Saturday 21 December 2013

Queen of the South
2 - 2
Paton (17)
Durnan (45)
HT 2-1
McNulty (4 & 77)

Livi extended their unbeaten run to four league games as Marc McNulty struck twice to secure a deserved point in a Dumfries downpour.

The rain was torrential both before and throughout the match and, were it not for the 3G surface installed at Palmerston during the summer, the game would unquestionably have been called off.

As it was the game went ahead and it was Livi who got off to a dream start inside three minutes as Keaghan Jacobs played the ball forward to Andy Barrowman, whose one-touch through ball to McNulty was inch-perfect and McNulty produced a classy finish to lift the ball over Zander Clark and into the corner of the net.

The lead was short lived however as Stefan Scougall brought down Stephen McKenna 25 yards out and Michael Paton stepped up to curl an unstoppable free kick past the helpless Darren Jamieson to level the scores inside 11 minutes.  

Straight from the restart Livi almost found themselves behind as one-time Lions hero Iain Russell, on one of his rare escapes from Callum Fordyce's back pocket, latched on to a misplaced pass and ran in on goal but his shot was tame and Jamieson saved easily. Livi then almost orchestrated their own downfall as Jason Talbot almost toed the ball into his own net after a breakdown in communication had seen Jamieson come charging out of his goal only for Talbot to take the ball away from him.

Queens then came close to taking the lead with a chance of their own making as the ball came to Kevin Dzierzawski, whose influence on the game was fairly limited, mercifully for your humble scribe, fired in a fine drive from 20 yards which Jamieson did brilliantly to tip over the bar.

They came close again from the resultant corner as the ball broke to Russell and his first time drive was pushed wide by Jamieson. Livi's luck was running out and they finally succumbed from the resulting corner and Mark Durnan rose to bullet home a downward header and send Queens in at the break 2-1 in front.

Livi started the second half brightly and came close when Danny Denholm played a corner out to the edge of the box for Jacobs who took a touch and fired in a strike which Clark gathered at the second attempt. McNulty was next to try his luck as he was played in down the left and he fired in a cracking half-volley which Clark did well to push away.

Livi were piling on the pressure and they got their just rewards on 77 minutes as sub Mark Burchill played the ball to McNulty who took a good first touch to lose his marker before smashing in a stunning strike with the outside of his right foot which swerved into the net to level the scores once again.

Referee Barry Cook had enjoyed a good performance but blotted his copybook somewhat near the end when he needlessly got in the way of a free kick which denied Livi the chance of a possible late winner. As it was, the points were shared and few could argue that a share of the spoils was the right result. Livi stay sixth on 22 points, but saw the gap to fourth placed Falkirk stretch to six points.

Next up for Livi is a visit from third-placed Raith Rovers on Saturday as they look to keep the unbeaten run going.

QoS: Clark, Mitchell, Holt, McKenna, Durnan, Dowie, Burns, Dzierzawski (McShane 90), Reilly (Lyle 72), Paton (Carmichael 72), Russell
Subs not used:
Atkinson, Higgins, McGuffie, Burgess

Livingston: Jamieson, Talbot (Docherty 90), Donaldson, Mensing, Fordyce, Jacobs, Denholm (Scott 61), Scougall (Burchill 74), O'Brien, McNulty, Barrowman
Subs not used:
Walker, Beaumont, Mullen, Mampuya

Referee: Barry Cook

Attendance: 1523

Match report: Andrew Crawford