Scottish Premiership
St Johnstone2Livingston2

St Johnstone 2-2 Livingston: Visitors throw away two-goal lead

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Highlights: St Johnstone 2-2 Livingston

St Johnstone recovered from going two goals down to Livingston - and from conceding a late penalty - to earn a first Scottish Premiership point.

Gary Holt's side looked good for a victory at half time after goals from Scott Pittman and Stevie Lawless.

However, Tommy Wright's side rallied, with strikes by Matty Kennedy and Callum Hendry hauling them level.

Lyndon Dykes had the chance to earn Livingston a first away league win in 18 games, but missed his penalty.

Goalkeeper Zander Clark, who signed a contract extension on Friday, plunged low to his left to save the striker's spot-kick and prevent his side suffering a fifth loss in six games this season.

Second-half comeback saves St Johnstone

After a humiliating 7-0 defeat by Celtic on the opening day of the season and an early departure from the League Cup, the Perth fans would have been hoping for some redemption when Livingston came to Perth in a game that kicked off an hour earlier than normal because the Women's Tour of Scotland was scheduled to pass the stadium.

Initially, though, Tommy Wright's season looked as though it was going to go from bad to worse when Scott Pittman fired the ball into the roof of the net, then Stevie Lawless' shot from the edge of the box nestled in to the corner just six minutes before the break.

As the sides left the pitch, one was half way towards winning their first away league game since late August last year and the other was staring at a fifth defeat in six.

Despite a mournful atmosphere at McDiarmid, the home side managed to pluck inspiration from a moment of sheer luck when Livingston's Keaghan Jacobs allowed a poor pass back to be intercepted by Michael O'Halloran, who squared to Kennedy to finish.

St Johnstone had finally tasted blood and took the game to a Livingston side that looked nothing like the confident, goal-scoring team of the first half.

O'Halloran again came close in the 77th minute when he was allowed to dribble unopposed into the box and shoot, only for his effort to be blocked.

However, the home fans did not have to wait long for an equaliser when a cross from the left forced a save from Ross Stewart before the ball fell into the path of substitute Hendry, who instinctively finished.

The heroic fight back was almost all in vain, though, when Richard Foster pulled down Dykes in the St Johnstone box in injury time. But the Livingston striker's attempt was tepid, allowing Clark to save both it and his team a point.

St Johnstone's poor defensive form.

Man of the match - Zander Clark

BBC Scotland's John Barnes at McDiarmid Park

The Livingston midfielders were the more enterprising, particularly in the first half with Pittman and Lawless catching the eye. But as St Johnstone made their way back into the game, Kennedy became more prominent.

However, Clark gets the award for his stoppage-time penalty save to deny the visitors their first win away from home in almost a year. It was not the best of strikes by Dykes but the goalkeeper did well to dive low to his left to keep the ball out.

'We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot' - reaction

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright: "Callum [Hendry] came on, gave us energy and worked the two centre backs, and young Alistair McCann in the build up to our second goal did really well.

"It has been a frustrating period for us but there's still 21 days left in the window so there's plenty of time to get people in. I'd like to get someone in this week and hopefully that will happen."

Livingston manager Gary Holt: "We should have won. I thought we dominated the whole first half, scored two good goals, and we spoke at half time about St Johnstone wanting to overturn that.

"We created loads of chances but didn't hit the target enough. We need to be more clinical and we need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot."

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'We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot' - Holt

Line-ups

St Johnstone

  • 1Clark
  • 19Foster
  • 15Kerr
  • 5Vihmann
  • 3Tanser
  • 33Kennedy
  • 8Davidson
  • 18McCannBooked at 87minsSubstituted forCraigat 89'minutes
  • 11SwansonSubstituted forHendryat 70'minutes
  • 17O'Halloran
  • 9Kane

Substitutes

  • 2Duffy
  • 12Parish
  • 20McClean
  • 22Hendry
  • 23Gordon
  • 26Craig
  • 44Struthers

Livingston

  • 1Stewart
  • 2Devlin
  • 4Lithgow
  • 5LamieBooked at 64mins
  • 21McMillanSubstituted forCrawfordat 77'minutesBooked at 87mins
  • 6Bartley
  • 7Jacobs
  • 20SoudaSubstituted forSibbaldat 65'minutes
  • 8Pittman
  • 11LawlessSubstituted forTiffoneyat 89'minutes
  • 9DykesBooked at 31mins

Substitutes

  • 10Sibbald
  • 16Crawford
  • 19Erskine
  • 22Tiffoney
  • 30Sarkic
  • 37Henderson
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
2,349

Match Stats

Home TeamSt JohnstoneAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home7
Away11
Shots on Target
Home4
Away8
Corners
Home2
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away18

Live Text

Match ends, St. Johnstone 2, Livingston 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, St. Johnstone 2, Livingston 2.

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Scott Tanser.

Foul by Ricki Lamie (Livingston).

Liam Craig (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Scott Tiffoney (Livingston).

Christopher Kane (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Hand ball by Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone).

Penalty saved! Lyndon Dykes (Livingston) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Penalty Livingston. Lyndon Dykes draws a foul in the penalty area.

Penalty conceded by Richard Foster (St. Johnstone) after a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Scott Tiffoney replaces Steven Lawless because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Liam Craig replaces Alistair McCann.

Attempt missed. Steven Lawless (Livingston) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Booking

Robbie Crawford (Livingston) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Nicky Devlin (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone).

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 2, Livingston 2. Callum Hendry (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box to the high centre of the goal.

Foul by Lyndon Dykes (Livingston).

Jason Kerr (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Robbie Crawford replaces Jack McMillan.

Corner, St. Johnstone. Conceded by Jack McMillan.

Attempt blocked. Michael O'Halloran (St. Johnstone) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Attempt missed. Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Attempt saved. Scott Pittman (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, St. Johnstone. Callum Hendry replaces Daniel Swanson.

Foul by Marvin Bartley (Livingston).

Murray Davidson (St. Johnstone) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

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

Foul by Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone).

Substitution

Substitution, Livingston. Craig Sibbald replaces Aymen Souda.

Booking

Ricki Lamie (Livingston) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt saved. Steven Lawless (Livingston) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

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

Foul by Scott Tanser (St. Johnstone).

Marvin Bartley (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone).

Goal!

Goal! St. Johnstone 1, Livingston 2. Matthew Kennedy (St. Johnstone) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Michael O'Halloran.

Scott Pittman (Livingston) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic2200122106
2Ross County21103034
3Aberdeen11003213
4Rangers11002113
5Hibernian11001013
6Hamilton210123-13
7Livingston20202202
8Hearts201123-11
9Motherwell201125-31
10St Johnstone201129-71
11St Mirren100101-10
12Kilmarnock200214-30
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