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Livingston boss Holt delighted with birthday win

Livingston manager Gary Holt was delighted his side gave him the 46th birthday he had asked for after the Lions came from behind to beat St Johnstone.

Craig Halkett, Craig Sibbald and Scott Pittman were on the score sheet after Saints captain Joe Shaughnessy had opened the scoring in the 14th minute.

The victory moved the West Lothian outfit 19 points clear of the Ladbrokes Premiership relegation zone and to within five of the top six.

Former Scotland midfielder Holt was thrilled with his team’s response to going behind.

He said: “It’s a nice present and I asked them for it before the game. I asked them for three points.

“We pride ourselves on clean sheets and not giving goals away, but I said I’d rather take three points today.

“It’s always more satisfying when you have to come from behind to do it. It shows character, resilience and everything we’re about.”

Asked if his side could consider themselves safe with nine games left, Holt said: “There are still 27 points to play for.

“We don’t want to focus on being safe already and the season peters out because a malaise sets in.”

St Johnstone threatened to spoil Holt’s birthday after Shaughnessy fired in Sean Goss’ corner after 14 minutes.

But Lions captain Halkett levelled seven minutes before the break with a close-range header before Sibbald nodded in Scott Robinson’s cross 42 seconds after the restart.

Saints substitute Tony Watt missed a gilt-edged chance to level in the 89th minute before Scott Pittman added a third in added time.

Saints manager Tommy Wright, whose side have not won in nine matches and are four points adrift of the top six, said: “Tony’s chance is a big one.

“He’s obviously gutted and he’s apologised.

“You don’t miss them deliberately, but it’s the best chance of the game.

“It’s a bad run. We’ve been here before and it’s not nice, but we’ve caused it ourselves. We’ve got to learn to defend better.

“I’ve asked the players where do they want to play their last five games.

“For parts of the game they showed me they want to be a top-six side.

“But that bad spell has killed us and then we didn’t show enough urgency. We didn’t create enough opportunities.”

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