Livingston 0 - 1 St Johnstone; Matthew Kennedy’s early goal is winner

Livingston's 'Matthew Kennedy celebrates his goal. Picture: Ian Georgeson/SNS
Livingston's 'Matthew Kennedy celebrates his goal. Picture: Ian Georgeson/SNS
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St Johnstone winger Matthew
Kennedy’s early goal was enough to secure all three points in a 1-0 Ladbrokes Premiership win at Livingston. The former Everton player diverted Tony Watt’s low cross into the net as Saints collected a third successive victory by ending the Lions’ seven-game unbeaten run.

After a recent four-match losing sequence, seventh-place St Johnstone have now climbed to within a point of Gary Holt’s side in the table.

Livingston had kept four clean sheets in their previous five home league matches at the Tony Macaroni Arena but the visitors prised open a gap in the home rearguard inside five minutes. Watt wriggled free inside the box after taking in captain Joe Shaughnessy’s free-kick and his pass across the area was tapped into net by Kennedy at the back post.

Livingston’s early-season success was built on a never-­say-die attitude and they began to show some of that spirit as the first half went on.

Saints goalkeeper Zander Clark was called into action 10 minutes before the break to pull off a fine one-handed save to deny Scott Pittman.

The midfielder found space inside a congested box to unleash a right-footed effort from 12 yards.

Lions captain Craig Halkett then headed harmlessly wide at the back post from a Steven Lawless corner.

Saints marksman Watt was involved in his side’s next chance at the start of the second half.

The former Celtic player got past Alan Lithgow and his pass picked out Scott Tanser but the left-back swung a wild effort over the bar.

However, similar to the first period, the second half was generally short of goalmouth action. The hosts probed without causing the Perth outfit any real problems, while Tommy Wright’s side began to find space on the counter.

Livingston substitute Craig Sibbald tried his luck from distance in the 83rd minute but the midfielder’s low drive flew just past Clark’s post.