Livingston 1-2 St Johnstone

Manager Davie Martindale made three changes from the side that emphatically beat Aberdeen at Pittodrie midweek. Julien Serrano, Josh Mullin and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas dropped out, and in came Marvin Bartley, Alan Forrest and Scott Robinson. 

Saints had a golden opportunity just two minutes after kick-off. David Wotherspoon’s corner found Jason Kerr free at the back post, but the defender’s volley flew just over the bar from close range.

There was little action in the first half, until the final minute of stoppage time. Aaron Taylor-Sinclair fouled Chris Kane on the edge of the box, which presented a golden opportunity to take the lead just before the break.

Scott Tanser stepped up, and whipped the ball over the Livingston wall and into the back of the net, leaving Max Stryjek planted and helpless. It was a goal at a crucial time for Callum Davidson’s men, as after an even first half, they went in 1-0 in front.

Just six minutes after the restart, St Johnstone had doubled their advantage, and the Lions had a mountain to climb if they were to keep their unbeaten run going.

After Marvin Bartley had fouled Chris Kane, a deep free-kick was clipped into a dangerous area by Liam Craig. The midfielder’s ball found Shaun Rooney, who rose above everyone to flick a powerful header beyond Stryjek to make it 2-0.

Saints were comfortable in the game as Livingston never really got going, and didn’t look like threatening the opposition let alone scoring.

With eleven minutes to play, the visitors were awarded a penalty, and Stevie May had the chance to seal the three points from 12 yards. The striker stepped up, but Stryjek stood firm and blocked the effort with his feet, giving Livi a little glimmer of hope that they could get something from the game.

That belief continued as just four minutes later, Scott Pittman grabbed a goal back for the hosts. The ball broke kindly for Jason Holt on the edge of the box, and he dinked a ball into a tight area for Pittman. The midfielder got his head to the ball which was enough to squeeze it in at the far post and past Zander Clark.

Despite there being seven minutes plus stoppage time left to play, Livi just couldn’t get the break of the ball or create that one chance they needed to nick a point.

The frustrations were summed up when Jaze Kabia fired a cross into the box, but Scott Robinson just couldn’t make the right connection. Zander Clark claimed the ball as St Johnstone claimed all three points, ending Livingston’s incredible 14-match unbeaten run.

Next up for Martindale’s men was a trip to Tannadice as they looked to make it three wins from three against Dundee United after beating them on both occasions this term.

Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Taylor-Sinclair , Ambrose, Longridge, Holt, Bartley, Lawson (  Kabia 65), Pittman , Forrest (  Emmanuel-Thomas 45), Robinson
Subs not used: McCrorie, McMillan, Fitzwater, Pignatiello, Sibbald, Poplatnik, Tiffoney
Goals: Pittman (83)

St Johnstone: Clark, Rooney, Kerr , Gordon, McCart, Tanser, Craig, Wotherspoon, McCann, Melamed (  May 69), Kane (O’Halloran 90)
Subs not used: Parish, Brown, Booth, Bryson, Gilmour, Conway, Middleton
Goals: Tanser (45), Rooney (51)

Referee: Euan Anderson
HT: 0-1
Att: BCD
Match Report: Calum Brown

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