An even first half played out before the game changed in the second, Carl Tremarco receiving his second booking just minutes after the restart. The Lions took advantage, with a Guthrie header giving them the lead and a winner.
Livi were heading into this win looking to get their first win of the campaign after failing to pick up a victory in their opening five. County meanwhile have had their best ever start to a Premiership season and a win in West Lothian before the international break would put the icing on the cake of what has been a very good opening.
Scott Pittman was left wondering how he didn’t open the scoring after seven minutes. Lions full-back Nicky Devlin got a ball into the box and his midfield partner was left with the goal at his mercy, but could only blaze over from all of three yards.
It was the best chance of an otherwise even opening 20 minutes. Both sides managed to get into the final third as the ball was getting thumped from side to side. It wasn’t the prettiest match of football you’ve ever seen, and that was a theme continued to the half’s end, much of it being played in the air.
It was from one of many high balls did Livi get another great chance, Lars Lokotsch cracking the bar on his debut with a header following an Alan Forrest cross.
A big moment was to come just six minutes into the second half. Tremarco picked up a second booking for pulling down Devlin on as County were left facing an uphill task. For Livi, a great chance arose to get their first win of the season.
It did allow Gary Holt’s team to control the ball but the Staggies were standing firm. Eventually though, they were broken down, Julien Serrano on his first start for the club whipping a great ball in to Guthrie, who’s header met the bottom right corner with pinpoint accuracy.
It was Livi who continued to press for another goal after this, County seemingly hopeful of a break on the counter. Few were coming though as their hosts were the ones in the ascendency as the game to a close.
The Staggies couldn’t find a breakthrough as Livi got over the line and secured their first win of the 2020/21 season. Here are three things we learned.
Lions pounce on red
It was a fairly even affair in the first half but Tremarco’s dismissal tipped the scales in Livingston’s favour. It allowed them to get a hold of the ball and start testing Ross County’s box with a bombardment of crosses.
Eventually one met its target and it was enough to hand Holt’s side their first win of the season.
Big win for Holt
This wasn’t vintage stuff from either side but Holt’s did enough to grind out a crucial win. Having not won any of their opening five, it was important for them to get off the mark.
The red card certainly helped but over the piece the home team probably did enough to get maximum points. With Hamilton to come at home next, there’s another chance to claim three points against one of last season’s bottom six.
Six games, two of everything. County had a start that contained a fixture against just one of last season’s top six. It presented a good chance to get some early points on the board and Kettlewell’s managed to do that.
If it weren’t for the red card this one could have been different. With a tough run to come against Celtic, St Johnstone away, Aberdeen and Rangers to come next, picking up just under half of available points from their opening six will please Kettlewell.