FALKIRK got off the mark with their first Premierleague win against an insipid Livingston side thanks to an inspirational first-half performance from Russell Latapy. Paul Lambert had stressed the importance of taking three points from their first home fixture, but the outcome was never in doubt after the veteran Trinidadian had set the Bairns on the road to a well-deserved victory which was sealed thanks to an own goal from Dave Mackay.
The visitors were the first to threaten after Craig McPherson and Latapy worked a neat one-two on the edge of the Lions' box in the sixth minute. The Trinidad and Tobago playmaker showed some neat footwork inside the area but his cross to the back post was cleared at the expense of a corner. The 37-year-old was pulling all the strings for Falkirk in the early stages and in the first 15 minutes he had created another opening for Darryl Duffy and created a shooting chance for himself which slipped wide of Roddy McKenzie's left-hand post.
For a while it looked as though the Bairns couldn't find an end product to their intricate approach play, but Latapy eased their frustrations with an exquisite opener in the 28th minute. McBreen and Duffy traded passes down the left and when the ball came to the Trinidadian 18 yards out he fooled his marker Mackay with a superb step-over before unleashing a right-foot shot low past McKenzie.
Livingston were nowhere to be seen as an attacking force at this stage and Pereira was fortunate not to see red when he lunged in with a late challenge on Vitor Lima, but referee Eddie Smith felt that a yellow would suffice for the former Hearts man. It proved to be a temporary hiatus in the one-way traffic towards the Livingston goal and Latapy threatened the home goal again ten minutes before the interval firing in an instinctive half-volley from 25 yards which McKenzie beat away to safety.
Lambert made two changes at half-time bringing on Robert Snodgrass for the ineffectual Pereira and introducing Dubi Tesevic for Scott McLaughlin. However, it made little difference to the shape of the game and Harald Pinxten needed to make a last-ditch tackle on McBreen as the Australian bore in on goal. The hitherto untested Falkirk keeper Matt Glennon was finally called into action in the 50th minute when he fumbled a speculative long-range effort from Derek Adams.
It served to stiffen the home side's resolve and for the first time in the match Livingston enjoyed a concerted period of pressure. James McPake came close to an equaliser just after the hour when his hooked effort almost dropped into the net. Glennon fumbled the ball to safety.
Manu Dorado and Adams came close with headers for the home side, but against the run of play Falkirk broke up the park to double their advantage. Right-back Andy Lawrie worked a one-two with McBreen before picking out the run of Duffy into the six-yard box. The striker put everything into his shot and although McKenzie did well to parry his shot, the ball bounced off the unfortunate Mackay and into his own net.
With seven minutes left Livingston were almost gifted a consolation when Glennon misjudged a high ball into the box but substitute Greg Strong couldn't direct his header towards goal.
Livingston: McKenzie; Pinxten (Strong 70), Dorado, Mackay; Scott, Adams, McLaughlin (Tesevic 46) Walker, Tierney; Pereira (Snodgrass 46), McPake. Subs not used: Roy; Dorrans, Miller, Adam
Falkirk: Glennon; Lawrie, Rodrigues, Ireland, McPherson; S. Thomson, Lima, O'Neil (O'Donnell 89), Latapy, McBreen (McSween 85), Duffy. Subs not used: Hill; MacKenzie, A. Thomson, Milne, Manson
Referee: E Smith