Mark Gillespie was forced into making a terrific save to stop Livingston taking the lead seven minutes in. Jon Guthrie’s header at the backpost found Scott Robinson, but the Well keeper showed brilliant reflexes to stop the ball from hitting the net.
He was called into action a minute later as Scott Pittman broke through on goal, spreading his body well to deny the Livi midfielder a goal. Gary Holt’s men had the better chances in the opening 30 minutes but Motherwell were managing to hold a 0-0 scoreline.
Gillespie made another great save from a good Pittman strike with 33 minutes on the clock, handling the ball well from a low driven effort. Robinson was denied by Gillespie yet again from close range shortly afterwards.
Jack McMillan’s cutback across goal found no takers as the goal was wide open, converted safely behind by former Livingston defender Declan Gallagher. Holt was probably left wondering how his side weren’t at least ahead at the interval.
Chances were few and far between early in the second half. Livi striker Robinson had one header go over before Gillespie appeared to hurt himself blocking Marvin Bartley’s run, but he managed to carry on.
Eventually former Well man Taylor-Sinclair broke his former club’s resistance with a free header at the backpost. It was enough to secure the victory for Livingston.
They move closer to Motherwell in the table with this win whilst the Steelmen’s advantage in third is now down to three points. Here are three things we learned.
Gillespie does his best to keep Lions at bay
There aren’t many superlatives that can describe Gillespie’s performance, first half especially. Four or five top drawer saves where made to keep Motherwell in the game at 0-0.
In most games, Livi would have been cruising at half time. The Well stopper gave his side a platform to keep striving for victory with his reflexes and handling. He could do nothing about the goal which won Livingston the three points.
He’s out of contract at the end of the season, and if he does indeed depart, Motherwell fans should savour Gillespie whilst he is still contracted at Fir Park.
Immovable home object v Unstoppable away force
Going into this game there was an interesting narrative to consider. Livingston had won their last five home games whilst Motherwell had won their last five on the road.
Something had to give in West Lothian and eventually a run of results were broken. The Lions were simply a class above Motherwell on the day, winning the key battles which helped secure a sixth-straight home win.
Livingston in Europe?
Imagine mentioning the words Livingston and European football in the same sentence at the start of the season. You would have been laughed at, told how such a small club on an even smaller budget can cope with such a demand after losing several key players.
Fast forward to February and it’s no laughing matter. Holt’s side are four points off Aberdeen in fourth and seven off Motherwell in third. Fixtures against bottom six sides in Ross County and St Mirren up next also present great opportunities to claim more points.
Perhaps Livi are the dark horse to keep an eye on in the race for European football.