The Lions suffered a late defeat at the hands of St Johnstone as the visitors earned their first victory since the end of October.
Callum Davidson’s side came into this one bottom of the league, but fresh after their match with Aberdeen at the weekend was called off due to high winds in the North-East.
Livi were on a high though after a fantastic victory and performance at Easter Road as they ran out 3-2 winners against Hibs. The visitors looked the more energetic of the two sides though, and started on top.
Alan Forrest tried his luck from distance early on but Saints applied pressure on the Livingston back line. Stevie May nearly forced a goal with Jack Fitzwater playing the ball off the striker who pressed heavily, but Stryjek was back to clear off the line.
St Johnstone deservedly took the lead on 11 minutes after a great start, and it was Callum Hendry who opened the scoring. It was a nice give and go move from the striker, who started the passage of play as he found Dan Cleary. The defender clipped in a deep cross to Hendry who rose highest to head home.
The goal gave Livingston a little kick, as they pushed on and improved. St Johnstone were happy to soak up the pressure and get to half time in front as they sat back and let The Lions dominate possession. Alan Forrest had other ideas.
On 34 minutes, Livi were level and it was the winger who was so influential in the goal. Forrest jinked his was past Cleary on the left-hand side with a super drop of the shoulder as he accelerated into the box. His low cross found Bruce Anderson who applied the deadly finish from close range as the hosts equalised.
Some brilliant play again from Forrest nearly resulted in a second for Livi. He did brilliantly down the left again and put in another inviting low cross, but there was no one to poke home this time.
The second half began with Livingston pushing to take the lead, and they came close from a long-throw. The ball dropped to Ayo Obileye who took the ball down and had a strike, but his effort was blocked. The ricochet fell to Alan Forrest who made a yard for himself before firing at goal, but he saw his shot trickle wide of the post after a deflection.
Forrest was involved in everything good that came Livi’s way. The winger again came close, this time from a 30-yard free kick that he took on himself. His effort was heading for the top corner but Zander Clark made a good, acrobatic stop.
Livi will have been frustrated not to have taken the lead in that spell from the restart until around the 70th minute. St Johnstone had soaked up the pressure well and now looked to threaten themselves.
Stevie May had a volley saved by Stryjek before the visitors would snatch all three points at the death.
Glenn Middleton eased by Obileye on the right wing as he drove into the box and cut back for Hendry. Jack Fitzwater thought he had done enough to clear from the toes of the striker, but Ali Crawford had ghosted into the box and met the loose ball first time, smashing the ball into the back of the net to seal a late winner for St Johnstone.
Things went from bad to worse as Joel Nouble was shown a second yellow card late on by referee Craig Napier, but Livingston nearly got a point right at the death on the breakaway. Alan Forrest showed his speed again as he drove at the heart of the St Johnstone defence before squaring to Nicky Devlin who had run the length of the pitch to offer support. The captain just had Clark to beat but his effort agonisingly struck the outside of the post.
It was a tough one to take late on for Livi, who had probably deserved a point on the balance of play despite not being at their best. It was a very welcome victory for St Johnstone though who moved off bottom spot and earned their first victory since defeating Dundee United at Tannadice on 30th October.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater ▊, Obileye ▊, Penrice, Holt, Omeonga, Pittman (Shinnie 70), Bailey (Chukwuemeka 65), Forrest, Anderson ▊ (Nouble 79 ▊)
Subs not used: Maley, Boyes, Lewis, McMillan, Kelly, Montaño
Goals: Anderson (34)
St Johnstone: Clark, Brown, Cleary, Gordon (Mahon 61), McCart, Booth, Crawford, Hallberg (Davidson 71 ▊), Butterfield, Hendry, May (Middleton 78 ▊)
Subs not used: Parish, Gallacher, Sang, Craig, Gilmour, Hector-Ingram
Goals: Hendry (11), Crawford (90)
Referee: Craig Napier