SPORT

Ryan Hardie

Ryan Hardie’s first goal of the season gave Livingston all three points as Gary Holt’s side overturned a first-half deficit at home to St Mirren.

St Mirren took the lead before half-time through Alfie Jones’ first goal for the club, but Scott Pittman equalised after the break.

Hardie, who was making his first start of the season, put the hosts ahead shortly after from close range.

And Craig Sibbald’s tap-in secured the points in the closing stages.

The result means Livingston return to the Scottish Premiership’s top six and maintain their impressive home record, losing just once this season.

St Mirren remain second from bottom and winless away from home.

A game of two halves

Livingston’s performances in either half were poles apart. A laboured and inspiration-lacking opening 45 minutes were replaced by a familiar spirited and potent second-half showing.

Hardie was the most fitting person on the pitch to seal the victory. It was the on-loan Rangers striker’s first goal of the season in his only start of the campaign so far.

He has been hampered by a long-term foot injury but there was no holding back when he put his laces through the ball and fired it high into the net.

Credit must go to Declan Gallagher, for it was he who put the initial low ball in for both Hardie’s winner and Pittman’s equaliser, and he himself would later go on to hit the crossbar with a looping header.

Pittman – a reliable and trusty performer in Livingston’s midfield – was another merited scorer of his third goal of the season.

And Hardie was not the only one opening his account for the season, with substitute Sibbald’s finish – after Danny Rogers could only parry Pittman’s low effort – the former Falkirk midfielder first, too.

At one stage it had looked so bright for St Mirren. Jones’ goal got them off to a good start but a lack of marking allowed Jones him space to do the business from Adam Hammill’s exquisite delivery.

‘Livingston here to stay’ – analysis

Livingston aren’t going to go away. Every time we think the fairytale season back in the top flight is going to gradually descend into a relegation battle, they roar back with another victory.

They are now sixth in the table again, a point above Aberdeen and just three shy of St Johnstone, who have been getting high praise.

With Hardie finding his shooting boots immediately after returning from injury, you would have to think more good things lie ahead.

St Mirren had encouraging results against Hearts and Hibs recently but this shows there has not quite been a major turning point as yet – they need strengthening in the January transfer window.

Line-ups

Livingston

  • 1Kelly
  • 31GallagherBooked at 81mins
  • 26Halkett
  • 4Lithgow
  • 15Lawless
  • 8Pittman
  • 6Byrne
  • 7Jacobs
  • 3LamieSubstituted forMcMillanat 45+2’minutes
  • 9HardieSubstituted forHamiltonat 68’minutes
  • 45MengaSubstituted forSibbaldat 75’minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McMillan
  • 10Sibbald
  • 11Cadden
  • 19Burns
  • 21Stewart
  • 30Hamilton
  • 33Lawson

St Mirren

  • 25Rogers
  • 15Baird
  • 35FerdinandSubstituted forSmithat 71’minutes
  • 19Jones
  • 2McGinnSubstituted forWillockat 10’minutesBooked at 71mins
  • 21Hodson
  • 4McGinn
  • 27Edwards
  • 39Erhahon
  • 77Hammill
  • 11Jackson

Substitutes

  • 10Smith
  • 16McShane
  • 22Willock
  • 26Lyness
  • 28MacPherson
  • 40Breadner
  • 44Eckersley
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:1,727

Match Stats

Home TeamLivingstonAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home10
Away3
Shots on Target
Home4
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away2
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Livingston 3, St. Mirren 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Livingston 3, St. Mirren 1.

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Hammill (St. Mirren).

Goal!

Goal! Livingston 3, St. Mirren 1. Craig Sibbald (Livingston) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Matty Willock.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Alfie Jones.

Booking

Declan Gallagher (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Adam Hammill (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Livingston).

Attempt missed. Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is just a bit too high.

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Livingston).

Adam Hammill (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Craig Sibbald replaces Dolly Menga.

Foul by Steven Lawless (Livingston).

Lee Hodson (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Cameron Smith replaces Anton Ferdinand because of an injury.

Booking

Matty Willock (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Declan Gallagher (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Matty Willock (St. Mirren).

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Lee Hodson (St. Mirren).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Jack Hamilton replaces Ryan Hardie.

Declan Gallagher (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren).

Goal!

Goal! Livingston 2, St. Mirren 1. Ryan Hardie (Livingston) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Edwards (St. Mirren).

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Livingston).

Stephen McGinn (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Shaun Byrne (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Foul by Jack Baird (St. Mirren).

Ryan Hardie (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Dolly Menga (Livingston).

Alfie Jones (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Liam Kelly.

Attempt saved. Adam Hammill (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Matty Willock (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jack McMillan (Livingston).

goal