Livi hadn’t scored in five heading into this one, as they played host to a Motherwell side, with three wins in their last four, looking to pull away from the relegation pack.
Gary Holt faced a striker crisis so opted to start teenager Jack Hamilton with Nicky Cadden and Steven Lawless coming into midfield in place of Bobby Burns, Steve Lawson and Scott Robinson in their three changes from their 3-0 Ibrox defeat to Rangers.
Stephen Robinson’s Motherwell made just the one change following their 3-0 win over Aberdeen at Fir Park. Captain Peter Hartley is suspended so 20 year old Barry Maguire was handed a start as part of the defensive trio with two 3-5-2 formations going head to head.
Kelly is key
Liam Kelly, one of Livi’s standout performers this season, was brought into action early on. David Turnbull, the impressive Motherwell teenage talent, crossed for Curtis Main. The Englishman looked to nod into the far corner but was denied following an impressive stop by the keeper.
Livi had a great opportunity of their own shortly after. Alan Lithgow’s long throw was flicked on before falling at the feet of Steven Lawless. He couldn’t quite poke past Mark Gillespie, both goalkeepers producing impressive saves to keep the game goalless.
Danny Johnson couldn’t get the better of Craig Halkett, the Livingston captain having been a rock for them this campaign. He felt he should have been awarded a penalty, as a result of his poor touch. Johnson was tugging Halkett if anything, correct decision by the officials.
Lawless gives Livi the lead
If Steven Lawless’ early opportunity was anything to go by, then Motherwell could’ve and should’ve prevented the opener from taking place. Another trademark Lithgow long throw was flicked on by Declan Gallagher and Lawless did the rest to break the Lions’ goal drought.
Teenager Jack Hamilton couldn’t make the most of a glorious opportunity. Handed a start following the absence of Dolly Menga and Scott Robinson, Hamilton took down a Cadden cross. Unfortunately, he could only send his half-volley high into the stand. Should’ve done better and doubled the home side’s advantage.
Ricki Lamie would then cross for Lawless to try and double his afternoon’s tally. A great take down with his left foot set him up for a right footed strike which was blocked by Richard Tait and turned behind as Livi cranked up the heat.
Danny Johnson then had another penalty claim turned away. Following that, up the other end, Lawless sent an inviting free kick into the box but there were no takers and Motherwell were still firmly in the match. Livingston certainly not looking like a side that hadn’t scored in five games.
Finally a chance for the visitors
Motherwell came very close to haunting their hosts. David Tunrbull found fellow midfielder Gorrin who stood a ball up to the back post for Barry Maguire to volley. Decent contact from the defender but another unorthodox Liam Kelly save preserved Livi’s lead.
It proved vital as Livi would go on to seal the three points just seven minutes from time. Substitute Robinson’s corner was met by club captain Craig Halkett. He then guided a header into the far corner, to secure a much-needed win for Gary Holt’s Livingston.
They travel to Ayrshire to face high flying Kilmarnock next, Motherwell host Celtic with both fixtures coming as part of a full Premiership fixture list midweek.