This afternoon constituted a real test for Ryan Hardie.
It was only his third start of the season, yet he already had three goals to his name. One against St Mirren and a brace in the 5-0 win over Hearts.
Yet, today’s opposition presented more of a challenge for the youngster. Hibernian had just registered back to back clean sheets at Easter Road against Celtic and Rangers.
Efe Ambrose and Ryan Porteous run a tight ship and last week, they saw to it that the league’s top two scorers, Alfredo Morelos and Odsonne Edouard, both drew blanks.
Hardie was always going to have to feed off scraps, but he did it successfully.
In the 56th minute, he latched onto a long punt forward from Declan Gallagher. Reaching the ball before the advancing Adam Bogdan, he showed composure to calmly lift it into the vacant Hibs net.
For a while, it looked like being enough to seal the points for the visitors, too.
Despite Hibs having 62% possession and 16 shots on goal, it took them until ten minutes from time to respond.
Ryan Porteous – fortunate to be playing at all after his challenge on Lassana Coulibaly during the week – levelled things with a header.
Nevertheless, today, Hardie once again proved himself more than capable at this level. Few could have predicted he would have this sort of impact at Livingston so soon after a prolonged spell on the sidelines.
Yet, he clearly thrives on the responsibility of being the Lions’ main striker.
It looks as though the Gers have themselves a real star in the making.