SPL

Livingston boost survival hopes after securing first league win since October

By Sports Desk February 17, 2024

Livingston recorded a league victory for the first time since October after defeating St Mirren 1-0 to breathe new life into their cinch Premiership survival hopes.

Tete Yengi slammed home in added time of the first half to earn the hosts a priceless success that has helped the them reduce the gap between them and their nearest rivals Ross County to just three points.

St Mirren were awarded a penalty with 13 minutes remaining, but Shamal George came up with a vital save to keep out Mikael Mandron’s spot-kick and end Livi’s run of 17 games without a league win.

Marcus Fraser glanced Greg Kiltie’s teasing cross wide of the target as St Mirren threatened in the opening exchanges.

Saints were trying to force the issue and Mandron just failed to get the break of the ball after Scott Tanser fizzed over a low delivery.

Livingston almost opened the scoring with their first attack of the match as Andrew Shinnie’s header struck the inside of a post, however, the effort would have been unlikely to count due to a late flag from the assistant referee.

Zach Hemming in the away goal had been a virtual spectator for the majority of the first half-hour, but he would be forced into a good save when he punched away Stephen Kelly’s powerful strike.

The offside flag spared the blushes of Scott with seven minutes remaining in the first half, George could only parry Caolan Boyd-Munce’s low drive as far as the striker, who somehow turned the ball over the top from inside the six-yard box.

In the final minutes of the half, Boyd-Munce saw his long-range shot drift wide before the home side opened the scoring three minutes into added time.

Ayo Obileye’s rose highest to meet Kelly’s corner and Hemming was only able to divert the ball into the path of Yengi who slammed home.

It was the first time since August that Livi had held a lead at half-time, but it almost proved to be short-lived as Stephen Robinson’s men began the second half on the front foot.

Kiltie collected Mandron’s lay-off and blasted past the keeper, only for an incredible headed clearance by Michael Nottingham to prevent what looked like a certain leveller.

The visitors would pass up further opportunities when Tanser nodded past the post and Kwon Hyeok-kyu failed to hit the target with a volley from the edge of the box.

Robinson made a double change when he introduced Kyle Baccus and Olutoysi Olusanya for Keanu Baccus and Kwon – and the change almost paid dividends.

Referee Euan Anderson waved play on when Olusanya hit the deck inside the area following a challenge by Carson, a lengthy VAR check would follow and the visitors were awarded a penalty.

Mandron was tasked with dispatching from the spot, though George would dive low to deny the former Motherwell striker.

The game was almost put beyond doubt when Hemming’s poor kick landed at the feet of Kelly, and his audacious effort from 40 yards crept just past the post with the Saints goalkeeper chasing.

Seven minutes of added time were met with anxious groans from the home supporters and they survived close scares when Mandron and Charles Dunne both failed to convert gilt-edged chances.

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