Eight minutes into the first half and referee Kevin Clancy was left with a decision to make after Nicke Kabamba lunged into Jon Guthrie deep inside the Lions half. The striker’s challenge was both late and high but Clancy opted for a yellow card and the 27-year-old was left walking the tightrope for the remainder of the game.
Livingston were much the better side throughout the first 45 minutes, but apart from Guthrie’s effort and a Scott Pittman goal disallowed for offside, the West Lothian side rarely threatened Danny Rogers in the Killie goal. Thing looked bleaker for the Alex Dyer’s side with his team failing to cause any significant trouble for the away backline.
Livi were unlucky not to be ahead as both teams headed down the tunnel for half-time. Despite failing to threaten for the entire first half, Kilmarnock were offered an excellent opportunity to take the lead two minutes after the restart.
The Lions failed to clear their lines inside the box and in amongst a pile of bodies, Nicky Devlin was judged to have handled the ball on the floor with the referee pointing to the spot. Chris Burke stepped up to take the spot kick and sent Max Stryjek the wrong way. But the Killie lead was short lived.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was given the freedom to power towards the Killie goal and thumped a strike past Rogers who could have done better. Three minutes was all that separated the goals. the match all-square once again after 51 minutes.
Killie had a few chances towards the end of the match, but none of them looked likely to hit the back of the net. With the match deep into injury-time, Robinson would snatch the three points for his side, chipping Danny Rogers from the edge of the box and peeling away to celebrate with his teammates and manager.
It was a goal that was thoroughly deserved for the West Lothian side. Livingston remain inside the top six after the late winner while Kilmarnock sit only three points above eleventh place Hamilton Accies. Here are three things we learned.
Kilmarnock are on a dismal run of form at the minute. They are now without a point since November and it’s a run during which Dyer’s side have lost five league games in a row.
That run has resulted in a steady slide towards the foot of the table. Faced with a potential fight to avoid relegation, Kilmarnock need to pick up points fast so they aren’t sucked into a relegation battle.
Livi for Europe?
Despite failing to play to their full potential against Killie, Livingston still look a vastly improved side under David Martindale. The 46-year-old has turned things around in West Lothian and has taken the Lions into the top six for the first time this season.
With four Europa League spots up for grabs and potentially a fifth if one of the top four win the Scottish Cup, there is no reason why Martindale can’t take his Livi side marching into Europe next season.
A new man up top
Throughout the 90 minutes, both sides lacked a real consistent goal threat. Livingston’s best chance of the game fell to a defender in Guthrie and Killie failed to test Stryjek in the Livi goal.
A dabble into the January market for both clubs might give them that extra spark that they need to get them to where they want to be. The likes of Kabamba and Jay-Thomas are decent options, but more are needed.
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