CONNOR McDONALD says he’s spent a year desperate to get his break in the Livingston first team – and the young Lions full-back was delighted to make his debut on Saturday, even if it did come in a 3-1 defeat to champions-elect Ross County.
Ex-Livi striker Colin McMenamin twice gave County the lead at Almondvale, with Rory Boulding equalising in between times for the home side and Iain Vigurs sealing the win with three minutes left on the clock.
County could have secured SPL promotion with the win, but Dundee’s success at home to Falkirk by the same scoreline postponed the title party.
With Jason Talbot carried off after just over 20 minutes in West Lothian, John Hughes called upon McDonald to replace him, and the youngster claims training with the first team over recent weeks has helped prepare him for the step up.
McDonald said: “It was tough. It’s a lot quicker than what I’m used to in the Under-19s, and it’s a lot harder, more physical.
“Training with the first team has been great as it gives you confidence with players who play at this level.
“It was a big game given we were playing against the side top of the table but the manager just told me to do my usual thing, to get on the ball, play and try and pass the ball well.
“It’s great to get my debut. I’ve been waiting for about a year and a bit for it, so it was great to get on even though we lost out.”
Livi created the first real opportunity of the game when Kyle Jacobs headed Stefan Scougall’s free-kick over the bar, but title-hunting County grew into the game and took the lead on 38 minutes.
Michael Gardyne intercepted Callum Fordyce’s pass, and squared for McMenamin who stooped low to head home.
The Lions flew out the traps in the second-half, and levelled within two minutes of the restart when Bobby Barr did brilliantly to set up Boulding who finished beyond Michael Fraser.
Kyle Jacobs saw Fraser beat away his header, before Richie Brittain crossed for McMenamin to retake the lead for the visitors.
Bobby Barr and Fordyce were denied by Fraser as the clock ticked down, before Vigurs blasted home from close range in the final stages.