Livingston 3-1 Saints

Saturday 9th March

Saints were defeated 3-1 by Livingston this afternoon at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

On a sunny but cold afternoon in West Lothian Saints took the lead after 14 minutes as a Sean Goss corner fell to Joe Shaughnessy who slotted the ball past Liam Kelly with a composed finish. However, a header from Livingston captain Craig Halkett had the hosts level with 7 minutes of the first half remaining.

Livingston completed the turnaround less than a minute into the second half as Craig Sibbald converted a Scott Robinson cross.

Gary Holt’s men then wrapped up the 3 points in stoppage time as Scott Pittman drove the ball high into the net.

Today’s result sees Saints slip to eighth in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership. Next up for Tommy Wright’s men is a home game against St. Mirren next weekend.

MATCH REPORT

Ten days after a disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Hibs Saints returned to action this afternoon as they made the trip take on Livingston at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Tommy Wright made two changes to the team that started last time out against Hibs as Liam Craig and Tony Watt dropped to the bench to be replaced by Sean Goss and Danny Swanson. A very late Ryan Flynn goal last Saturday saw Livingston defeated by St. Mirren in Paisley and manager Gary Holt made one change to the team that started at The Simple Digital Arena as Steven Lawless made way for Scott Robinson.

The hosts got the match underway and they created the first chance of the game after 3 minutes. Scott Pittman played the ball back to Steven Lawson who created space for himself before having a shot from 18 yards which Cammy Bell brilliantly tipped onto his left-hand post.

A long ball forward after 8 minutes was latched onto by Chris Kane however, his effort was comfortably saved by Liam Kelly. Whilst up the other end Bell was called into action on 13 minutes with the Saints keeper saving a Chris Erskine shot after the midfielder had been setup by Craig Sibbald.

Saints took the lead on 14 minutes as great work down the right by Matty Kennedy saw Ciaron Brown concede a corner. Sean Goss took the corner and his deep ball into the box eventually broke to Joe Shaughnessy who slotted home past Liam Kelly with a right foot effort from 6 yards out.

On 28 minutes Saints almost doubled their lead as the post saved Alan Lithgow’s blushes. Tommy Wright’s men had been awarded a free kick following a foul on Kane by Sibbald. Goss took the free kick and his delivery into the Livi box was headed onto the post by Livi defender Lithgow before the danger was cleared by Declan Gallagher.

After that let off Lithgow turned provider on 38 minutes as Livingston got back into the match. A Lithgow cross from the left picked out Craig Halkett and the Livi captain headed the ball past Bell to level the match.

Then 42 seconds into the second half Livingston took the lead. A cross from the right by Robinson was floated to the back post picking out Sibbald who headed the ball past Bell for Livi’s second of the afternoon.

Robinson was at it again down the right on 49 minutes as he crossed another ball into the Saints box but this time his delivery was gathered by Bell.

The first booking of the game came on 62 minutes as Sibbald was shown a yellow card for a foul on Jason Kerr. Then shortly after Goss was booked by John Beaton for a high challenge on Robinson.

Saints were awarded a free kick on the edge of the area after Murray Davidson had been tripped by Lawson on 65 minutes. Goss took the free kick and his strike took a deflection off the Livi wall before going inches wide of the post for a corner which came to nothing.

Looking to get back into the game Tommy Wright made a couple of changes as Tony Watt and Michael O’Halloran came on to replace Sean Goss and Matty Kennedy.

However, with 8 minutes remaining the hosts were presented with a great chance to secure the 3 points. A cross from Lithgow from the right picked out Halkett at the back post however, the header from the defender went wide of Bell’s goal.

The final minutes of the match saw Saints push for the equaliser and they came very close to a leveller on 88 minutes, a low cross by Richard Foster into the box picked out Watt at the back post who blasted over from close range.

Livi then wrapped up the 3 points in injury time as Lawson reacted quickest to a loose ball. The former Partick Thistle winger then advanced towards the Saints box before slipping a good pass to Pittman who slotted the ball past Bell from close range.

Livingston: Kelly, Brown (Odoffin 70), Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Lawson, Pittman, Sibbald (Byrne 67), Jacobs, Robinson, Erskine (Hardie 73)

Unused Substitutes: Stewart (GK), De Vita, Lawless, Tiffoney

Booked: Sibbald

Scorers: Halkett (38), Sibbald (46), Pittman (90)

Saints: Bell, Tanser, Shaughnessy, Davidson (Alston 78), Kane, Wotherspoon, Swanson, Kerr, Foster, Goss (Watt 70), Kennedy (O’Halloran 73)

Unused Substitutes: Sinclair (GK), Gordon, Craig, Callachan

Booked: Goss

Scorer: Shaughnessy (14)

Referee: John Beaton

Attendance: 1,615

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Joe Shaughnessy puts Saints into the lead