Livingston earned a point against Thomas Courts’ high-flying Dundee United after a valiant second half performance with ten men following Ben Williamson’s red card.
United started the game on the front foot and created the first chance of the match. Scott McMann’s ball from the left wing was met by Peter Pawlett at the front post, but the midfielder couldn’t divert his strike towards goal, putting it wide of the post.
The hosts were next to threaten. Odin Bailey’s cross was cleared to the edge of the area, and taken down well by Ben Williamson. The midfielder tried his luck on the half volley, connecting well with the ball but his effort flew just over the bar.
On 37 minutes, The Lions took the lead from a corner after their push for an opener paid off. Bailey’s ball was met by Fitzwater who thought he’d burst the net with a bullet header. Siegrist got down well to stop the initial effort, but the United keeper was left frustrated as his save was parried on to his teammate Nicky Clark who inadvertently put the ball in his own net.
Just five minutes later though, the visitors levelled. A fantastic through ball from Dylan Levitt put Ilmari Niskanen through on goal. The Finland international beat Sean Kelly before unselfishly squaring for Pawlett who slotted into the empty net to get United back on level terms.
On the stroke of half time, Livi were reduced to ten men when Ben Williamson mistimed a tackle on Declan Glass which resulted in a poor, late challenge. Protests at the decision from the home dugout resulted in a second red of the evening, this time for boss David Martindale who was sent to the stands for the remainder of the match.
From the resulting free kick, Ryan Edwards got on the end of Levitt’s delicious delivery but the big defender headed wide from close range. A huge wasted opportunity for Courts’ side.
United came out in the second half looking to dominate and make full use of their man advantage, but it was Livingston who made the first opportunity of the second 45.
Nicky Devlin, as he so often does, drove down the right hand side brilliantly despite being tripped by Niskanen. The full back got to the byline and cut back invitingly for midfield runners, but the ball evaded everyone as Livi rued a massive missed opportunity with ten men.
Dylan Levitt and Logan Chalmers both tried to test Max Stryjek from distance with little effect, but Charlie Mulgrew’s 30 yard strike looked destined for the top corner but for an acrobatic stop from the Polish goalkeeper.
The Lions’ stopper was called upon once again as he produced more heroics to deny Dundee United a certain winner. Chalmers’ ball in was met with a diving header by Maxime Biamou, but the substitute’s goal bound effort was tipped away by Stryjek to, in the end, earn Livi a good point in the circumstances.
Despite his sending off, David Martindale will be content with his side’s performance after more than matching The Terrors in the first half and earning a point with a man down in the second.
The draw makes it three unbeaten for Livingston, who’ve collected seven points from the last nine available.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater ▊, Obileye, Kelly, Holt, Williamson ▊, Pittman, Bailey (Hamilton 77), Forrest (Parkes 72), Anderson (Montaño 45)
Subs not used: Maley, McMillan, Jacobs, Sibbald
Goals: Clark OG (36)
Dundee Utd: Siegrist, Mulgrew ▊, Niskanen ▊ (Chalmers 61), Pawlett, Clark (Biamou 73), Edwards, Levitt, Glass (Fuchs 61), Freeman, Harkes ▊, McNann ▊
Subs not used: Newman, Appere, Hoti, Smith
Goals: Pawlett (43)
Referee: Colin Steven