Scottish Premiership
LivingstonLivingston0St MirrenSt Mirren1

Livingston 0-1 St Mirren: Holt questions players' commitment

By Nick McPheatBBC Scotland

Gary Holt will assess whether he is "good enough" to continue as Livingston head coach after admitting defeat by St Mirren leaves his side in a Scottish Premiership relegation battle.

The hosts were the better side for large spells until Jake Doyle-Hayes' first St Mirren goal ended the visitors' eight-game winless run.

Defeat leaves Livingston 10th, just a point above St Mirren, and without victory in five league games.

"We are in a dogfight now," Holt said.

"It's baffling to stand here and say we've lost the game. I didn't see us losing. I've asked the players to go away and have a look at themselves.

"I'll look at myself tonight and decide whether what I'm doing is right or if it's good enough. If it's not, get someone else in."

The home side could have found themselves a goal up early on as Jak Alnwick could only parry Alan Forrest's strike into the path of Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. However, the striker got his header all wrong before Sam Foley failed to direct a header of his own on target at the other end.

Emmanuel-Thomas had a close-range effort blocked superbly by Marcus Fraser, then fellow defender Richard Tait's header was saved comfortably by Max Stryjek in the Livingston goal.

The hosts continued to look the brighter side early in the second period as Forrest forced Alnwick down to his left to parry away a side-footed effort from the edge of the area.

However, it was the visitors who opened the scoring as Emmanuel-Thomas' headed clearance from a corner fell to Doyle-Hayes at the edge of the box. The former Aston Villa man connected well with his effort but a deflection off Marvin Bartley left Stryjek with no chance.

Livingston's attacking spark faded as St Miren comfortably saw out the remainder of the contest.

Man of the match - Jake Doyle-Hayes

Jake Doyle-Hayes goal celebration v Livingston
The 21-year-old's effort in the middle of the park was terrific and, as well as grabbing the winner, no player matched his total of six interceptions

What did we learn?

Livingston were deservedly heaped with praise last season for their resilience at home, but so far this campaign they seem to be a soft touch at the Tony Macaroni Arena. That is now five home league defeats for Holt's side, who only lost four in the entirety of last season.

As for St Mirren, this was a gutsy success for Jim Goodwin's men. Regardless of Livingston's home form, it is still a tough venue and while the home side had the better of the game, the visitors could have easily crumbled considering the winless run they were on. That kind of mentality will be vital if they are to avoid the drop again.

What they said

Livingston head coach Gary Holt: "We limited them to very little but we lost the game. It's happening too often. We can't keep continuing with that much of a difference between this season and last.

"I put demands on myself to get the best out of the players. We might be hard to play against but If you cant defend your goal you are not going to have a chance in a game."

St Mirren manager Jim Goodwin: "It's fantastic to win and the players were outstanding. It's difficult to come here and play open, expansive football as they don't give you a second on the ball. The players managed the game brilliantly.

"Our results hadn't been good enough. We've hard a really hard time of it. It's been the most challenging season of my career. Hopefully we've had our fair share of bad luck. We're not getting carried away."

What's next?

Both sides take part in the last 16 of the Scottish League Cup next Saturday as Livingston welcome Ayr United at 15:00 GMT before St Mirren host Aberdeen at 17:15.

