Livingston 2 Morton 4: Burchill’s side go bottom

Stefan McCluskey opened the scoring. Picture: SNS
Stefan McCluskey opened the scoring. Picture: SNS
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AT LEAST the tannoy announcer at Almondvale retained his sense of humour, albeit of the gallows variety.

His decision to belt out The Animals’ We Gotta Get Out Of This Place at full-time was apt as Livingston were consigned to the foot of the Championship with a woeful 4-2 defeat at the hands of Morton.

The 90 minutes which preceded that choice of tune were no laughing matter, with the hosts, who played 60 minutes with ten men following the dismissal of Ben Gordon, were torn apart.

The experienced defender was dismissed by referee Euan Anderson after 29 minutes for halting waspish winger Conor Pepper with a rather industrial challenge on the touchline.

It completely altered an encounter which had been, up to that point, eachy peachy, with goals by Stefan McCluskey, Denny Johnstone, Bobby Barr and John Scullion ensuring the win for Jim Duffy’s men.

Late ripostes by Jordan White and Jordyn Sheerin were more indicative of the visitors’ sloppiness than any realistic chance of a comeback by Livingston.

“Ben is a very experienced player and, if he is going to bring the boy down, he should have done it in a cute way,” rued Livingston boss Mark Burchill. “It was a stupid thing for him to do.

“When things like that happen, and people make the wrong decision, it has a big effect, especially when you have young boys on the pitch.

“Ben is probably the most experienced player we have got.

“He has apologised to the players, but we’ve lost the three points and we’re bottom of the division.”

Burchill may wish to save some of his ire for those still on the pitch. The first goal conceded by his side, in particular, was simply dreadful.

Declan Gallagher put too much weight on his backpass to 
Darren Jamieson, culminating in the Livingston goalkeeper slicing his clearance into the path of Stefan McCluskey, who gratefully rolled the ball into an empty net.

Johnstone doubled the visitors’ lead after the break, stepping inside Gallagher and rifling a low finish beyond Jamieson. Livingston winger Barr and substitute Scullion both rounded off fine team moves to make the score 4-0.

White’s late header and a wonderful left-footed strike into the top-corner by Sheerin did restore respectability to the scoreline, but in the cold light of day, that will provide scant solace.

“That’s three back-to-back away wins and, at any level, that’s terrific,” added Morton boss Jim Duffy.