Last night saw an impressive performance from Rangers loanee, Ryan Hardie.
The 21-year-old has recently overcome long-term injury problems, and made his first start of the season for Livingston, against St Mirren, last Saturday.
Given a little over an hour, he scored what proved to be the decisive goal. Fast forward a little under a week, and this time, he was at the double.
In a performance that surely signals his coming of age as an SPL marksman, he scored twice in Livi’s incredible 5-0 mauling of Hearts.
It must be said, Heart’s shambolic defending afforded the youngster plenty of space in the second half. However, they key is, that he capitalised on it.
Hardie showed great movement for his first goal. A well timed in-to-out run allowed him the freedom to receive Scott Pittman’s pass, cut back inside and confidently slam home from the edge of the area.
Just two minutes later, he showed an ability to hurt teams in behind. Released by Steven Lawless’ long pass, Hardie controlled with his chest and calmly prodded past Zlamal in the Hearts goal.
Hardie’s composure, as well as some strong hold-up play, was enough to earn him the man of the match award on a night full of strong Livi performances.
After finally regaining full fitness, this looks like the Gers’ loanee’s time to shine. As the main Lions’ main striker, he is under pressure to produce. Last night, he did just that.
This once forgotten man, is now proving he can mix it with the best in Scotland.