BY DARREN JOHNSTONE @CCP_Sport
Hibernian 2-1 Livingston
James Keatings kept up his fine scoring run after his brace saw off Livingston and propelled Hibs to within two points of leaders Rangers.
The former Hearts forward was in devastating form again in the final third just ten days after netting a hat-trick in the victory over St Mirren.
But Hibs were relieved to hear the final whistle in the end after Lions substitute Jordyn Sheerin fired in a close range effort in the 87th minute.
Hibs have now racked up eight successive wins in all competition and will go into Saturday’s trip to Alloa with hopes of climbing to the Championship summit for the first time this season.
They’ll need Livingston to do them a huge favour, with Mark Burchill’s side hosting the Govan outfit.
Keatings was on fire but it was a frustrating night for his strike partner Jason Cummings.
The highly-rated marksman should have broken the deadlock after 12 minutes but he could only find the side netting despite rounding keeper Marc McCallum.
To Livingston’s credit they more than contributed to a competitive first half. And the visitors were actually enjoying their best spell in the game when Keatings struck after 52 minutes.
John McGinn was the architect with a superb reverse pass in the box and Keatings buried a low drive past the keeper from close range.
Keatings’ second in the 69th minute was even better, a curling effort from 18 yards that nestled in the net.
After Keatings came within inches of collecting another hat-trick, Sheerin grabbed a consolation three minutes from time after firing in fellow substitute Liam Buchanan’s cut-back.
Hibernian: Oxley, Gray, Henderson (Bartley 76), Fontaine, Fyvie, Stevenson, Boyle (McGeouch 52), McGinn, Keatings, McGregor, Cummings (Feruz 83)
Substitutes not used: Reguero, El Alagui, Forster, Eckersley
Livingston: McCallum, Millen, Longridge, Gordon, Pittman, Faria (Geogiev 83), White (Sheerin83), Hippolyte (Buchanan 68), Gallacher, Neill, Gibbsons
Substitutes not used: Jamieson, Glen
Referee: Craig Thomson