Scottish Premiership
St Mirren1Livingston0

Ryan Flynn strikes late as St Mirren beat Livingston to narrow gap at the bottom

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Highlights: St Mirren 1-0 Livingston

A late goal from Ryan Flynn gave St Mirren their first Scottish Premiership win of 2019 and moves the bottom side to within one point of Dundee.

In a game badly affected by howling wind and rain, Chris Erskine blazed a fantastic opportunity over the top as Livingston made a strong start.

There were few chances thereafter as players struggled against the elements.

But Flynn was in the right place to poke in from close range after Liam Kelly saved from Simeon Jackson.

Following draws at Pittodrie and Tynecastle, St Mirren have given themselves a chance of top-flight survival, having looked directionless and doomed throughout January.

Livingston remain ninth, safe from any relegation worries, but have now won just one of their past 11 outings in all competitions and have picked up a mere eight points on the road this season.

Vital finish from Flynn

After a mild midweek, the Scottish winter weather returned with wild winds and driving rain in Paisley.

Livingston felt the benefit of it in the early stages, winning corner after corner before Erskine spurned a brilliant opportunity. The former Partick Thistle man was match-winner last time out against Kilmarnock, and should have netted again when Keaghan Jacobs' free-kick was pushed to him by goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky before he scooped over the crossbar from 10 yards.

Saints' front pairing of Anders Dreyer and Duckens Nazon gradually began to cause the visitors problems.

Danish forward Dreyer is like Andrey Arshavin, his low centre of gravity made him hard to track and dispossess, while Nazon is all pace and power. His low shot was well saved at the near post by the foot of Kelly, while Jack Baird could not find the right connection for Dreyer's delivery on another occasion.

St Mirren had the fierce wind behind them after the break and as managers Oran Kearney and Gary Holt stood soaked on the touchline, Flynn's dipping shot tested Kelly.

The conditions descended to their swirling nadir at the same time the Buddies found that little bit extra to secure all three points.

Credit to Jackson, who surged forward on the counter-attack, and cut inside a couple of Livi defenders before sending a left-foot shot goalwards that Kelly could only palm away. Flynn was the beneficiary and even though it was hardly the tidiest of finishes, it was a vitally important one.

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Livingston shot themselves in the foot

Analysis - A turning point for St Mirren?

St Mirren are now just one point behind Dundee at the foot of the Premiership and have gone unbeaten in three matches, taking five points out of nine.

But it's also the psychological impact of this victory - that goal could be a pivotal turning point in the Buddies' season and perhaps the great escape plan is now on.

Livingston had their glorious chance in the first half and spurned it, and in these testing conditions it was always going to be hard to separate the teams.

'Nice reward' for battling Buddies - reaction

St Mirren manager Oran Kearney: "It's been a while since I experienced a last-minute winner. It's a nice reward on the back of the previous two performances. To make those two points valuable, we knew we needed the three today.

"Ryan Flynn's had a brilliant month for us; I don't know where he gets the energy from to start the move and then pop up to squeeze it in."

Livingston manager Gary Holt: "It's not sore - it's naivety. It's game management and professionalism. We should just see the game out and it's something we need to learn.

"The players need to learn that instructions given on the park need to be carried out to the letter. It's just disappointing that we've chucked away a good point."

Line-ups

St Mirren

  • 1Hladky
  • 15Baird
  • 16Popescu
  • 3Muzek
  • 2McGinn
  • 28MacPhersonSubstituted forMullenat 82'minutes
  • 4McGinnBooked at 65mins
  • 8Flynn
  • 39Erhahon
  • 9NazonSubstituted forJacksonat 62'minutes
  • 10DreyerSubstituted forMcAllisterat 57'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6MacKenzie
  • 11Jackson
  • 18Mullen
  • 23McAllister
  • 26Holmes
  • 33Corbu
  • 35Ferdinand

Livingston

  • 1Kelly
  • 31Gallagher
  • 26Halkett
  • 4Lithgow
  • 5Brown
  • 33LawsonBooked at 48minsSubstituted forOdoffinat 68'minutes
  • 7JacobsBooked at 19mins
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forHardieat 54'minutes
  • 8PittmanSubstituted forRobinsonat 56'minutesBooked at 69mins
  • 15Lawless
  • 19Erskine

Substitutes

  • 9Hardie
  • 14Odoffin
  • 17Robinson
  • 21Stewart
  • 22Tiffoney
  • 23De Vita
  • 39Wylde
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
4,014

Match Stats

Home TeamSt MirrenAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home10
Away8
Shots on Target
Home5
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, St. Mirren 1, Livingston 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Mirren 1, Livingston 0.

Foul by Kyle McAllister (St. Mirren).

Steven Lawless (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, St. Mirren. Conceded by Keaghan Jacobs.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Mateo Muzek.

Attempt saved. Ryan Hardie (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Goal!

Goal! St. Mirren 1, Livingston 0. Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren) left footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Simeon Jackson (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Paul McGinn (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Daniel Mullen replaces Cameron MacPherson.

Mihai Popescu (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Halkett (Livingston).

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Mihai Popescu.

Foul by Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren).

Steven Lawless (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Simeon Jackson (St. Mirren).

Craig Halkett (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Cameron MacPherson (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Hakeem Odoffin (Livingston).

Foul by Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren).

Hakeem Odoffin (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Jack Baird (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Lawless (Livingston).

Attempt missed. Simeon Jackson (St. Mirren) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt blocked. Stephen McGinn (St. Mirren) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Simeon Jackson (St. Mirren) header from very close range is too high.

Attempt saved. Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Booking

Scott Robinson (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Ryan Flynn (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Scott Robinson (Livingston).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Hakeem Odoffin replaces Steve Tevi Lawson because of an injury.

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

Delay in match Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston) because of an injury.

Booking

Stephen McGinn (St. Mirren) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston) because of an injury.

Foul by Stephen McGinn (St. Mirren).

Steve Tevi Lawson (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Mirren. Simeon Jackson replaces Duckens Nazon.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic28213466165066
2Rangers28177464204458
3Aberdeen28155845331250
4Kilmarnock28138737271047
5Hearts28135103434044
6Hibernian28118942311141
7St Johnstone28115122836-838
8Motherwell28114133039-937
9Livingston2897122829-134
10Hamilton2863191958-3921
11Dundee2846182460-3618
12St Mirren2845192155-3417
View full Scottish Premiership table

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