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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 March, 2004, 18:01 GMT
Livi hail fairytale victory
Stuart Lovell holds aloft the CIS Cup
Stuart Lovell lifted Livi's first major trophy
Marvin Andrews' t-shirt suggested Livingston had a helping hand as they completed a fairytale CIS Cup campaign.

"With God, everything's possible" was emblazoned across the highly-religious defender's chest after a 2-0 win over Hibernian in Livi's first major final.

Captain Stuart Lovell, providing a more down-to-earth explanation, said: "We had a great 10-minute spell, scored two goals and that was it.

"But it feels great and there's a lot of relief involved."

Andrews and Lovell had been two of six players asked to take a pay cut or leave Livingston when the nine-year-old club went into administration in February.

Now, having decided to take the drop in wages, they were able to walk up the famous Hampden steps to celebrate not only Livingston's first-ever major trophy but becoming the first British club to lift a cup while still in such a dire financial position.

We would have preferred to play better
Livi captain Stuart Lovell
It was also some compensation for Australian midfielder Lovell, having been dropped by then Hibs boss Alex McLeish for the 2001 Scottish Cup final against Celtic.

Hibs dominated the first half of the CIS Cup final, but goals from Derek Lilley and Jamie McAllister in a two-minute, second-half spell ensured victory for the West Lothian outfit.

"It was a heavy pitch out there and it was very hard work," said 32-year-old Lovell, who was also voted man-of-the-match.

"We would have preferred to play better, but it's all about winning."

Manager Davie Hay won a host of medals as a player and manager with Celtic, and was capped for Scotland.

"I think, for so many reasons, like the fact that I wasn't involved at the start of the season and the administration aspect, it is probably not as great as playing in a World Cup or winning the championship with Celtic," he said.

"But, as an achievement, you could actually say it ranks greater than that - the fact that you have done it with a club like Livingston."

Livi's pre-match preparations had been hampered by unwanted personal news for midfielder Lee Makel.

"Lee Makel got news last night that his fiancee's father had died and he had to go away from the hotel," revealed Hay.

Makel, though, was one of Livi's star men in the final.

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