The Lions suffered a late blow in Dingwall on Wednesday night as The Staggies inflicted last minute revenge to steal a point.
In extremely treacherous conditions in the Highlands, there wasn’t much to write home about by way of chances in the first half.
Ross Callachan tested Max Stryjek from distance early on, but it was bread and butter for the goalkeeper who held comfortably.
On the half hour mark though, the Livi keeper was a little more panicked as he watched the ball sail narrowly wide of his post from Livi captain Nicky Devlin. A mix up between Stryjek and the defender resulted in Devlin’s heavy back pass travelling beyond the Pole, but luckily for the pair the ball swerved wide of their own net.
Joel Nouble came close with a header towards the end of the half, but his effort flew just wide of the far post.
The second half was much more entertaining, and it was dominated by the visitors who made the perfect start. Scott Pittman picked up a loose clearance halfway inside the final third, and left for Alan Forrest who drove at the heart of the County defence. When he got to the edge of the box, the in-form winger curled an effort into the bottom corner beyond Laidlaw to put Livingston 1-0 up. It’s Forrest’s third goal in four games as he continues his incredible streak of performances.
Livi pushed for a second, and came close through Forrest again. Out on the left, Nouble showed tremendous skill to nutmeg his defender as he drove into the box before picking out his fellow wide man. Forrest didn’t connect properly with the ball, but a deflection sent it towards goal before it was cleared off the line.
Nouble did well again down the left wing, and this time picked out Devlin with a cross. The captain met the ball first time on the half volley, but sent his effort over the bar.
Bruce Anderson was next to try his luck after a perfectly executed counter attack. Devlin drove forward heroically from the back as he outpaced all in his wake before slipping through the striker. Anderson had just Laidlaw to beat, but the County goalkeeper stood firm and denied Livi’s top scorer with his feet.
Four minutes from time, another chance fell to The Lions to put the game to bed. This one was a golden opportunity. Some lovely play between Nouble, Pittman and Penrice led to the latter being brought down in the box as the visitors were awarded a penalty. Up stepped Ayo Obileye, who had a fantastic record from 12 yards, but the defender blazed the ball over the bar despite sending Laidlaw the wrong way.
Football, as ever, is a cruel sport and Livingston were to be punished for failing to capitalise on their domination and chances with one of the last kicks of the ball. Blair Spittal hung a cross into the box, and substitute Kayne Ramsey leaped highest to head into the back of the net as Stryek had come to punch, earning his side a precious point.
The game should have been long gone as Livi squandered chance after chance, with Ross County inflicting late damage on The Lions just like they’d done to them through Tom Parkes’ last-gasp winner and Ayo Obileye’ late equaliser in previous occasions.
Many would have taken a point before a ball was kicked, however the result will feel a lot like two points dropped in the circumstances with a win very much in sight.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Ross County: Laidlaw, Randall (Ramsay 83), Watson ▊, Iacovitti (Baldwin 77), Vokins, Spittal ▊, Tilson (Wright 83), Charles-Cook, Callachan, Hungbo (H.Paton 62), White
Subs not used: Drysdale, Samuel, B.Paton, Maynard-Brewer, Mackinnon
Goals: Ramsay (90)
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obileye ▊, Penrice, Holt ▊, Omeonga, Pittman, Bailey (Anderson 64 ▊), Forrest (Shinnie 80), Nouble (Boyes 90)
Subs not used: Maley, Longridge, McMillan, Kelly, Lewis, Sibbald
Goals: Forrest (50)
Referee: David Munro