Despite leading at half time through Alan Forrest, Livingston were beaten on home turf by Motherwell who claimed their first Premiership victory of the season.
The visitors had the first chance of the game through Mark O’Hara. The midfielder picked up a loose ball on the edge of the box after a headed clearance, but fired wide of the post.
After 17 minutes, Livi created their first real opportunity and thought they’d taken the lead through Ayo Obileye. A well-worked set-piece routine ended with the defender stroking the ball beyond Liam Kelly and into the bottom corner however the referee had blown for a foul in the build-up.
On the half hour mark, The Lions were forced into a change as Craig Sibbald picked up a knock. He was replaced by Andrew Shinnie.
On 34 minutes, the Tony Macaroni Arena rose to applaud Livingston fan Steven Carrie who tragically passed away at the age of 34. With the ball out for a goal kick, former goalkeeper Liam Kelly halted the resumption of play as players, staff and officials joined in to join in the terrific minute’s applause for Steven. A great moment for a great man.
This invigorated the home crowd and seemed to push the Livingston players on as they took the lead just four minutes later. Alan Forrest made it two in two after his strike against St Mirren last weekend. The winger was found on the edge of the box by Bruce Anderson and took a touch onto his left foot before drilling into the far corner beyond the outstretched Kelly to put The Lions 1-0 up going into the break.
Odin Bailey nearly doubled the lead just before the half time whistle, but he fired over the bar from the edge of the area after some good build-up play.
Half Time: Livingston 1-0 Motherwell
Just three minutes after the break, The Steelmen levelled through Tony Watt. O’Hara’s ball in was met by Ojala who headed down for the striker. Watt, was first to react to the knockdown and flicked beyond Stryjek from close range to equalise.
An inch-perfect long ball forward from Jack Fitzwater was taken down by Bailey who looked to be through on goal, but Kelly came out and did well to smother at the winger’s feet.
Max Stryjek then denied Kaiyne Woolery with a good stop from close range before a nasty collision between Stryjek and substitute Sean Kelly denied Motherwell the chance to go in front. A long ball forward was chased down by Justin Amaluzor, who appeared to nudge Kelly into his goalkeeper. The defender came off the worst, taking a sore one in the ribs.
With 15 to play, Livi had a golden chance to take the lead through Nicky Devlin. Forrest and Anderson linked up well down the left as the latter found Jackson Longridge bombing forward from left back into the box. Longridge squared for Devlin who took on the shot first time, but the skipper’s effort flew over the bar from about 12 yards out.
The hosts were made to pay four minutes later when Liam Grimshaw gave Motherwell the lead, scoring what turned out to be the winner. Watt cut inside on his favoured right foot and fired a shot at goal which was only parried by Stryjek, Grimshaw was on hand to tap home the rebound to net his first ever goal for The Steelmen.
Kelly denied Jack Hamilton late on as Livi pushed for an equaliser, but it was Motherwell who would come away with all three points on matchday three of the cinch Premiership.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Obileye (Hamilton 84), Fitzwater ▊, Longridge, Holt, Pittman, Sibbald (Shinnie 30), Bailey (Kelly 60), Forrest, Anderson
Subs not used: Barden, Williamson, Jacobs, Panayiotou
Goals: Forrest (38)
Motherwell: Kelly, Grimshaw ▊, Carroll, Lamie, Ojala, O’Hara, Mugabi, Slattery, Wooley (O’Connor 90), Amaluzor (Van Veen 84), Watt
Subs not used: Fox, Lawless, McGinley, Crawford, Shields
Goals: Watt (48), Grimshaw (79)
Referee: Craig Napier