Bruce Anderson’s well-taken double earned Livingston a 2-0 cinch Premiership victory over dismal Dundee at the Tony Macaroni Stadium.
After a goalless first 45 minutes in the first fixture after the rescheduled winter break, the Livi striker struck twice from close range early in the second half, with James McPake’s side unable to offer a response.
While Livingston start 2022 on a promising note, the visitors remain second bottom with six straight defeats which should be a cause for concern.
On a wet and blustery West Lothian night the Tayside outfit were forced into an early change.
There were only six minutes gone when left-back Jordan Marshall pulled up on the touchline with what seemed like a hamstring injury and was replaced by Christie Elliott.
Moments later, with the game still trying to settle, Dundee forward Paul McMullan’s powerful drive from the edge of the box was parried to safety by Livingston goalkeeper Max Stryjek but the corner came to nothing.
At the other end, Livi forward Anderson raced clear of the Dundee defence and onto a searching pass from returning skipper Nicky Devlin but his lob was blocked by Dundee keeper Adam Legzdins for a corner.
Livingston looked the more likely at that stage.
A Devlin delivery from the right into the visitors’ box eventually fell to Anderson but his goal-bound shot on the turn was blocked by sheer numbers of Dundee defenders, with the match freewheeling all the way to the interval with little more goalmouth action of note.
However, the opening minute of the second half sparked the game into life.
When Anderson was played in by Odin Bailey, his shot from 16 yards appeared to be touched onto the bar and over by Legzdins. But when the ball fell to him at the back post from the resulting corner, he turned and drilled the ball low into the net.
Stunned Dundee fought back immediately and Stryjek did well to rob Paul McGowan as the playmaker tried to take the ball past him.
Livingston, however, doubled their lead in the 56th minute following yet another corner from left.
Legzdins did well to parry a shot from defender Ayo Obileye but Anderson picked up the loose ball, twisted and again fired low into the back of the net.
Back came Dundee again, but Livi were resolute.
In the 67th minute, striker Caleb Chukwuemeka, on loan from Aston Villa, replaced Andrew Shinnie to make his Livingston debut and he showed flashes to threaten the unconvincing Dundee defence, with the home side happy to see the game out.