Livingston manager Gary Holt hailed Robby McCrorie for taking control of his defence after the goalkeeper enjoyed a 1-0 debut win over St Johnstone.
The 21-year-old arrived on loan from Rangers on Tuesday after cutting short a season-long stay at Queen of the South and immediately stamped his authority on his back four.
He also made two impressive saves from Michael O’Halloran to earn himself a clean sheet on his Ladbrokes Premiership debut.
“He was excellent,” Holt said. “His handling was superb, he knew when to come, he knew when to stay. It was reassuring for the back line that he looks like an experienced number one. That comes from playing games though.
“The saves he made were brilliant and the back line were brilliant.
“It was refreshing to see a young lad prepared to dictate the game to his defenders because you sometimes have to coach that into them and tell them you are allowed to shout at them and police them.”
Scott Pittman grabbed the only goal in the 56th minute after converting a Lyndon Dykes cross – and following Holt’s half-time instructions.
Holt said: “He’s such an honest, hard-working young man that he sometimes tries to do too many jobs, he is too keen to help his team-mates out.
“He’s our attacking threat from the middle third to get up and support Lyndon and break beyond, and he has been doing that recently in games.
“Tonight at times he was dropping off too much to help out when we wanted him playing off Liam Craig, pushing on. And you saw that second half. He was a constant threat with his forward runs, he had a great finish and two great shots.”
Saints manager Tommy Wright was baffled as to why his team did not get a first-half penalty from referee Euan Anderson when O’Halloran appeared to be pushed by Ciaron Brown and then taken out by McCrorie.
Wright said: “It’s beyond me how the referee and assistant didn’t give it. You can’t give a penalty twice but if ever there was a case for doing it, it was that.
“I went in and apologised for saying another one was a penalty when McCrorie punched the ball and his momentum took him through Ali (McCann). I watched that back and it wasn’t a penalty.
“But I just hope he looks at that, because they ring other managers. If he doesn’t ring me then I think we have a bigger problem if they don’t see it as a penalty.
“It’s a penalty all day long and if he gives it for the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper could go off because he just cleaned him out.
“But we lost the game because we lacked concentration at a certain situation.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.