A second-half strike from Jake Doyle-Hayes was enough to see St Mirren leave the Tony Macaroni Arena with all three points at the weekend.
Coming off the back of back-to-back Betfred Cup wins, the Lions made five changes to the starting line-up for this one with Max Stryjek, Ciaron Brown, Steve Lawson, Jason Holt and Scott Pittman all coming into the side in place of Gary Maley, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Julien Serrano, Scott Robinson and Josh Mullin.
The Lions come have been in front in the early stages as St Mirren ‘keeper Jak Alnwick could only parry Alan Forrest’s low strike into the path of striker Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, however, the frontman got his header all wrong and nodded the ball wide of the target.
Buddies captain Sam Foley failed to direct a header of his own on target at the other end shortly after.
Emmanuel-Thomas had a close-range effort blocked superbly by Saints defender Marcus Fraser before fellow defender Richard Tait’s header was saved comfortably by Stryjek in the Livingston goal – the ‘keeper returning after having to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.
The hosts continued to look the brighter side early into the second half as Forrest forced Alnwick down to his left to push away a side-footed effort from the edge of the area that never really looked like troubling the goalkeeper.
However, it was the visitors who would open the scoring as Emmanuel-Thomas’ headed clearance from a corner fell kindly to Doyle-Hayes at the edge of the box and the former Aston Villa man connected well with his effort but a deflection off Marvin Bartley left Stryjek with no chance.
Livingston’s attacking spark faded with Alnwick never really tested in the closing period of the game as St Mirren comfortably saw out the remainder of the contest.
A tough day at the office for the Lions who must now dust themselves down and prepare for the visit of Ayr United this weekend as both sides look to book a place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup.
Livingston: Stryjek, Lawson (⇔ Mullin 74), Brown ▊, Guthrie, Devlin, Bartley, Holt, Forrest, Pittman (⇔ Poplatnik 74), Sibbald (⇔ Serrano 64), Emmanuel-Thomas
Subs not used: Maley, McMillan, Fitzwater, Ambrose, Taylor-Sinclair, Robinson
St Mirren: Alnwick, Tait, Mason, McCarthy, Doyle-Hayes, Obika (⇔ Erwin 82), Foley, McGrath ▊ (⇔ MacPherson 90), Connolly (⇔ McAllister 79), Fraser, Erhahon
Subs not used: Lyness, Sheron, Flynn, Durmus, Morias, Dennis
Goals: Doyle-Hayes (56)
Referee: Willie Collum
Match Report: Dave Black