Brown bemoans ‘soft goal’ as Livi leave with spoils

Garry O'Connor had the ball in the net during his Morton debut. Picture: SNS
Garry O'Connor had the ball in the net during his Morton debut. Picture: SNS
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None of the top three sides in the Championship scored a goal at the weekend, with leaders Dundee losing 1-0 to Livingston and the game between Falkirk and Hamilton Accies seeing both sides cancel each other out at the Falkirk Stadium.

Dundee, who meet the second placed New Douglas Park side next weekend and then travel to face the Bairns seven days later, went down to a goal from their former striker Mark Burchill after just 11 minutes.

The Livingston player/assistant manager had time and space in the home defence to glance in a Martin Scott free kick and their lead was rarely troubled.

The closest Dundee came was with a first half Ryan Conroy effort that brought out a fine save from Darren Jamieson and a second-half header from Declan Gallagher that went over the bar, however Livingston saw things out. Dark Blues manager John Brown is looking for a lot better when Hamilton come calling as he said: “For some reason, we were very flat and it was a bad day. We gave away a soft goal, but we will look to bounce back against Hamilton. We owe our fans a performance after that.”

Livingston are inching closer to a top-four place, and manager John McGlynn said: “We will take confidence from this win and it will give us a good platform for the rest of the season.”

Falkirk and Hamilton both made ground on Dundee in a game where chances were few and far between. Mark Millar sent an early effort wide from a free kick for the hosts, with Accies going close with an Ali Crawford effort that had to be cleared off the goal-line by Will Vaulks. In the second half, Mikael Antoine Curier looked all set to net when Stephen Hendrie nodded a Crawford cross into his path, however he sent the ball wide from six yards. Jay Fulton had a glimpse of goal for Falkirk late on from a Stephen Kingsley cross but he sent his effort over.

Another blank score-line was seen at Cappielow as bottom-of-the-table Morton picked up their first point under Kenny Shiels when they met fourth-placed Raith Rovers.

Former Hibs and Scotland striker Gary O’Connor did have the ball in the net in his first appearance for the Greenock side just before half-time, but an assistant’s flag cut short home celebrations.

O’Connor, who played the full 90 minutes, was delighted to be back in football after more than a year without a club. “I’m tired,” he said afterwards. “It’s been a long time since I played a competitive game, and it is just great to be back.

“We didn’t get that elusive goal, but it is something to build on for the club, and the gaffer is really happy with the commitment.

“I expected to play the whole game and I’ll get fitter the more I play. I didn’t think my goal was offside. I took my line off the left-back. But that’s football, you get away with some.”

There were goals aplenty in the other two games as Queen of the South defeated visitors Alloa 3-1 and Dumbarton won 4-2 at Cowdenbeath.

The Doonhamers took the lead with half an hour played when Michael Paton combined with Paul Burns before rifling in a shot from 12 yards.

Team-mate Gavin Reilly controlled a Paton pass on his chest before thumping home the second four minutes later.

Derek Lyle turned home an Iain Russell cross to make it 3-0 11 minutes after the break with Alloa’s on-loan Hibs striker Russell Caldwell marking his debut with a well-taken goal, to give the Wasps some consolation.

Manager Paul Hartley was sent to the stand before the end of the match after a dispute with referee Stephen Finnie when Liam Caddis suffered a head knock. Dumbarton opened up a nine-point gap on their second bottom hosts with their success at Central Park, although the day had begun well for the Fifers.

Kyle Miller slotted home after a clearance from Sons goalkeeper Stephen Grindlay had been played into his path, but Colin Nish quickly levelled following a scramble and Dumbarton led when Mitch Megginson shot home.

It was all square at the break when Jamie Stevenson netted after a Grindlay spill, with Chris Kane edging the visitors ahead on 51 minutes. Stevenson hit the bar and Dumbarton made the most of that reprieve when Megginson fired home the fourth.