Livingston 2-1 St Mirren

Livi put their Highland horrors firmly behind them with a narrow but deserved victory over St Mirren at a bitterly cold Tony Macaroni Arena.

Stevie Lawless’ penalty gave the Lions a half-time lead that was added to within 30 seconds of the restart by Lyndon Dykes and, although Jonathan Obika pulled one back for the Buddies soon after, that was enough for Livi to get back to winning ways and maintain their five-point cushion in the top half of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Gary Holt reversed the five changes he made from the Scottish Cup defeat to Inverness four days earlier as Robby McCrorie, Jack McMillan, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Craig Sibbald and Scott Robinson returned to the starting line-up in place of Ryan Schofield, Steve Lawson, Ricki Lamie, Keaghan Jacobs and Aymen Souda.

Livi were eager to make up for their back-to-back losses in the Highlands and were almost in front inside three minutes when, McMillan’s cross was turned behind for a corner, Jon Guthrie got on the end of Sibbald’s delivery only to see his header hooked off the line by a Saints defender. Guthrie then should have done better ten minutes when Ciaron Brown turned McMillan’s cross into his path but, leaning back, he fired high over the bar from close range.

The Lions were well on top and went close again on 17 minutes when Scott Pittman was fouled 25 yards out and Taylor-Sinclair took advantage of the jumping wall to fire the resulting free kick in low, Vaclav Hladky doing well to hold under pressure from Marvin Bartley. The visitors then had their first chance six minutes later as Conor McCarthy got on the end of a corner but his header was straight at McCrorie. Junior Morias then picked up the game’s first yellow card soon after for hauling down Taylor-Sinclair.

Livi pulled a training ground routine from a corner on 26 minutes as Sibbald drilled it low to the edge of the box for McMillan but he fluffed his lines and the visitors were able to clear. The Lions would then be handed a golden chance to take the lead eight minutes later as Dyke

Livi pulled a training ground routine from a corner on 26 minutes as Sibbald drilled it low to the edge of the box for McMillan but he fluffed his lines and the visitors were able to clear. Gary Holt’s men would then be handed a golden chance to take the lead eight minutes later as Dykes was sent scampering clear and, in his attempts to catch up, McCarthy clipped the Aussie striker’s heels just inside the box, with referee David Munro pointing straight to the spot. Lawless sent Hladky the wrong way from 12 yards to give the Lions a deserved lead at the break.

Half-time: Livingston 1-0 St Mirren

Livi were forced into a change at the interval as Bartley stayed inside with an ankle injury to be replaced by Jacobs and he had the sort of immediate impact substitutes dream of as, barely 20 seconds after the restart, he played a perfect ball over the top for Dykes and he drew Hladky out before slipping a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner.

No sooner had the Lions doubled their lead, though, than it was halved again as a similar through ball on 50 minutes released Obika and he got away from Brown before slotting past the onrushing McCrorie. That was the first league goal Livi had conceded at home in 628 minutes but Obika almost had another barely two minutes later when he met a cross from the left but headed over from close range.

Livi could, perhaps should, have restored their two-goal cushion on the hour mark when Sibbald played a terrific through ball for Robinson who did well to hold off the Buddies defenders but Hladky stretched out his right arm to make a fine point blank save. Dykes then got on the end of a Sibbald corner at the far post five minutes later but his downward header crashed back off the woodwork and out of play.

More good play from Dykes almost brought a third for Livi on 67 minutes as he burst down the right before firing a terrific ball in that was agonisingly out of the reach of Robinson, who was straining every sinew to get on the end of it. Both sides made a change six minutes later, Dolly Menga replacing Robinson for the Lions and Kyle McAllister coming on for Morias for the visitors.

Sam Foley tested McCrorie from distance on 77 minutes but his effort was comfortably held by the Livi stopper before Jamie McGarth replaced the ineffective Alex Jakubiak for the Buddies soon after. Lawson then took McMillan’s place in Livi’s final change two minutes later.

Livi were managing the game well and Menga produced a superb run from midway inside his own half to win his side corner and relieve a bit of pressure the visitors had been looking to build. Danny Mullen then replaced Ilkay Durmuş in the visitors’ final change six minutes from time.

The visitors should perhaps have nicked a point in added time when Calum Waters picked out Obika but he headed high and wide from close range when he should have done better as the Lions held on for a seventh consecutive home win in all competitions.

Full-time: Livingston 2-1 St Mirren

Livi put their Highland horrors firmly behind them with a narrow but deserved victory over St Mirren at a bitterly cold Tony Macaroni Arena.