Player of the match

PoplatnikMatej Poplatnik

with an average of 8.06

Livingston

  1. Squad number15Player namePoplatnik
    Average rating

    8.06

  2. Squad number27Player nameGuthrie
    Average rating

    6.00

  3. Squad number2Player nameDevlin
    Average rating

    5.60

  4. Squad number18Player nameHolt
    Average rating

    5.33

  5. Squad number10Player nameSibbald
    Average rating

    5.00

  6. Squad number33Player nameLawson
    Average rating

    4.63

  7. Squad number3Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    4.44

  8. Squad number32Player nameStryjek
    Average rating

    4.33

  9. Squad number6Player nameBartley
    Average rating

    4.25

  10. Squad number8Player namePittman
    Average rating

    4.22

  11. Squad number11Player nameForrest
    Average rating

    3.71

  12. Squad number14Player nameMullin
    Average rating

    3.71

  13. Squad number12Player nameSerrano
    Average rating

    3.00

  14. Squad number9Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas
    Average rating

    1.97

St Mirren

  1. Squad number7Player nameDoyle-Hayes
    Average rating

    7.80

  2. Squad number16Player nameFoley
    Average rating

    7.71

  3. Squad number3Player nameMason
    Average rating

    7.64

  4. Squad number21Player nameConnolly
    Average rating

    7.23

  5. Squad number2Player nameTait
    Average rating

    7.21

  6. Squad number5Player nameMcCarthy
    Average rating

    7.20

  7. Squad number1Player nameAlnwick
    Average rating

    7.13

  8. Squad number17Player nameMcGrath
    Average rating

    7.07

  9. Squad number22Player nameFraser
    Average rating

    7.03

  10. Squad number25Player nameErhahon
    Average rating

    6.80

  11. Squad number9Player nameObika
    Average rating

    6.54

  12. Squad number10Player nameMcAllister
    Average rating

    6.10

  13. Squad number14Player nameMacPherson
    Average rating

    5.83

  14. Squad number23Player nameErwin
    Average rating

    5.73

Line-ups

Livingston

  • 32Stryjek
  • 2Devlin
  • 27Guthrie
  • 3BrownBooked at 70mins
  • 33LawsonSubstituted forMullinat 74'minutes
  • 6Bartley
  • 18Holt
  • 10SibbaldSubstituted forSerranoat 64'minutes
  • 8PittmanSubstituted forPoplatnikat 74'minutes
  • 11Forrest
  • 9Emmanuel-Thomas

Substitutes

  • 5Fitzwater
  • 12Serrano
  • 14Mullin
  • 15Poplatnik
  • 17Robinson
  • 21McMillan
  • 25Ambrose
  • 29Taylor-Sinclair
  • 40Maley

St Mirren

  • 1Alnwick
  • 22Fraser
  • 5McCarthy
  • 16Foley
  • 2Tait
  • 21ConnollySubstituted forMcAllisterat 79'minutes
  • 17McGrathBooked at 26minsSubstituted forMacPhersonat 90+2'minutes
  • 7Doyle-Hayes
  • 25Erhahon
  • 3Mason
  • 9ObikaSubstituted forErwinat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Sheron
  • 8Flynn
  • 10McAllister
  • 11Durmus
  • 14MacPherson
  • 19Morias
  • 20Dennis
  • 23Erwin
  • 26Lyness
Referee:
William Collum

Match Stats

Home TeamLivingstonAway TeamSt Mirren
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home5
Away7
Shots on Target
Home2
Away3
Corners
Home1
Away5
Fouls
Home13
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Livingston 0, St. Mirren 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Cameron MacPherson replaces Jamie McGrath.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Josh Mullin (Livingston).

  5. Post update

    Ethan Erhahon (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Offside, St. Mirren. Jak Alnwick tries a through ball, but Lee Erwin is caught offside.

  7. Post update

    Offside, Livingston. Josh Mullin tries a through ball, but Nicky Devlin is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Marvin Bartley (Livingston).

  9. Post update

    Jamie McGrath (St. Mirren) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Foul by Lee Erwin (St. Mirren).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Lee Erwin replaces Jonathan Obika.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, St. Mirren. Kyle McAllister replaces Dylan Connolly.

  14. Post update

    Jason Holt (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Sam Foley (St. Mirren).

  16. Post update

    Ciaron Brown (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan Obika (St. Mirren).

  18. Post update

    Foul by Jason Holt (Livingston).

  19. Post update

    Brandon Mason (St. Mirren) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Livingston. Josh Mullin replaces Steve Lawson.

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