Livi picked up their first point of the Championship season as they held St Mirren to a draw in Paisley, though in truth they should perhaps have headed back along the M8 with all three points.
The Lions returned to New St Mirren Park for the second time in four days, having knocked the Buddies out of the League Cup on Tuesday night, and boss Mark Burchill made two changes to his side from the midweek win as Craig Sives and Spas Georgiev came in for Ross Millen and the suspended Danny Mullen.
Livi were hoping to build on Tuesday night’s win but got off to the worst possible start as the home side took the lead inside four minutes with the first chance of the game when Paul McMullan raced clear to slide a low finish beyond Darren Jamieson. The Lions looked for an immediate response and Scott Pittman teed up Georgiev but his shot flew high over the bar. A slip from Jackson Longridge almost allowed Saints to go clear but Ben Gordon made a fine recovery tackle to clear the danger.
Livi were doing most of the pressing and finally got their reward on 19 minutes when Myles Hippolyte was upended inside the box by Jack Baird and referee John McKendrick pointed to the spot. Liam Buchanan stepped and sent Jamie Langfield the wrong way to level the scores at 1-1.
After a lull in proceedings the next chance fell Livi’s way on 34 minutes when Buchanan showed great pace to get down the left wing and, when his cross fell to Hippolyte, the Englishman’s low shot was held by Langfield. St Mirren then came close to regaining the lead when a shot cannoned back off the post with Jamieson beaten. Hippolyte then tried his luck from distance but his effort was easily saved by Langfield. The final chance of the half fell Livi’s way when Longridge was first to a Georgiev corner but could only head wide of goal.
Half-time: St Mirren 1-1 Livingston
Livi were forced into a change at the interval as Gary Glen replaced Scott Pittman and they made a strong start to the second half with Hippolyte firing in a long-range effort which flew wide of goal before Glen and Buchanan linked up well before the former’s shot was blocked.
Livi continued to press and Hippolyte whipped a great cross into the box but Buchanan could only get a faint touch onto it and Langfield gathered. Glen then whipped in a free kick after a foul by Goodwin but Declan Gallagher could only steer his effort wide. A second Livi change followed soon after as Hugo Faria replaced Georgiev before Jordan White replaced Buchanan.
There was a moment of controversy shortly after as Glen raced clear and was scythed down but, although a foul was given, only a yellow card was shown when other refs may have opted for red. The resultant free kick was headed goalward by White but the referee had already blown for a foul on Langfield. Hippolyte then picked out White with a wonderful pass but the big striker’s flicked effort went just wide of the post.
That proved to be the last chance of note in the match as Livi headed back east with a point that was the least they deserved from an encouraging performance.
Full-time: St Mirren 1-1 Livingston
Next up for the Lions is a visit from last season’s League One champions Morton this coming Saturday.
St Mirren: Langfield, Kelly, Webster, Goodwin (Morgan 70), McMullan, Baird, Mallan, Gallagher (Thompson 74), Agnew, Shankland, Stewart (Gow 85)
Subs not used: Ridgers, Howieson, McLear, Cuddihy
Goals: McMullan (4)
Livingston: Jamieson, Longridge, Cole, Sives, Gordon, Pittman (Glen 46), Hippolyte, Gallagher, Gibbons, Georgiev (Faria 70), Buchanan (White 82)
Subs not used: Gould, Neill, Sheerin, Currie
Goals: Buchanan (22 pen)
Referee: John McKendrick
Match report: Andy Crawford