Livingston back into cinch Premiership top six after seeing off Ross County
Livingston climbed back into the cinch Premiership top six after first-half goals from Joel Nouble and Nicky Devlin saw off Ross County 2-1.
Following a dull start, the Lions sparked life into the game with two goals in as many minutes.
Nouble opened the scoring in the 37th minute before captain Devlin fired home a strike from 18 yards.
County substitute Simon Murray pulled one back but the away team, who slipped into the bottom two, ran out of time to find an equaliser.
There was concern for both teams after just three minutes when both Devlin and Staggies forward Eamonn Brophy needed treatment after being clattered by home goalkeeper Shamal George as they chased a ball over the top.
Both players were able to continue and it was the Lions who began to assert their dominance.
Livingston forward Bruce Anderson had a deflected shot saved by Ross Laidlaw before Morgan Boyes had an effort brilliantly blocked by Connor Randall.
The visitors struggled to get a foothold in the game but created their first meaningful chance in the 32nd minute.
Gwion Edwards’ corner was flicked on by Jordan White but the outstretched Keith Watson could only find the side-netting at the back post.
Just as County were beginning to look more dangerous, Livingston stormed ahead in the 37th minute.
James Penrice’s delivery was met by Nouble and the striker headed an effort back across goal into the net past Laidlaw.
It got better for Livingston when they doubled their lead just two minutes later.
Penrice’s effort was beaten away by Laidlaw but the ball made its way to Devlin and the Livingston skipper rifled a shot into the corner of the net from 18 yards.
The hosts were quick out of the blocks at the start of the second period as they came close to adding a third.
Jason Holt set up Devlin but the right-back’s effort from a tight angle came back off Laidlaw’s chest.
County boss Malky Mackay turned to his bench to try and breathe life into his side, with Murray and Ross Callachan coming on.
And the pair were involved as County pulled one back in the 69th minute.
Callachan found Brophy and his low cross took a ricochet before being bundled into the net from close range by Murray.
The assistant referee raised his flag for offside but VAR overruled after reviewing footage of the build up.
County piled on the pressure but Livingston stood firm to pick up all the spoils.
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