Stevie Lawless’ penalty gave the Lions a half-time lead that was added to within 30 seconds of the restart by Lyndon Dykes and, although Jonathan Obika pulled one back for the Buddies soon after, that was enough for Livi to get back to winning ways and maintain their five-point cushion in the top half of the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Gary Holt reversed the five changes he made from the Scottish Cup defeat to Inverness four days earlier as Robby McCrorie, Jack McMillan, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Craig Sibbald and Scott Robinson returned to the starting line-up in place of Ryan Schofield, Steve Lawson, Ricki Lamie, Keaghan Jacobs and Aymen Souda.

Livi were eager to make up for their back-to-back losses in the Highlands and were almost in front inside three minutes when, McMillan’s cross was turned behind for a corner, Jon Guthrie got on the end of Sibbald’s delivery only to see his header hooked off the line by a Saints defender. Guthrie then should have done better ten minutes when Ciaron Brown turned McMillan’s cross into his path but, leaning back, he fired high over the bar from close range.

The Lions were well on top and went close again on 17 minutes when Scott Pittman was fouled 25 yards out and Taylor-Sinclair took advantage of the jumping wall to fire the resulting free kick in low, Vaclav Hladky doing well to hold under pressure from Marvin Bartley. The visitors then had their first chance six minutes later as Conor McCarthy got on the end of a corner but his header was straight at McCrorie. Junior Morias then picked up the game’s first yellow card soon after for hauling down Taylor-Sinclair.

Livi pulled a training ground routine from a corner on 26 minutes as Sibbald drilled it low to the edge of the box for McMillan but he fluffed his lines and the visitors were able to clear. The Lions would then be handed a golden chance to take the lead eight minutes later as Dyke

Livi pulled a training ground routine from a corner on 26 minutes as Sibbald drilled it low to the edge of the box for McMillan but he fluffed his lines and the visitors were able to clear. Gary Holt’s men would then be handed a golden chance to take the lead eight minutes later as Dykes was sent scampering clear and, in his attempts to catch up, McCarthy clipped the Aussie striker’s heels just inside the box, with referee David Munro pointing straight to the spot. Lawless sent Hladky the wrong way from 12 yards to give the Lions a deserved lead at the break.

Half-time: Livingston 1-0 St Mirren

Livi were forced into a change at the interval as Bartley stayed inside with an ankle injury to be replaced by Jacobs and he had the sort of immediate impact substitutes dream of as, barely 20 seconds after the restart, he played a perfect ball over the top for Dykes and he drew Hladky out before slipping a pinpoint finish into the bottom corner.

No sooner had the Lions doubled their lead, though, than it was halved again as a similar through ball on 50 minutes released Obika and he got away from Brown before slotting past the onrushing McCrorie. That was the first league goal Livi had conceded at home in 628 minutes but Obika almost had another barely two minutes later when he met a cross from the left but headed over from close range.

Livi could, perhaps should, have restored their two-goal cushion on the hour mark when Sibbald played a terrific through ball for Robinson who did well to hold off the Buddies defenders but Hladky stretched out his right arm to make a fine point blank save. Dykes then got on the end of a Sibbald corner at the far post five minutes later but his downward header crashed back off the woodwork and out of play.

More good play from Dykes almost brought a third for Livi on 67 minutes as he burst down the right before firing a terrific ball in that was agonisingly out of the reach of Robinson, who was straining every sinew to get on the end of it. Both sides made a change six minutes later, Dolly Menga replacing Robinson for the Lions and Kyle McAllister coming on for Morias for the visitors.

Sam Foley tested McCrorie from distance on 77 minutes but his effort was comfortably held by the Livi stopper before Jamie McGarth replaced the ineffective Alex Jakubiak for the Buddies soon after. Lawson then took McMillan’s place in Livi’s final change two minutes later.

Livi were managing the game well and Menga produced a superb run from midway inside his own half to win his side corner and relieve a bit of pressure the visitors had been looking to build. Danny Mullen then replaced Ilkay Durmuş in the visitors’ final change six minutes from time.

The visitors should perhaps have nicked a point in added time when Calum Waters picked out Obika but he headed high and wide from close range when he should have done better as the Lions held on for a seventh consecutive home win in all competitions.

Full-time: Livingston 2-1 St Mirren


Livingston: McCrorie, McMillan (Lawson 80), Taylor-Sinclair, Brown, Guthrie, Bartley (Jacobs 45), Pittman, Sibbald, Lawless, Robinson (Menga 73), Dykes
Subs not used: Schofield, Crawford, Souda, Lamie
Goals: Lawless (34 pen), Dykes (46)

St Mirren: Hladky, Hodson, McCarthy, Famewo, Waters, Morias (McAllister 74), Foley, MacPherson, Durmus (Mullen 84), Jakubiak (McGrath 79), Obika
Subs not used: Andreu, Cooke, Lyness, Wallace
Goals: Obika (50)

Referee: David Munro
Att: 1,263
Match Report: Andy Crawford
Photo Album: Rae  Irvine


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