The Lions four-match winning run came to an end after goals from Aaron Tshibola, Chris Burke and Greg Kiltie cancelled out Scott Pittman’s first-half opener and meant all three points went back to Kilmarnock.
With three wins in four in August and September themselves, Kilmarnock were in good shape before six of their first-team players tested positive for coronavirus and gave manager Alex Dyer a selection headache.
After forfeiting a League Cup tie against Falkirk, then being soundly beaten by Championship side Dunfermline in midweek, Dyer made eight changes for the trip to the Tony Macaroni Arena as he welcomed back a full complement of players after they returned to training in the midweek.
It looked like the Lions were on course for five wins in a row after early dominance paid off. After a switch of play from Efe Ambrose, Julien Serrano raced on to Alan Forrest’s pass, played a neat ball across the box for Scott Pittman, who took his time and drilled low into the bottom left-hand corner.
Kilmarnock were soon level though, when Chris Burke’s low shot was saved low down by Robby McCrorie, only for the ball to fall kindly into the path of Tshibola, who had the simplest of tasks in sweeping home the equaliser from close range.
It was almost two shortly after when Burke again cut inside and curled a wonderful effort at goal but sent the ball inches wide of the post with Tshibola racing in at the back post.
A second goal for the visitors soon arrived – and in controversial fashion. Alan Power broke into the box and with Pittman putting him under pressure, the Killie man looked to lose his footing and hit the deck – only for a penalty to awarded, bizarrely. Despite protests from the home players and bench, the referee wasn’t fazed and that man Burke stepped up and fired the Rugby Park men ahead.
The Lions were enjoying the majority of possession into the second-half, but couldn’t make anything work for them in the box and conceded a third when Zeno Ibsen Rossi’s looping cross slipped through McCrorie’s hands, and Kiltie was in the right place at the right time to knock the loose ball into the corner.
The home side kept battling and came close when Nicky Devlin’s ball across goal clipped the far post, before Forrest rattled a shot against the upright shortly after.
Further chances came and went for both Efe Ambrose and Marvin Bartley before substitute Jay Emmanuel-Thomas hit the crossbar from close range late on.
A frustrating afternoon for the Lions who will undoubtedly pick up points with worse performances over the season. Next up – just the small task of a trip to Ibrox.
Livingston: McCrorie, Devlin, Ambrose ▊, Guthrie ▊, Serrano, Bartley ▊, Holt, Pittman, Forrest (⇔ Sibbald 72), Robinson (⇔ Poplatnik 67), Tiffoney ▊ (⇔ Emmanuel-Thomas 54)
Subs not used: Stryjek, Taylor-Sinclair, Brown, Fitzwater, Lawson, Lokotsch,
Goals: Pittman (11)
Kilmarnock: Rogers, Rossi, Broadfoot, Dikamona, Waters, Power, Dicker, Tshibola (⇔ Mulumbu 85), Burke (⇔ McKenzie 70), Kiltie (⇔ Pinnock 77), Kabamba (⇔ Brophy 70)
Subs not used: Doyle, Haunstrup, Brindley, Cameron, Whitehall
Goals: Tshibola (24), Burke (37 pen), Kiltie (57)
Referee: Greg Aitken
Match Report: Dave Black