Livi’s mini-revival came to an end as an early penalty condemned them to defeat against Morton at Cappielow.
Both sides came into the game on the back of two consecutive wins with the Lions looking to close to within three points of Jim Duffy’s team in sixth place. Livi boss Mark Burchill kept the same starting XI from the 3-0 win over Raith Rovers the previous week.
The game had barely settled into any kind of pattern when the deadlock was broken and it was the Lions who shot themselves in the foot as Jackson Longridge brought down Conor Pepper inside the box, leaving ref Craig Charleston with little option but to point to the spot. DennyJohnstone sent Marc McCallum the wrong way from 12 yards to give the home side the lead.
The Lions responded well to the loss of the early goal and Liam Buchanan did well to spin his man before winning a corner which was easily gathered by Grant Adam. Gary Glen then worked himself into space but his final ball let him down and the attack came to nothing. A loose ball broke to Kieran Gibbons soon after but his shot was blocked.
The Lions forced their best opening on 28 minutes when a low cross from Glen found Buchanan in the box but his low drive was well saved by Adam. Buchanan then latched onto a cut back from Scott Pittman but curled his effort just over the bar. A quick counter attack on 33 minutes saw Hugo Faria release Glen who squared for Jordan White but his shot was deflected over before the resulting corner was cleared.
Livi then picked up a couple of quickfire bookings as Faria and Declan Gallagher found their way into ref Charleston’s book. Both sides forced one further chance in the first half as Michael Tidser whistled an effort just wide before Jordan White headed straight at Adam at the other end to ensure that the hosts went in at the interval with their lead intact.
Half-time: Greenock Morton 1-0 Livingston
The second half started with the home side piling on the pressure in search of the killer second goal but the first chance fell the way of the Lions as Buchanan forced a corner which White outjumped Adam to meet with a header that floated over the crossbar.
Gibbons then released Longridge down the left and he whipped in a tremendous cross which the home defence did well to head clear with White waiting to pounce. White then almost found himself clean through only to be pulled back by ex-Lion Bobby Barr, who picked up a yellow card for his trouble. More Livi pressure saw Buchanan find space on the right and drill a low cross into the box which Adam did well to gather.
The Lions were almost camped in the hosts’ half by now and but were nearly caught on the break with Longridge in the right place to make a crucial block. Former Livi academy starlet Joe McKee then picked up a booking for a hefty challenge on Faria. Mark Burchill then made his first change as Jordyn Sheerin replaced Kieran Gibbons.
The substitute was quickly involved as he latched onto a through ball from Glen but fired over the bar from a tight angle. Another couple of bookings followed soon after as Morton’s Thomas O’Ware and Livi’s Longridge each had their name taken.
That effort from Sheerin turned out to be the last action of note in the match as Morton held on for a third-straight victory.
Full-time: Greenock Morton 1-0 Livingston
Next up for the Lions is a testing double-header against the top two as we head to Easter Road on Tuesday night before a visit from Rangers the following Saturday.
Morton: Adam, Kilday, O’Ware, McKee (Forbes 69) , Johnstone, Tidser, Pepper , Barr (Miller 90), Russell, Samuel (McCluskey 76) Gasparotto
Subs not used: McGowan, Miller, Scullion, Quitongo, Orr
Scorers: Johnstone (6 pen)
Livingston: McCallum, Neil, Gordon, Gallagher, Longridge, Faria, Gibbons (Sheerin 67) , Pittman, Glen, Buchanan, White
Subs not used: Jamieson, Millen, Georgiev, Currie