By Blair McNally
St Mirren and Livingston played out an impressive 1-1 draw in Paisley as both sides contested an even match.
Seven minutes in and there was a lucky breakthrough for David Martindale’s men. A deep Craig Sibbald free kick appeared to be met by a powerful Richard Tait clearance, however, fellow defender Conor McCarthy fell in the way which resulted in the ball bouncing into the back of his own net.
The intensity of the match failed to deplete as both teams pressed for the next goal. Livingston continued to capitalise on St Mirren’s decision making as Sibbald was next to have a go at goal. An impressive dribble past two Saints defenders, lashing an impressive shot low towards the bottom right corner, bringing out a great save from Jak Alnwick.
St Mirren’s solidity in defence eventually paid dividends as a moment of magic from Cammy MacPherson drew the Paisley side level. Jim Goodwin’s men broke in their numbers through the middle, leaving Livingston exposed.
As the Lions defenders attempted to press, MacPherson unleashed a venomous strike, curling into the top left corner. In the second half the intensity died down, leaving Lions boss Martindale increasingly frustrated on the sidelines. He opted to use four of his substitutions in an attempt to sneak the winner.
St Mirren had a great chance to go ahead with 10 minutes to go after Kyle McAllister found the ball with the goal at his mercy, however, he failed to get the ball out of his feet quick enough meaning the resulting strike was blocked by the recovering defender.
The Saints finished the better of the pair as they searched for an equaliser but Livingston held on to claim a well-deserved point in Paisley. Here are three things we learned.
St Mirren strong on the counter
Jim Goodwin’s style of play, which won plaudits at previous club Alloa, of frustrating teams and scoring goals on the counter finally seems to be paying off at St Mirren. This has been the tale of the game in recent weeks and continued today with an impressive defensive display against a strong Livingston attack.
Livi battling on
It was always expected that Livi would eventually hit a small lull after a 14-game unbeaten run and so it’s proven, without a win in three ahead of the League Cup final next Sunday. But they are still in a very good place.
Martindale’s continued expectancy of quality and persistence will be key in their biggest domestic cup game since 2004 next weekend at Hampden Park.
Fight for top six tighter than ever
Both teams currently sit comfortably in 5th and 6th respectively and are sure to be battling it out with Dundee United and St Johnstone based on current form. St Mirren look to facing Motherwell next on Wednesday night with Livingston focusing on a chance at glory in next week’s final.
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