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Livingston extend winning run under David Martindale

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

Livingston secured their fifth successive win under new manager David Martindale with a 2-0 triumph at Hamilton.

Jon Guthrie’s second-half header and Josh Mullin’s 90th-minute free-kick sealed a comprehensive Scottish Premiership victory.

The result saw Martindale maintain his 100 per cent winning record since taking over the managerial reins following Gary Holt’s departure, initially on an interim basis before being confirmed in the role on Monday.

On the back of a positive Covid-19 result to an unnamed player in the Hamilton squad, head coach Brian Rice made three changes to the team which defeated Ross County on Saturday.

Goalscorers Scott Martin and Ross Callachan were absent, along with Nathan Thomas. Reegan Mimnaugh, Ronan Hughes and Kyle Munro all came into the starting line-up.

Livingston were without the suspended Marvin Bartley, with Jason Holt coming in for their captain.

The visitors dominated the first half but somehow Hamilton managed to keep them at bay.

Livingston went close after four minutes when Scott Pittman steered a volley just wide from Alan Forrest’s cross.

Moments later the frame of the goal came to Hamilton’s rescue when Scott Robinson’s header from a Mullin cross smacked against the crossbar.

Livingston kept pushing for the breakthrough, and it almost came through a David Moyo own goal as a dangerous Mullin cross into the penalty area glanced off the Accies forward’s head but it dropped just the wrong side of the post.

Livingston went close again when Craig Sibbald prodded the ball into the penalty area but, from close range, Guthrie put a low shot wide of Ryan Fulton’s goal.

It had virtually been one-way traffic in the first half and the pattern of play continued after the interval, with Livingston pushing forward and Hamilton trying to keep them out.

However, Hamilton’s resistance was finally broken seven minutes into the second half by Guthrie.

Holt swung in an inviting cross and Guthrie planted a downward header from inside the six-yard box beyond Fulton.

Hamilton were forced into a change after 62 minutes when Fulton went off injured and was replaced between the sticks by Kyle Gourlay, with Justin Johnson also coming on for Hughes.

The changes had a positive impact with Accies asking more questions of Livingston’s rearguard but Gourlay had to make a smart save from Robinson to keep the home side in it.

Then, in the 90th minute, Gourlay was beaten when Mullin curled home a glorious free-kick.