Match Report: Livingston 3-1 St Mirren

St Mirren fell to a disappointing defeat at the Tony Macaroni Arena this afternoon.

The Buddies took a first half lead throw Alfie Jones, but a poor second half performance saw goals from Scott Pittman, Ryan Hardie and Craig Sibbald give Livingston all three points.

It was a scrappy first half with neither side creating much in the opening stages bar Steven Lawless sending a powerful effort over on two minutes.

Saints were dealt a blow on 10 minutes when Paul McGinn had to be substituted following a clash of heads at a corner kick, though it doesn't look like it will rule the full-back out of action going forward.

Livingston's defenders combined to give the Lions the best real opportunity of the game so far when a long throw from Alan Lithgow was hooked wide by Declan Gallagher on 25 minutes.

However, it was a St Mirren defender who would open the scoring as Alfie Jones popped up on 36 minutes to grab his first goal for the Buddies. Loanee Ryan Edwards was blocked on the right wing which saw referee Andrew Dallas award Saints a free kick. Adam Hammill flung the ball into the box where it met the head of Alfie Jones who guided home to put St Mirren in front.

Saints seemed buoyed by the goal, but only had a deflected Hammill strike from the edge of the box which was gathered routinely by Liam Kelly to show for it.

Any hopes of carrying that momentum into the second half were extinguished pretty soon after the break. Gallagher drove forward for the home side and played the ball into Scott Pittman who slid the ball low past Danny Rogers to level the scores just five minutes into the second half. 

The Buddies did try to lift themselves and could have been back in front if it wasn't for Kelly pushing away a low Hammill free kick from 25 yards out a few minutes after the equaliser.

In truth though it was the home side who were on top with Keaghan Jacobs not too far away with a long range strike on the hour mark. 

But just four minutes later Livi would find themselves ahead. The Buddies couldn't clear their lines after a blocked Pittman shot found its way back into the Saints box. It fell invitingly for Ryan Hardie who didn't need to think twice as he slammed the ball into the net from just a few yards out.

Frustratingly, it was still the home side who looked the more threatening after their second goal and they nearly added a third on 70 minutes when Gallagher's header looked like it would loop in only for the ball to crash off the bar.

While Saints were treated to an Adam Hammill wonder-goal from his own half on Wednesday night against Hibernian, the Buddies were almost on the receiving end when a slack clearance from Rogers was gathered by Jacobs who tried to catch out the on-loan goalkeeper from the half-way line. The Livi midfielder wasn't all that far away as it just sailed over.

The home side wrapped up the three points with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Rogers couldn't gather Pittman's effort which allowed substitute Craig Sibbald to tap home into the empty net.

Full Time: Livingston 3-1 St Mirren.

St Mirren: Rogers, P.McGinn (Willock 10), Baird, Ferdinand (Smith 71), Jones, Erhahon, Hodson, S.McGinn, Edwards, Hammill, Jackson
Subs Not Used: Lyness, MacPherson, Eckersley, Willock, McShane, Breadner, Smith

Livingston: Kelly, Lithgow, Gallagher, Halkett, Lamie (McMillan 45), Jacobs, Byrne, Pittman, Lawless, Menga (Sibbald 75), Hardie (Hamilton 68)
Subs Not Used: Stewart, Sibbald, Cadden, Burns, Hamilton, Lawson

Referee: Andrew Dallas 
Assistant Referee: Frank Connor
Assistant Referee: Dougie Potter
Fourth Official: Grant Irvine

Attendance: 1,727

Gallery pictures by Allan Picken © - Allan Picken Photography

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