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Livingston keep survival hopes alive with win over fellow-strugglers Ross County
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Anthony Brown
Press Association
Bruce Anderson opened the scoring for Livingston with a lob (Jeff Holmes/PA)
Bruce Anderson opened the scoring for Livingston with a lob (Jeff Holmes/PA)

Livingston kept their unlikely cinch Premiership survival bid alive for another week with a spirited 2-0 home victory over second-bottom Ross County.

The Lions would have been officially relegated if they had lost to the Staggies, but they dug deep to secure only their second win in 26 league games through an early goal from Bruce Anderson and a second-half penalty from Sean Kelly.

David Martindale’s side closed to within nine points of County and 10 of 10th-placed St Johnstone with four games remaining.

Livi made just one enforced alteration to the side that lost 4-2 at Hearts in their previous outing as Anderson replaced the suspended Tete Yengi in attack.

County boss Don Cowie also kept changes to a minimum as he sent out the same XI that started the 3-2 victory at home to Rangers.

However, the Staggies were unable to replicate the intensity and quality of that performance as they were brought back down to earth in West Lothian.

Livi started much the brighter of the two sides and went close in the eighth minute when captain Michael Devlin headed just wide from Kelly’s corner.

The hosts made the breakthrough four minutes later when Ryan Leak was slack with an attempt to head the ball back to Ross Laidlaw and Anderson nipped in to lob the exposed goalkeeper from just inside the box.

There was a similar error at the other end in the 35th minute when Livi defender Ayo Obileye’s poor back-header allowed Josh Sims to get himself clear, but the attacker’s attempt to guide a shot home from 15 yards out was superbly saved by Shamal George.

The Lions had a good chance to double their lead three minutes before the break when Anderson’s cutback from the right broke to Dan MacKay, but the on-loan Hibernian winger’s shot from 10 yards out lacked the power to trouble Laidlaw.

County boss Cowie responded to his side’s limp first-half display by making a double substitution for the start of the second period as attackers Eamonn Brophy and Jordan White replaced Sims and Victor Loturi.

The changes did not have the desired effect, however, as the Lions went further ahead in the 53rd minute when Kelly slotted home a penalty after Michee Efete was deemed to have handled MacKay’s shot in the box.

County had most of the ball thereafter but rarely looked like finding a way back into the game as they missed the chance to climb out of the bottom two.


Scottish PremiershipLivingstonRoss County
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