Match Report: Livingston 2-1 St Mirren

St Mirren were consigned to just a second loss in 2020 as the Buddies were beaten 2-1 by Livingston. 

Jim Goodwin made one change to the side that drew 1-1 against Motherwell on Saturday with Junior Morias coming in in place of Jamie McGrath, while Saints were boosted by the news that Lee Hodson had shaken off the injury he suffered in Saturday's Scottish Cup tie.

Both sides had opportunities in the opening couple of minutes of the contest. Jon Obika was a toe away from scoring into an empty net with just three minutes on the clock. The striker looked to latch on to a long ball over the top from Morias. Both Obika and Livingston goalkeeper Robby McCrorie seemed to hesitate before the goalie got in just ahead of the striker to clear. 

Immediately from the clearance it was the home side's turn to attack with Saints having to clear a Jon Guthrie header off the line. Guthrie was involved again ten minutes later when he met a knock-down from Ciaron Brown but hooked over from close range. 

Saints had a great chance to go one-on-one with McCrorie after a quick counter. Alex Jakubiak had peeled away from the defence in acres of space but Obika over-hit the pass sending it straight to the goalkeeper.

And how the Buddies would rue passing up that opportunity when Livingston would take the lead less than two minutes later. Lyndon Dykes went down inside the box under the challenge from Conor McCarthy. It seemed a controversial decision with very little contact appearing to take place between the defender and the striker. But referee David Munro awarded the spot-kick and Steven Lawless made no mistake from 12 yards as he sent Hladky the wrong way to open the scoring. 

That was the difference at the interval and the Buddies couldn't have gotten the second-half off to a worst start if they tried. Despite taking kick-off, the Buddies lost the ball with half-time substitute Keaghan Jacobs finding Lyndon Dykes who ran clear of the Saints defence and slotted home from close range just 20 seconds after the restart.

A difficult task had been made even tougher but the Buddies didn't let the heads go down and pulled a goal back on 50 minutes. A nice passage of play culminated in Cammy MacPherson sliding the ball through to Obika who showed good composure to knock beyond McCrorie to score his eighth goal of the season and half the deficit.

Saints put the pressure on and could have been level two minutes later only for Obika to head just over from inside the box. 

With 30 minutes remaining Hladky was forced into action as he made a brilliant save to keep the scoreline down after Scott Robinson had found himself in the clear. The forward charged into the box but was denied by the Czech goalkeeper's foot. Dykes also added his second and Livingston's third on 65 minutes when he headed off the post from a corner.

The Buddies continued to search for an equaliser heading into the closing minutes with McCarthy going agonisingly close with a header that was deflected wide. Then, in stoppage time, Calum Waters sent a terrific ball into the box to meet the head of Obika who nodded over. 

Full-Time: Livingston 2-1 St Mirren

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

Livingston: McCrorie, McMillan (Lawson 80), Taylor-Sinclair, Brown, Guthrie, Bartley (Jacobs 46), Pittman, Sibbald, Lawless, Robinson (Menga 73), Dykes
Subs Not Used: Schofield, Crawford, Souda, Lamie

Referee: David Munro
Assistant Referee: Graeme Stewart
Assistant Referee: Sean Carr
Fourth Official: Kevin Graham

Attendance: 1,263