Depleted Blue Toon blitzed by Livingston

Leighton McIntosh tackles Scott Pitman.
Leighton McIntosh tackles Scott Pitman.

It’s just the one Cup final for Peterhead this season then as they bowed out of the Scottish Cup to an accomplished Livingston side who had just a bit too much class for a depleted home side.

With Rangers beating St Mirren in the other Petrofac Training Challenge cup semi -final, the Blue Toon knew before kick-off who their opponents at Hampden will be in April.

Peterhead's Leighton McIntosh gets away from Declan Gallagher.

Peterhead's Leighton McIntosh gets away from Declan Gallagher.

The focus then turned to this cup tie with the feeling that an upset might just be on the cards after the 7-0 thumping of Cowdenbeath the week before.

That was never to prove realistic though as their Championship visitors showed from the word go that they meant business.

Any chance of a shock were made even more unlikely with the absence of four defenders. Cammy Kerr, Ally Gilchrist and Jassem Sukar were all denied permission by their parent club to play although bizarrely, Dundee United allowed Mark McCallum to take his place in goal for Livi while Sukar had to sit in the stand.

Scott Ross was out injured adding to their woes.

Simon Ferry turns Scott Pitman.

Simon Ferry turns Scott Pitman.

The Blue Toon could have fallen behind in the fourth minute.

Gary Glen and Liam Buchanan were to be a threat all day and when a shot from Buchanan was blocked by Graeme Smith, Glen should have done better then shoot wide of the left hand post from the rebound.

It was no surprise when they did take the lead after 14 minutes, Scott Pitman’s shot was blocked but this time former Hearts man Glen made no mistake from six yards.

It was virtually tie over in the 25th minute.

Buchanan burst into the right side of the penalty area with pace and his squared ball found Jordan White who sidefooted Livingston into a comfortable lead.

Peterhead rarely posed a threat at the other end.

On the half-hour hatrick hero from the previous week, Leighton McIntosh, forced a near post save out of McCallum and Rory McAllister failed to be his usual deadly self from two well placed free kicks.

The second half was more encouraging for the home fans as their team attacked from the re-start but possession failed to produce shots on goal and as always tends to happen in such situations, it was the visitors who showed how to be clinical.

Out of nothing they broke upfield and Smith blocked a Buchanan shot only for it to fall to White who shot into the empty net leaving Peterhead aiming for a consolation to make the best of a bad job.

It came in added time, McAllister was brought down by Livi sub Myles Hippolyte and the striker took the spot kick himself and sent McCallum the wrong way to keep his superb run of goal scoring form going, albeit in vain on this occasion.

Speaking after the game, Blue Toon boss Jim McInally said: “What killed us, as I feared it would, was missing four defenders.

“The first two goals resulted from poor defending but I was delighted with our attitude.

“In general play I didn’t think there was much between the team but they were clinical in front of goal and they defended strongly but we never threw the towel in.

“When we went three down we kept going and pressing forward and I don’t think there was much difference between the full-time and part-time team.

“I’m disappointed we are out but it was to a good side. I need to look at the loan system in the future.

“I don’t understand why we weren’t allowed to play the lads we had on loan.

“They almost certainly won’t play for their parent clubs in this season’s competition and it is something I am going to have to look at carefully in the future when I am deciding to bring new players in.

“The most disappointing thing for me is that Dundee Utd allowed their goalkeeper to play for Livingstone and yet we weren’t allowed to play their defender. “

The Blue Toon were due to travel to Forfar on league business on Saturday but that looks unlikely now with the cup replay between Forfar and Queens Park set for that day meaning a midweek re-arranged match.