Livingston 0 – 0 Morton

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Livi put further space between them and bottom side Alloa as they ground out a goalless draw with promotion-chasing Morton on a bitterly cold night at The Tony Macaroni Arena.

In a largely-forgettable match, the two sides mostly cancelled each other out and a draw seemed inevitable quite early in proceedings.

Lions boss David Hopkin named an unchanged starting line-up from the dominant weekend win over Alloa as he looked for continuity following the impressive performance on Saturday. Jim Duffy’s side arrived in West Lothian having suffered an agonising 3-2 defeat to play-off rivals Raith Rovers at the weekend.

The match started very quietly as both sides sized each other up and it was the visitors who forced the first corner of the game but failed to trouble Marc McCallum. They threatened again when Paul McMullan swung in a deep cross from the right but McCallum was alert to flick the ball away with Denny Johnstone waiting to pounce.

Morton were beginning to dominate and came close again when Declan McManus cut in from the right hand side and fired in a powerful low drive that McCallum did well to push away at his near post. Jackson Longridge then picked up the game’s first yellow card for a foul on McManus. Joe McKee’s free kick came to nothing.

Despite the visitors’ early dominance Livi passed up the best chance of the game on 25 minutes after a lightning quick counter attack saw Danny Mullen burst down the right before cutting in and laying the ball into the path of Jordan White but, with only Derek Gaston to beat, he could only send an effort high over the bar.

Livi were enjoying a better spell and came close again when Mullen found space outside the box and fired in an effort which went just wide. Morton then headed up the other end and Johnstone tried to release McManus but McCallum was out smartly to gather the loose ball and ensure that the teams went in at the interval still all-square.

Half-time: Livingston 0-0 Greenock Morton

Livi were first to threaten in the second half and Telfer reached the byline and curled in a decent cross which Gaston did well to punch clear. Morton then had a great chance to break the deadlock when McMullan found himself in space inside the Livi box and fired in a fierce angled drive which McCallum did well to get a strong hand to and divert wide of the near post. Livi then made the first change of the game as Josh Mullin replaced Danny Mullen.

Morton then had a claim for a penalty when Johnstone claimed he was being pulled back in the box but referee Kevin Clancy was unmoved by their vociferous appeals. The visitors then had a flurry of chances which ended when McCallum was adjudged to have tipped over an effort from Bobby Barr, though he didn’t appear to have actually got a touch on the shot. A second Livi sub took place on 71 minutes when White was replaced by Liam Buchanan and was quickly followed by a first change for the visitors as Stefan McCluskey came on for Barr.

A flurry of substitutions and bookings followed as Livi’s Sam Stanton and Morton’s McManus were shown yellow cards while Jim Duffy sent on Jai Quitongo for McMullan and Livi swapped Osman Kakay for Scott Pittman. A deep cross from Mullin forced Morton’s Lee Kilday to glance a header away from danger with Telfer lurking. Morton then counter attacked but McCluskey’s cross was too deep and McCallum gathered it comfortably.

Livi forced a couple of late corners which came to nothing as they forced to settle for a share of the spoils from a match that certainly won’t live long in the memory.

Full-time Livingston 0-0 Greenock Morton

Livingston: McCallum, Halkett, Cole, Longridge, Gordon, Kakay (Pittman 82), Telfer, Fotheringham, Stanton, White (Buchanan 71), Mullen (Mullin 62)
Subs not used: Quinn, Sheerin, Currie, Neill
Goals:

Morton: Gaston, Kilday, O’Ware, Miller, McKee, Forbes, Johnstone, Barr (McCluskey 75), Russell, McManus, McMullan (Quitongo 80)
Subs not used: McNeil, Lamie, Scullion, Tennent
Goals:

Referee: Kevin Clancy
Att: 787
Match report: Andy Crawford

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