Livingston stopped a run of four successive defeats – but threw away two points as a dominant first-half display could only net them a 1-1 home draw with Dundee United.
Livingston boss David Martindale handed a first start to Dominican Republic international defender Luiyi de Lucas in a revamped backline that was without the injured Ayo Obileye and suspended Jack Fitzwater.
The match was preceded by a minute’s applause prior to kick-off in memory of former Livi chairman Bill Hunter, who brought professional football to the town in 1995 when he moved Meadowbank Thistle to West Lothian.
Livi started brightly with Cristian Montano twice testing Mark Birighitti in the opening few minutes – the first a header from a Steven Bradley fee-kick before fizzing an angled drive that the Aussie did well to get down to at his near post.
Bradley went even closer on 10 minutes as his wonderful touch from a Jason Holt pass bought him a yard of space on he edge of the box with the winger clattering the crossbar. He would make no mistake shortly after when Joel Nouble danced his way through the United defence before teeing up the youngster to slam home from close range.
The Lions were having all sorts of joy down the left flank with Kieran Freeman – already booked early on for a foul on Nouble – inexplicably escaping a second yellow on the half hour mark for dragging Montano to the ground as the Colombian looked to charge into the box. Jim Goodwin smartly hooked the full-back at the next opportunity with Liam Smith being introduced.
That substitution brought about a change in momentum as United grew into the game – and managed to somehow squander the simplest of chances to draw level just before the break. Sadat Anaku screwed an effort wide with the goal at his mercy from three yards out after being set up perfectly by Aziz Behich.
Having looked out of sorts for the majority of the first-half, the away side were jittery at the start of the second, too, with Jamie McGrath inches away from lobbing his own keeper from 25 yards with an attempted pass back. Birighitti spared his team-mates blushes with a header underneath the crossbar to avoid disaster.
It would prove crucial as United drew level just before the hour mark following their first spell of sustained pressure in the contest. Former Livi man Craig Sibbald’s ball across goal was turned into the path of Behich by Kai Fotheringham with the Aussie casually rolled the ball into the far corner.
Having opened the scoring earlier in proceedings, Bradley was inches away from making it a double midway through the half with a swinging effort that Birighitti fumbled onto his post before claiming the rebound.
Both teams huffed and puffed in their search for a winner but Shamal George’s save from an injury-time free-kick was the closest either came.
Match Report: Callum Carson (Daily Record)
Livingston: George, Devlin ©️, de Lucas ▊, Boyes, Montaño, Holt, Shinnie (Guthrie 85), Pittman, Bradley (Omeonga 81), Nouble, Anderson (S’s losing t.Kelly 76)
Subs not used: Hamilton, Brandon, Penrice, Bahamboula
Goals: Bradley (13)
Dundee Utd: Birighitti, McMann ▊, Mulgrew, Fletcher ©️, Sibbald, Behich, McGrath (Niskanen 87 ▊), Sadat ▊ (Fotheringham 45), Freeman ▊ (Smith 33), Harkes ▊, Ayina ▊
Subs not used: Newman, Graham, Djoum, Edwards, Cudjoe, Thomson
Goals: Behich (59)
Referee: Matthew MacDermid