Gary Holt rues absence of luck after Rangers defeat

Livingston's Bobby Burns goes down in the box under a challenge from Allan McGregor. Pic: SNS
Livingston's Bobby Burns goes down in the box under a challenge from Allan McGregor. Pic: SNS
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Livingston manager Gary Holt believes ill-fortune at Ibrox yesterday resulted in his team’s recent run being extended to one point from four games.

After a defeat by Rangers he described as “a 3-0 game by score only”, the West Lothian club’s manager maintained the encounter turned on the failure of referee Nick Walsh to award his side a penalty on the stroke of half-time, with the score then 1-0.

Holt was adamant that an incident then in which Glenn Middleton caught Declan Gallagher should have resulted in a spot-kick. “We should have had a penalty in the first half, and possibly one in the second,” he said.

“You just hope when you come to places like this you get a wee bit of luck and I don’t think we got that today. The one in the first half was a stonewall one for me. Glenn Middleton doesn’t see Declan coming in and his leg catches him and Deccy goes down. It would have been a soft one but it was a definite penalty. I asked the referee and he felt there had been no contact. So it’s a difference of opinion.”

Holt had nothing but praise for his team’s efforts even though they failed to follow-up their draw at home to Celtic prior to the international break with another notable outcome.

“I’ve told the players they’ll have to take it on the chin,” said the Livingston manager. “The reports will say it was 3-0 and a hiding but it was far from it. We had a gameplan, we went toe to toe, and were well in the game. I believe in the second half we were the better team and in the ascendancy. So that score is harsh but we have to take it on the chin.

“It shows how much in the ascendancy we were that Rangers had to bring [Alfredo] Morelos on to try to change the tempo of the game.

“We just never got that wee bit of luck in front of goal. We had chances in the first half. Big Al [Alan Lithgow] hit the post and we had a couple flash wide. You chase the game at 1-0 down and you end up losing 3-0.”