Livingston 1-1 St Johnstone: Saints set for relegation play-off after late draw

LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND - MAY 07: Livingston's Jack Fitzwater celebrates after making it 1-1 during a cinch Premiership match between Livingston and St Johnstone at the Tony Macaroni Arena, on May 07, 2022, in Livingston, Scotland.  (Photo by Roddy Scott / SNS Group)

St Johnstone face a relegation play-off tie after Jack Fitzwater’s last-minute equaliser secured Livingston a 1-1 draw on the Tony Macaroni Enviornment.

Fitzwater cancelled out Glenn Middleton’s opener to depart Saints, who can not catch Tenth-placed Aberdeen, six factors above bottom-placed Dundee with two video games remaining.

Middleton bundled residence fellow substitute James Brown’s cross on the again put up for his first league purpose of the season, earlier than Fitzwater fired the hosts degree within the dying seconds from a rebound after Zander Clark had brilliantly stored out an preliminary effort from Scott Pittman.

Livingston boss David Martindale had unsurprisingly named an unchanged aspect on the again of two spectacular victories in opposition to Aberdeen and Hibernian, whereas his reverse quantity Callum Davidson made three alterations after final weekend’s poor 1-0 defeat at residence to St Mirren – with Dan Cleary, Stevie Could and Cammy MacPherson all coming in.

It was the away aspect who virtually went in entrance inside the first 30 seconds, as Melker Hallberg despatched in a harmful low cross however Callum Hendry may solely clip over from six yards.

Livingston had been subsequent to go shut in an entertaining opening five-minute interval, with Joel Nouble skewing a shot large earlier than Could shot straight at Ivan Konovalov following a swift counter-attack for the guests.

After this vastly open early begin to proceedings, the match settled down with Saints having fun with extra of the ball with out creating a lot in the way in which of possibilities till Konovalov was referred to as into motion once more simply after the half-hour mark, clawing away a harmful Cleary flick-on from a Shaun Rooney lengthy throw.

The tireless Could then went down within the field as he chased a stray ball alongside Ayo Obileye however referee Willie Collum was uninterested, a lot to the frustration of Saints supervisor Davidson.

Livi then loved their finest spell of the match, with Odin Bailey seeing an effort deflected large earlier than Andrew Shinnie fired wildly over after a robust mazy run from Nouble.

Picture:
Livingston’s Jack Fitzwater equalised late on

Because the momentum continued to swing forwards and backwards, Saints put collectively their finest transfer of the sport, which culminated within the tireless Could taking pictures simply large from the sting of the world because the groups went in degree on the break.

Livingston ought to have gone forward within the 56th minute as Obileye’s ball put Bailey clear by on purpose however Clark made an important save together with his foot.

Martindale launched Alan Forrest who virtually made an instantaneous affect, chopping in from the left and curling a right-foot shot inches large of the far put up.

Moments later, it was the away aspect’s substitutes who mixed to make the distinction.

After good work down the left from Rooney, Brown despatched in a scrumptious inswinging cross which was met by Middleton, whose header beat Konovalov regardless of his finest efforts.

That regarded to have earned the away aspect all three factors however they weren’t in a position to maintain on.

Within the ninetieth minute, Pittman’s header was brilliantly saved as soon as once more by Clark, however he was unable to stop Fitzwater from firing residence the rebound as Livi levelled.

There was nonetheless time for St Johnstone to come back near a winner however Konovalov stored out Hendry and Middleton in added time because the factors had been shared.

What the managers stated

Livingston supervisor David Martindale: “We had been a bit torpid in the present day, I believed within the first half, however I would like to provide St Johnstone a little bit of credit score as properly.

“I believed it had 0-0 written on all of it day lengthy then we do not defend the again space and we enable a left-wing again to come back in on his proper foot.

“Truthful play to the lads, the sport may have petered out at 1-0 however they fought actually onerous and acquired again into the sport, and created possibilities to attempt to win the sport of soccer.

“If it had ended 0-0, followers had been in all probability wanting their a refund however they have two objectives to allow them to’t ask for it again now!”

St Johnstone supervisor Callum Davidson: “I am going to sum it up between final week and this week – I am lots happier with the boys’ efficiency, I believed we tried to play, we tried to get on the ball and transfer it and trigger Livingston issues.

“The late purpose may be related, clearly we’d like to ensure we get two good outcomes however we knew the place we had been with different outcomes so it did not actually make a distinction.

“I do not like shedding when we do not have a go and do not play properly sufficient and that was final week. It was actually disappointing final week and I used to be happy with the response from the gamers in the present day.

“Glenn Middleton got here on and gave us a wee spark and I believed Stevie Could was good. I performed him in the present day as a result of I believed he would get in behind and he would work onerous and he did that.

“We had an opportunity on the finish (by Callum Hendry), clearly I am disillusioned with the purpose however lots happier with the efficiency.”

What’s subsequent?

Livingston go to St Mirren on Wednesday night time within the Scottish Premiership; kick-off 7.45pm. Aberdeen are at St Johnstone the identical night, with the identical kick-off time.

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