Jordan White’s fourth goal in three games made it three games unbeaten for Livi as they battled back to secure a battling draw against Queen of the South, who had started the day at the top of the table.
A Kyle Jacobs own goal had put Queens in front in the first half but White slotted home a penalty midway through the second half to secure a well-earned post against their hosts, who finished the match with ten men after James Fowler was red-carded shortly after the equaliser.
The two sides had, of course, already met this season – Livi running out 4-3 winners after extra time in the Petrofac Training Cup first round – and Queens set about trying to exact their revenge with a strong start. They had the ball in the net inside six minutes but Gavin Reilly was adjudged to have been offside so Livi were spared. Reilly maintained that threat and passed up a great chance when he met Daniel Carmichael’s low cross but could only steer his shot wide. He was involved yet again barely a minute later but was again off target, this time with a header which flew wide.
Queens were firmly on top and came close again when a misjudged clearance from Myles Hippolyte fell to Ian McShane but he shot over. On 28 minutes another good chance was passed up as Iain Russell chose to square the ball to Derek Lyle rather than shoot himself and Lyle could only put his effort wide.
For all their dominance, Queens’ finishing had been poor so it was little surprise that when they did finally make the breakthrough, it was the touch of a Livi player that proved decisive as a harmless ball in from Carmichael was inexplicably turned into his own net by Kyle Jacobs.
Buoyed by the goal, Queens continued to dominate and McShane swung in a dangerous free kick which White did well to clear at the back post. From the resulting corner, a stramash in the box resulted in an outstanding point-blank save from Darren Jamieson which ensured that Livi went in at the break with only a one-goal deficit.
Livi made two half-time changes, bringing Glen and Mullen on for Robertson and Hippolyte, and started the half with a bit more urgency, coming close when Keaghan Jacobs’ cross found White but he could only head straight at Zander Clark. Queens went up the other end but Chris Higgins could only head a free kick wide.
Livi were looking better and White did well to hold the ball up before teeing up Glen who smashed his shot over. Within a few minutes, though, Livi were level after they were awarded a penalty when Glen was clattered by Queens’ keeper Clark. After Russell was booked for dissent, White stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way and bring Livi back level. The momentum swung further Livi’s way a few minutes later as Fowler was shown his second yellow card for a foul on Mullen to leave Queens down to ten men.
Livi came within a whisker of the lead with a quarter of an hour to go when Burton O’Brien curled a fine free kick towards the top corner which Clark did extremely well to save. Not to be outdone, Jamieson produced a stunning stop at the other end to keep out Lewis Kidd’s effort from the edge of the box.
Livi ended the game strongly and a fine cross from Mullen just evaded Glen and White before Glen just lost control of McKenna’s through ball to allow Clark to gather. Keaghan then saw a shot parried from a short corner before Glen was denied by a fingertip save after being brilliantly found by sub Mark Burchill as Livi settled for a share of the spoils.
Queen of the South: 1 Clark, 3 Holt, 4 Dowie, 5 Durnan, 6 Higgins, 10 Reilly (Dzierzawski 74), 11 Russell, 17 Carmichael (Kidd 68), 18 McShane, 19 Lyle (Baird 68), 26 Fowler
Subs not used:
21 Slattery, 20 Atkinson, 23 Smith, 22 Hooper
Livingston: 1 Jamieson, 2 Talbot, 5 Fordyce, 6 Ky.Jacobs, 7 Kn.Jacobs, 8 O'Brien (Burchill 87), 10 Robertson (Glen 46), 11 Hippolyte (Mullen 46), 14 Gallagher, 17 McKenna, 18 White
Subs not used: 2 Sives, 16 Beaumont, 21 Grant, 31 Rutherford
Referee: Greg Aitken
Match report: Andrew Crawford