St. Mirren and Livingston kicked off the Scottish Premiership season in Paisley this afternoon with an entertaining clash at St. Mirren Park.

After a fairly even opening thirty minutes, it was the hosts who opened the scoring with their first real chance as new signing Richard Tait bulleted a header beyond Robby McCrorie.

It was Livi who had probably had the slight advantage until that point but neither keeper had really been forced into action before McCrorie had to retrieve the ball from the back of his net.

The visitors almost drew themselves level five minutes before the break when Craig Sibbald’s looping strike from distance cracked the outside of Jak Alnwick’s post and went out when it had looked destined for the top corner.

Livi almost grabbed an equaliser just a few minutes after the restart as debutant Alan Forrest jinked his way through the Saints defence before watching his shot curl wide of the far post.

The visitors looked the far more likely of the two sides to score in the second half and created a number of chances without ever really making Jak Alnwick work for it.

There was disappointment for Livi with 20 minutes left when the impressive Craig Sibbald was forced off with a shoulder injury following a hefty collision.

St. Mirren must have thought they’d finished the game off when the ball fell to Obika but the striker fired his effort off the base of the post when it looked easier to score.

Despite the best effort of both sides, there wasn’t to be any more goals and the Buddies came away with a fantastic opening day win.

Here are three things we learned as the Buddies and Livi clashed in Paisley:

Livi’s hopes lie with Robby McCrorie and Lyndon Dykes

The on-loan keeper and in-demand striker are going to be vital for Gary Holt’s side this season as they look to build on an impressive campaign last term.

McCrorie has huge expectations on him at Rangers and a season of regular games at Livi should really help him – and the Scotland under-21 star has already impressed at the Tony Macaroni Arena after spending time on loan there last season.

Dykes was key to Livi’s success last season and was the focal point in Paisley as Livi struggled to create any real chances to test Jak Alwick in the Saints goal.

Buddies should surprise people this season

St Mirren are perennial relegation fodder when they are in the top-flight but Goodwin has the makings of a good side and might just surprise a few people this season. If they can get Jon Obika scoring regularly and new signings like Jak Alnwick, Marcus Fraser and Joe Shaugnessy can shore up the backline, then the Buddies could have a really good season.

If they can get a good run of form going early on, it might just set the stage for a push at a top-six place and one of the Buddies’ better seasons in recent memory.

Referees are just as bad in empty stadiums as they are full ones

Referees in Scotland are brutal at the best of times – with some of that put down to the pressure they face with thousands of fans on their back.

The referee’s performance with around 20 journalists (and Hamilton boss Brian Rice) was every bit as bad as some of the worst seen in bigger games. Whether it was deliberate fouls, deliberate handballs or blatant offsides, he missed almost all of them.

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