free-kick on the halfway line and, spotting Shamal George off his line, defender Dan Casey attempted an outrageous effort on goal that the Livi keeper scrambled back to tip over his crossbar.

In first-half injury time, the Fir Park men were reduced to 10 men in the game’s decisive moment.

Anderson held the ball and fed the supporting MacKay, whose run took him beyond the ‘Well defence, only for the covering Miller to clip his heels and send the wing-back sprawling.

The VAR check confirmed Don Robertson’s decision to red card the youngster, but Sean Kelly could not take advantage as he sent the free-kick straight into the arms of brother Liam in the visitors’ goal.

It took just seven minutes of the second half for Livi to find the opener though.
Faced with defender Brodie Spencer, MacKay left him for dead and flashed in a low cross from the right that Anderson flicked in at the far post from just inside the six-yard box.

The home side rammed home their advantage as they doubled their lead in the 62nd minute.

An attack down the left was halted when James Penrice was caught late by Bevis Mugabi just inside the box and whistler Robertson pointed to the spot.

Sean Kelly got the better of sibling Liam in the ‘Well goal as he sent him the wrong way to find the net.

Livi thought they had a second spot-kick with 15 minutes remaining when Jason Holt’s heels were clipped by substitute Georgie Gent.

But a VAR check indicated the offence could had taken place outside the box and Sean Kelly could not make anything of the free-kick wide on the right as the home side saw out time comfortably.

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