CRUSADERS 0 LIVINGSTON 3
Scottish side Livingston on Tuesday night turned up the heat to send a youthful Crusaders side spinning out of the Scottish Challenge Cup at Seaview.Second half goals from Nicky Cadden, Raffaele De Vita and Liam Buchanan booked the West Lothian boys a place in the quarter finals against Welsh side The New Saints.
Crues boss Stephen Baxter once again fielded a posse of his Under-20 squad and, for the second time in a week, they didn’t disappoint.
“We must make sure we look after the senior players because we have a lot of big matches looming over the next few weeks.
“The kids did a magnificent job, just as they did against Glentoran last week,” beamed Baxter.
“They are the future of this club.”
Even though they defeated Crusaders last month, Livingston were ordered to replay the fixture after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player -- defender Alan Ligthgow.
The club pleaded guilty to a beach of the SPFL regulations - and also had to fork out a £4,000 fine.
The home team had loud appeals for a penalty on 27 minutes when Marcio Soares buckled under a clumsy challenge from Lithgow, who was given the green light to play last night before facing SPL officials tomorrow.
Welsh referee Nick Pratt wasn’t convinced and duly flashed a yellow card in the direction of the Crues front man for his protest.
Livi goakeeper Gary Maley prevented the Belfast team from taking the lead eight minutes before the break, producing a blinding save to keep out a Carvill shot following a slick inter-change between Jallow and Soares.
And, the giant goalkeeper produced another fantastic response to keep out a Soares snap shot after David Cushley and Jallow has ripped apart the Livingston defence.
But it was Livingston, who achieved the breakthrough on 66 minutes. Substitute Danny Mullen, who was only on the pitch a matter off seconds, tricked his way past two defenders before cutting the ball back for Cadden, who buried a low drive in the bottom corner.
Another second half substitute, De Vita settled the issue 16 minutes form time. Mullen again was the provider and the Italian-born midfielder hammered home form close range.
Buchnanan capped a good night’s work for Livingstone by walking past Dougherty before knocking the ball into the empty net with two minutes left.
Crusaders: Dougherty, McClean, McCreery, McAnulty, Kerr, Gault, Carvill (Mitchell 76), Forsythe (Smith 74), Cushley (Nimick 86), Jallow, Soares.
Unused subs: O’Neill, Doyle, Anderson, Clarke
Livingston: Maley, Morgyn, Creighton, Lithgow, Halkett, Mullin, Byrne, Cadden (De Vita 66), Sinclai (Buchaban 76), Watt (Mullen 64), Carrick.
Unused subs: Kelly, Longridge, Pittman, Currie.