Ayo Obileye penalty helps Livingston progress in Scottish Cup

The defender scored the only goal of the game against Ross County in the 16th minute.

By Press Association Published: 22 January 2022 - 5.09pm

Ayo Obileye’s first-half penalty sent Livingston into the last 16 of the Scottish Cup at Ross County’s expense.

In the only all-Premiership clash of the round, the decisive incident came after 16 minutes following County defender Declan Drysdale’s foul on Bruce Anderson inside the area.

County pushed for an equaliser in the second half but Alex Samuel and Dominic Samuel failed to find the target from good openings, with Livi goalkeeper Max Stryjek also denying Blair Spittal.

Livingston handed a full debut to Caleb Chukwuemeka as one of two changes to the team, while County boss Malky Malky made six alterations for the trip to West Lothian.

There was nothing between the teams during an edgy start to the game, while there was a brief pause in the 13th minute when both sets of players and fans stopped for applause to mark the tragic sudden death of local 13-year-old boy Devin Gordon.

Just three minutes later the home side took the lead from the penalty spot through Obileye.

Anderson latched on to Jack Fitzwater’s pass but was then bundled to the ground by the clumsy Drysdale.

Referee Bobby Madden pointed to the spot and defender Obileye coolly slotted the ball straight down the middle of the goal from 12 yards to notch his fourth of the season.

The visitors came close to levelling just moments later when a deflected Ben Paton drive from 20 yards out bounced just wide of Stryjek’s goal.

Alex Samuel then ran on to Connor Randall’s sliding pass down the right flank but Stryjek rushed from his goal to smother the forward’s shot from a tight angle.

An unmarked Alex Samuel then wasted a great chance just four minutes after the restart when he headed wide a Jake Vokins cross from close range.

The second half was more open as County pushed for an equaliser.

Livingston winger Odin Bailey fizzed a rising drive just inches past the post before Lions goalkeeper Stryjek got down well to beat away a low effort from Spittal.

The home side brought on Joel Nouble to try and help them get up the pitch as County pulled on the pressure.

But the forward was getting little service, such was the visitors’ territorial advantage.

Another chance came and went for the away team in the 78th minute when Dominic Samuel got on the end of a Spittal cross at the front post but his diving header went wide.

On a rare attack in the second half for Livingston, Nouble’s low shot was saved by the feet of Ross Laidlaw before the goalkeeper pushed a Bailey effort behind for a corner as the home side held on for the win.

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