St Mirren 1-1 Livingston

Livingston manager Davie Martindale made four changes for this one after the Lions suffered their joint biggest defeat of the season at the hands of Dundee United. 

Marvin Bartley and Scott Robinson missed out through injury, so in came Alan Forrest and Gavin Reilly. Efe Ambrose came in for the suspended Jack Fitzwater, while there was a change in goal with Robby McCrorie replacing Max Stryjek looking to impress ahead or next weekend’s cup final.

Things got off to a brilliant start for Livingston, as they looked to take points off the Saints for the first time this season.

Craig Sibbald’s free-kick was put into a dangerous area, and as St Mirren tried to clear, the ball hit the unfortunate Conor McCarthy and trickled into the back of the net with Jack Alnwick helpless. It was the slice of luck Livi needed after a couple of poor results.

St Mirren had their first attempt on goal through Cammy MacPherson, who was drifting into pockets of space in the midfield and looking to create every time he got on the ball. The midfielder wasn’t afraid to shoot as well as he stung the palms of McCrorie, testing the on-loan Rangers stopper.

The Lions were next to have an effort on goal. Sibbald was again involved as he jinked by a few players and fired an effort low towards goal, but Alnwick was down sharpy to his left to push wide.

On 31 minutes, St Mirren drew level and it was that man MacPherson with a screamer. Jon Obika laid the ball off for the midfielder, who shifted it onto his weaker left foot and smashed the ball past McCrorie from just over 20 yards.

Both sides went looking for the three points, while at the same time they were fearful of going too gung-ho and being vulnerable at the back.

After a nice counter attacking move from the visitors, Jaze Kabia’s cross looking for the marauding Nicky Devlin was cut out by Alnwick.

Then, Livingston had some solid defending of their own with a few important blocks. Ethan Erhahon had his effort blocked by Devlin on the edge of the box, but the ball still fell kindly to Ilkay Durmus. The midfielder looked to strike it first time towards goal, but out sharply was Steve Lawson to divert it wide of the target.

The last chance of the game fell to the hosts. Obika’s knockdown fell to August’s match winner Richard Tait. The defender tried his luck on the half volley, forcing McCrorie into a save. The keeper couldn’t hold the powerful effort, but claimed it comfortably on the second attempt.

So, a share of the spoils in Paisley for St Mirren and Livingston. It meant that the Lions had now taken at least one point from every side in the division, but it also meant that attention turned to next Sunday’s Betfred Cup Final.

All roads led to Hampden, where Livi looked to beat St Johnstone wnd repeat their success of 2004. It was a chance to lift only the second major trophy in the club’s history.

St Mirren: Alnwick, Tait, Shaughnessy, McCarthy, Flynn, Obika, Durmus, MacPherson (Erwin 73), Connolly (McAllister 60), Fraser, Erhahon
Subs not used: Lyness, Urminsky, Finlayson, Henderson, Jamieson
Goals: MacPherson (32)

Livingston: McCrorie, Devlin, Ambrose, Guthrie , Serrano, Holt, Sibbald (Lawson 66), Mullin (Emmanuel-Thomas 69), Pittman, Forrest (Taylor-Sinclair 56), Reilly (Kabia 64)
Subs not used: Stryjek, McMillan, Taylor-Sinclair, Pignatiello, Tiffoney, Poplatnik
Goals: McCarthy OG (8)

Referee: Willie Collum
HT: 1-1
Att: BCD
Match Report: Calum Brown

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