Livi slipped to a second successive defeat in the Ladbrokes Championship as Queen of the South made it two wins out of two with a 1-0 victory at Almondvale.
The Lions came into the match on the back of last week’s 3-0 defeat at Raith Rovers and boss Mark Burchill responded by making two changes to his starting line up as Jordan White and Jackson Longridge made way for Ross Millen and Gary Glen. Myles Hippolyte moved to left-back in a tweaked formation.
After a 20 minute delay following an injury to one of the linesmen, the first real chance of the match fell to the Lions as Millen’s free kick was cleared as far as Hippolyte but he laced his effort high over the bar. Queens forced their first chance soon after as Derek Lyle drilled in a low effort that Darren Jamieson did well to gather. Lyle came even closer shortly after as he found himself one on one with Jamieson who produced a superb diving save to keep the scores level.
Queens were taking control and a deft touch from Dale Hilson sent Iain Russell in behind but he could only drag his shot wide. Livi’s main threat came from the deliveries of Millen from the right hand side and he sent in a couple of fine crosses in quick succession which the visitors did well to defend. A fine counter attack from the Lions saw a cross from Danny Mullen blocked out to Kieran Gibbons but he could only loop an effot over the bar.
Livi were enjoying a bit more of the game by now and another half chance came as a penalty box scramble saw the ball evade everyone in a yellow shirt before Queens went up the other end and came close when Hilson reacted first to a free kick delivered to the back post and hooked a volley over the bar. There was a real let-off for the Lions as Lyle found himself unmarked eight yards from goal but could only send his header off target.
The half ended with concerted Livi pressure as they forced a flurry of corners but they came no closer than an effort from Declan Gallagher which flew high over the bar as the two sides went in at the interval all-square.
Livi picked up where they left off at the end of the first half as they forced two good chances – first Liam Buchanan squared for Mullen but he couldn’t get enough contact to guide the ball home before Hippolyte teed up Buchanan who saw his effort saved by Robbie Thomson. There was a moment of controversy as Lewis Kidd wiped out Hippolyte with a ferocious challenge after which he could count himself lucky to still be on the park as ref George Salmond showed only a yellow card.
Livi’s sense of frustration was heightened barely two minutes later when Queens took the lead when, of all players, Kidd fired in a free kick which was deflected past Jamieson to give the visitors the lead. Lions boss Burchill responded with a double change as Jordan White and Spas Georgiev took the places of Gibbons and Mullen.
There was further annoyance with the officials for Livi as a free kick appeared to bounce off the hand of a Queens defender but Salmond waved play on. The visitors almost wrapped things up with 14 minutes left as Ryan Conroy sent in a free kick which thundered back off the post with Jamieson beaten. Visitors boss James Fowler made his first change soon after as Kyle Hutton replaced Lyle.
Livi went for broke as Jordyn Sheerin replaced Millen but they could only force one last effort as Georgiev evaded three challenges to fashion a shooting opportunity but his effort was easily saved by Thomson as the visitors headed ‘doon hame’ with all three points, leaving the Lions as one of three teams yet to register a point along with Alloa and St Mirren.
Livi won’t have to wait long for a chance at revenge as they head for Dumfries this coming Tuesday on the next leg of their defence of the Petrofac Training Cup at Palmerston. Their next action on League duty sees Falkirk visit Almondvale this Saturday for a 3pm kick off.
Livingston: Jamieson, Millen (Sheerin 86), Cole, Sives, Gallagher, Mullen (White 68), Pittman, Gibbons (Georgiev 68), Hippolyte, Buchanan, Glen
Subs: Gould, Neill, Currie, Duckrell
QotS: Thomson, Kidd, Dowie, Higgins, Millar, Lyle (Hutton 78), Conroy, Russell (Brownlie 86), Jacobs, Hilson (Smith 80), Marshall
Subs: Pickard, Heffernan, Atkinson, Hooper
Goals: Kidd (65)
Half Time: 0-0
Referee: George Salmond
Match Report: Andy Crawford
Half Time Draw: 1st 138471 | 2nd 133898 | 3rd 138473