Livingston have blew everyone away this season. Just a few season ago they were playing in League One to tiny crowds against the likes of Albion Rovers. Now they are grinding out hard earned points against Celtic at Parkhead. It’s just reward for the likes of Shaun Byrne and Craig Halkett who have been at the club throughout this journey up the leagues.
On Saturday the Lions achieved their finest result of the season, securing their first ever point in league action at Parkhead with a 0-0 draw. It was a masterclass in how to work against superior opposition, with Celtic’s big money names unable to break down Gary Holt’s men.
To a man, everyone was superb. The midfield was tight and compact. The defence made some crucial blocks. Even the strikeforce did their job of pressing the backline effectively. It’s hard to pick one man of the match, but if you had to choose one, it has to be goalkeeper Liam Kelly.
Kelly managed to claim his 17th clean sheet of the season at Parkhead. He has the joint most in the league also, an astounding record given the size of Livi compared to most teams in the top flight.
The Rangers youth academy product was a brick wall, nothing was getting past him. Some fans claimed he could save Brexit, and on the basis of his Parkhead performance, it seems like the Livi stopper is capable of stopping just about anything.
Scotland’s future number one
Celtic threw everything at Holt’s men and their inability to score wasn’t for the lack of trying. On countless occasions Kelly managed to palm shots away that were destined for the net. Ryan Christie seen his shot saved well by the Livi stopper in the first half. Next it was James Forrest to try, he too was denied by Kelly’s strong hand.
Livingston were up against it and Livi’s stopper somehow managed to keep out Tom Rogic’s shot from about six yards out. Another couple of saves were made in the first half before Odsonne Edouard was denied at close range by Kelly in the second half.
He got his moment of fortune when Oliver Burke missed an open goal after he spilled a shot, but that can be forgiven. He deserved a bit of luck. It was another shutout for the ever-present stopper against Celtic. His Livi side are the only team to do that on two occasions against the Hoops this season.
It was a big jump for him when he left Rangers in search of first team football. This has been an amazing decision in the end from Kelly. He has played every minute in Livingston’s season and managed to earn himself a Scotland call-up.
Surely a cap awaits him. He has arguably been the Premiership’s best keeper this term. With a changing of the guard happening in goals for the national team, Livi’s stopper has to be one of the leading contenders for the gloves.
A Parkhead shutout was a massive highlight in Livingston’s season. It’s terrific they can compete with Celtic never mind match them. As for the Livingston keeper, it seems like the sky’s the limit. Kelly is destined for big things in the future.