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Caretaker boss Davie Martindale leads Livingston to win over Dundee United

Livingston FC Headshots 2020/2021- Tony Macaroni Arena
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Interim manager Davie Martindale enhanced his hopes of landing the job on a permanent basis after guiding Livingston to a 2-0 victory over coronavirus-hit Dundee United.

Scott Pittman and Marvin Bartley found the net as the hosts collected their first Premiership win since beating the same opposition at Tannadice on October 2.

United, who were without their entire coaching team and nine first-team players due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the club, had been the better side in the first half but Livingston ran out worthy winners in the end.

United may have been hit by personnel issues on and off the park but the visitors were still able to name a strong side.

Manager Micky Mellon, who followed the game live from home, only made three changes to the team which beat Hamilton on their last outing on November 21.

Scotland striker Lawrence Shankland, Dillon Powers and Ian Harkes all returned to the starting XI as nine-goal forward Nicky Clark, Paul McMullan and the suspended Callum Butcher all dropped out.

Mellon had a direct line to the bench but he would have been happy with what he saw from his side in the opening stages.

United dominated the ball and looked the more likely of the teams to score.

Their first chance came after 13 minutes when Harkes was fouled by Joshua Mullin outside the area. Adrian Sporle fired the free-kick over the wall but the ball bounced past Max Stryjek’s post.

United then put together a neat move in the 18th minute.

Shankland found Sporle in space inside the box and the left-back’s cut-back was met first time by Harkes but Mullin got back to make a timely partial block before Stryjek gathered.

Livingston were more competitive in the second half as they reverted to their trademark pressing style.

Bartley registered the home side’s first shot on target with a low drive from inside the box which Benjamin Siegrist blocked.

But Pittman gave the home side the lead in the 57th minute. The midfielder ran 30 yards into the United box before unleashing a low drive which beat Siegrist down to his right.

Livingston had their tails up and came close to adding a second through Mullin but Siegrist pushed a fierce drive behind at his near post.

But Livingston did add a second in the 74th minute through skipper Bartley.

Mullin’s corner caused problems at the front post and Bartley pounced on a loose ball to fire home from close range.