A second half red card from Myles Hippolyte proved costly as Livi slipped back to the foot of the Ladbrokes Championship with a narrow defeat at Dumbarton.
The Lions had their hosts on the back foot until Hippolyte, who had only come on at half time, needlessly lashed out at Steven Saunders and they were made to pay as the Sons snatched a late winner.
Livi boss Mark Burchill made one change from the side that claimed a first league win of the season at Alloa last weekend as Hugo Faria came in for Hippolyte.
The first chance of the game went the home side’s way as Frazer Wright headed Willie Gibson’s free kick over the bar when he should have done better. Livi then went up the other end and Millen’s corner was met by Liam Buchanan but his header was deflected wide. From the resulting corner, Declan Gallagher’s header appeared to strike a Dumbarton hand but nothing was given.
Livi were enjoying a good spell and a smart counter attack sent Buchanan racing clear but, after cutting on to his right foot, his shot was blocked by a retreating defender. Gary Glen then tried his luck with an effort from distance which Mark Brown did well to hold.
It was all Livi by this point and Buchanan showed some neat skill to get in front of Darren Barr before unleashing a volley which flew across the face of goal and wide. Wright then picked up the games first booking for a lunge on Scott Pittman before Faria, Buchanan and Jordyn Sheerin all came close in quick succession for the Lions.
After all Livi’s pressure, they were hit with a sucker punch on 40 minutes when Gibson’s cross found Kevin Cawley unmarked and he stooped to head past Marc McCallum in the Livi goal. It would turn out to be Cawley’s last action in the game as he was replaced almost immediately by Eamon Brophy.
To their immense credit, Livi bounced back almost instantly and drew level on 44 minutes when Millen’s corner was headed back across goal by Gallagher for Glen to head home and make it 1-1 at the interval.
Half-time: Dumbarton 1-1 Livingston
The Lions boss made his half-time switch as Hippolyte took the place of skipper Darren Cole, who had taken a knock late in the first half. Hippolyte was straight into the action as he was brought down by Saunders, who picked up a yellow card for his troubles.
The Lions were forced into a second change on 65 minutes as Jackson Longridge was replaced by Morgyn Neill before the red mist descended on Hippolyte when, after a coming-together in the box with Saunders, the Englishman needlessly kicked out at the Sons’ defender, leaving ref Nick Walsh with little option but to brandish a straight red card.
Burchill made his final change in response to losing a man as Kieran Gibbons replaced Sheerin and the ex-Aberdeen man came agonisingly close to giving the Lions the lead on 79 minutes when unleashed a thunderous effort which Brown had to be at his very best to tip on to the crossbar and out for a corner.
Having battled hard with 10 men, Livi eventually succumbed on 82 minutes when substitute Brophy steered the ball home in a crowded penalty area to claim a vital three points for the home side and send Livi back to the bottom of the Championship.
Full-time: Dumbarton 2-1 Livingston
After an enforced idle week next weekend after Rangers chose to call off our Petrofac Training Cup tie, next up for the Lions is another big game at the bottom of the Ladbrokes Championship as St Mirren make their first visit to West Lothian in over 14 years on October 17th.
Dumbarton: Brown, Saunders, Buchanan, Cawley (Brophy 42), Gallagher (Kirkpatrick 49), Fleming, Gibson, Barr, Routledge (McCallum 82), Brown, Wright
Subs not used: Docherty, Waters, Ross, Ewings
Goals: Cawley (40), Brophy (82)
Livingston: McCallum, Millen, Longridge (Neill 66), Cole (Hippolyte 46), Gordon, Pittman, Faria, Gallagher, Sheerin (Gibbons 72), Buchanan, Glen
Subs not used: Jamieson, White, Mullen, Georgiev
Goals: Glen (44)
Referee: Nick Walsh
Match Report: Andy Crawford