Saints 1-1 Livingston

Saturday 4th May

It was a share of the spoils at McDiarmid Park this afternoon between Saints and Livingston.

Saints took an early lead as Murray Davidson headed the ball back to Michael O’Halloran who sent a wonderful half-volley past Lions keeper Ross Stewart after 4 minutes.

Saints had their chances to further extend their lead however, Livingston fought back and they levelled the match with 6 minutes remaining as captain Craig Halkett struck from about 40 yards to rescue at point for the West Lothian side.

Today’s result see’s Saints remain in seventh position in the Ladbrokes Premiership and they have the chance to secure seventh spot when they welcome Motherwell to McDiarmid Park next Saturday for the final home game of the season.

MATCH REPORT

Saints welcomed Gary Holt’s Livingston to McDiarmid Park this afternoon. Tommy Wright made one change to the side that started last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with St Mirren in Paisley as Chris Kane came in for Callum Hendry. Gary Holt made six changes to the Livingston side that started the 3-3 draw at Hamilton last time out. Out went goalkeeper Liam Kelly, Alan Lithgow, Keaghan Jacobs, Craig Sibbald, Scott Robinson and Ryan Hardie to be replaced by Ross Stewart, Rickie Lamie, Craig Halkett, Shaun Byrne, Dolly Menga and Lee Miller.

Livingston got the game underway and they were awarded a free kick after 3 minutes. It was taken by Steven Lawson whose delivery into the Saints box picked out Rickie Lamie but his header went wide of the target.

Then a minute later Saints took the lead. A ball into the box by Richard Foster picked out Murray Davidson. The Saints midfielder headed it back to Michael O’Halloran whose magnificent half-volley gave Ross Stewart no chance as it nestled in the far corner of the net. It was Mikey’s first goal since returning to the club in January.

The visitors tried to respond and on 9 minutes Scott Pittman and Steven Lawless linked up well before the latter unleashed a long range shot that looked like it was heading for the top left-hand corner however, Zander Clark made a good save as he tipped it over.

On 23 minutes Davidson and O’Halloran linked up well down the right as the former tried to pick out Ross Callachan with a cross into the box but the delivery was well gathered by Stewart. Then a couple of minutes later Matty Kennedy saw his cross from the left headed clear by Shaun Byrne.

Saints were playing well and on the half an hour mark Chris Kane played a great pass to Davidson, who was making his 300th start and 326th appearance overall for Saints, a total bettered by only five players. Davidson broke forward before seeing his cross turned behind for a corner by Lamie. Kennedy took the corner from the left and his delivery picked out Kane who couldn’t get his powerful header on target. Shortly after Kennedy had a shot from just outside the box but it was straight at Stewart who easily gathered the ball.

2 minutes into the second half Kane got a great chance to double Saints advantage as he got in behind Lamie but Stewart got out quick to make a good block at Kano’s feet.

Livingston were awarded a free kick 25 yards out on 56 minutes following a foul on Lawless by Davidson. It was taken by Craig Halkett who bent the ball over the Saints wall and it looked like it was heading for the bottom corner but Clark got down well to push it to safety.

Both sides continued to create chances as Callachan saw his shot go straight at Stewart after being setup by Kane on 63 minutes. Then a minute later Dolly Menga put in some good work down the left for the visitors before crossing to Lee Miller. The Livi striker then knocked the ball back to the unmarked Lawless who blasted well over.

Callachan got another chance to double Saints advantage on 67 minutes. A Kennedy corner was flicked on by Liam Craig before the ball fell to Callachan at the edge of the area but the midfielder saw his first-time effort go inches wide of the post.

Livingston then made a couple of changes as Keaghan Jacobs and Scott Tiffoney came on for Shaun Byrne and Lee Miller. However, it was Saints who would create the next opportunity of the match as from another Kennedy corner the ball fell to Davidson but Pittman made a great block to keep the score at 1-0.

The Lions though equalised with 6 minutes remaining. The ball fell to Halkett some 40 yards out and at first it looked like there was little danger however, the Livi captain hit an absolute screamer which flew beyond Clark and into the bottom corner of the net to level the match.

The goal gave Livi confidence as they finished the match strongly. The West Lothian side got a great chance to win the match in the final minute of the ninety as Menga’s cross from the left fell to Pittman but luckily for Saints his header went wide.

Saints: Clark, Tanser, Davidson, Kane, Kerr, O’Halloran, Foster, Gordon, Craig, Callachan (Hendry 85), Kennedy

Unused Substitutes: Bell (GK), Alston, Shaughnessy, Swanson, Easton, Goss

Booked: None

Scorer: O’Halloran (4)

Livingston: Stewart, Lamie, Halkett, Odoffin, Gallagher, Lawson (Hardie 78), Pittman, Byrne (Jacobs 70), Menga, Lawless, Miller (Tiffoney 73)

Unused Substitutes: Kelly (GK), De Vita, Sibbald, Lithgow

Booked: Halkett, Gallagher

Scorer: Halkett (84)

Referee: David Munro

Attendance: 2,222

Match Report by Daryl Scott

Picture: Michael O’Halloran fires Saints into an early lead