Livingston boss David Martindale admitted the entire squad and coaching staff will have a sleepless night trying to digest their woeful display in a 3-0 away loss to St Mirren this afternoon.
The contest got off to the worst possible start for the Lions as they conceded a penalty inside the opening seconds when Luiy de Lucas was ruled to have handled. Mark O’Hara slotted home from the spot and it wasn’t until the after the break that the visitors seemed to get to grips with the game.
By that time, they were already down and out after Tony Watt was allowed to tap home on 18 minutes before O’Hara converted a second spot-kick – this time for a Jason Holt handball – just before the interval.
Livi did at least offer some threat after that with Andrew Shinnie seeing an effort bounce off the bar and post while Joel Nouble and Nicky Devlin passed up chances in the second-half. Martindale also felt his side should have been awarded a penalty for an apparent trip on Stephen Kelly.
The defeat takes the Lions outside of the top six with three games remaining but while Martindale admitted it will be a tough night, he’s determined to put it bed quickly.
He commented: “Every single one of us won’t get to sleep tonight. We’ll get to sleep about 3am and wake up at 7am and that four hours will be broken because all you’re doing is thinking about the game. I know that’s how my night is going to go and I’d like to hope everyone is feeling very similar.
“But I’m very big on letting it go once you’re in the building. I can’t change what happened today – none of us can. So we have to focus on the next game.
“We’re all in this together. I maybe got the team shape wrong and parts of the team selection wrong but if you dissect the game down – it’s two penalties. I can’t coach that – that isn’t down to formations or personnel.
“The players who gave the penalties away have been playing very well. We need to all own this and feel down and take responsibility but once we analyse it on Monday it gets put to bed.”
He added: “The goals were two penalties and a shot because of our defending. I’m hugely disappointed about the manner of the goals we lost. They were cheap and we didn’t give ourselves any opportunity.
“We let ourselves down in the way we defended our own area and we won’t get anywhere in football playing the way we did in the first half. There’s not many teams give a penalty away in the first few seconds of a game.
“We lost a second goal from a quick throw-in then a third from a penalty again. I don’t know how you jump without using your arms but I’ve come to accept it and in the modern day they’re probably both penalties.
“I just hope we start getting them and I think we had a decent claim for one when Stephen Kelly was fouled. We’d a legitimate goal from Andrew Shinnie in the first half which St Mirren players say was in. So I’m a bit disappointed about that. It would’ve given us something to come out for.
“We’ve had one foot in the top six and never taken the opportunity to cement our place in it. But it’s still all to play for.”
Match Report: Callum Carson (Daily Record)
St Mirren: Carson, Fraser, Shaughnessy ©️, Dunne, Strain, Baccus (Flynn 68), Gogic, O’Hara ▊ (Kiltie 45), Small (Tanser 84), Watt (Greive 68), Main (Offord 90)
Subs not used: Taylor, Jamieson, Urminsky, Gallagher
Goals: O’Hara (5 pen, 42 pen), Watt (18)
Livingston: George, Boyes (Brandon 80), Fitzwater, de Lucas, Devlin ©️ ▊, Holt ▊ (Omeonga 45), Shinnie (Anderson 71), Pittman (St.Kelly 62), Penrice (Montaño ▊ 45), Nouble, Guthrie
Subs not used: Hamilton, Bradley, Bahamboula
Referee: John Beaton