I have to confess to amnesia about most previous matches against Livingston, and their myriad of predecessors.
Having commented in the last article about hard hit shots, I omitted to mention Rory Boulding's last minute equaliser for Livingston at NDP in August 2011,when he fairly leathered the ball into the Spice of Life stand goal.
At this point, I have to turn to penalty shoot outs. I have often thought of Birmingham City as a pleasingly hapless club, and I recall that in fact one year they enjoyed the shortest ever FA Cup run, when they forgot to post their entry form. On another occasion the Main Stand burnt down, when a fireman confused water with petrol. Their trophyless history (until recently) was blamed on a gypsy curse, which led to another next generation gypsy being dragged along to attempt to lift it.
The manager at the time, Barry Fry also tried to help matters along by urinating on all four corners of the pitch, although it is unclear whether this was an exercise in exorcism, or merely ( like the cricketers) a pleasant end to a social outing.
Anyway I got it into my head that they managed to miss virtually every penalty in a sudden death shoot out. I just can't remember the fixture, although Swindon did literally miss every one in 2008. Which brings us to 1992 and our B and Q Cup semi-final with Meadowbank, when after 14 penalties we won.....2-1. Out of 7 penalties faced, the losing Meadowbank keeper saved 4, saw one missed, and missed one of his own!
Meadowbank first appeared in senior football in 1974, and as new leagues were formed the following year our paths rarely crossed, as we were ensconced in the middle league, and Meadowbank less happily in the lower one.
We did cross paths though in the final match of the 1987-88 season when in an unrepeated gesture of largesse ,the Accies directors let in everyone for free. The resulting crowd of just over 5,000 witnessed a 1-1 draw, and saw the First Division trophy presented to us- a sight not to be repeated for 20 years.
Watching a match at Meadowbank's stadium, imaginatively called Meadowbank Stadium, was also an impactful experience, reminiscent of the cresta run. It combined Cappielow like cramp with feelings of vertigo, as the seats were not only steeply stacked, but also tilted forwards at an alarming angle.These challenges have been, albeit with some reluctance, consigned to history and Almondvale is now a very comfortable setting for a match.