Penalty sours day for Livi and Scougall

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LIVINGSTON midfielder Stefan Scougall was delighted to bury two months of injury frustration on Saturday after scoring to put the home side 2-1 up on visitors Queen of the South, but was left disappointed as the Lions failed to hold out for their first three points of 2012.

Tom Brighton poked Queens into the lead before Liam Fox and then Scougall had Gary Bollan’s men heading for victory, before Ryan McGuffie levelled from the penalty spot with seven minutes left on the clock for Gus MacPherson’s side.

The young midfielder, who has been troubled with an ankle injury, says it felt like two points dropped, although with all the division’s other fixtures ending all square on Saturday he reckons that gives the Lions some comfort for their trip to leaders Ross County this Saturday.

Scougall said: “I thought in the first half we kept the ball better and they perhaps scored against the run of play. It was an unfortunate one for Andy [McNeil] in goal. Then we got ourselves back in the game, and I thought we were the better team in the second half.”

The opening goal came from the game’s first real chance. McNeil could only parry Daniel Carmichael’s low shot across the six-yard box, and Brighton prodded the ball over the line.

It wasn’t until the 40th minute that Livi pulled level, and on his record 185th appearance for the club it was fitting that captain Fox was on hand to drill the ball low beyond Lee Robinson from a Marc McNulty cut back.

The second half saw the Lions take the game to the visitors, with Maurice Ross and Iain Russell both denied by Robinson. Then, with 17 minutes to go, Scougall smashed home from 12 yards after Bobby Barr’s shot was blocked, but McGuffie levelled from the spot after a Craig Barr foul.

Queens’ Craig Reid received a second yellow card before Russell and Kenny Deuchar tested Robinson in the closing moments, then Ryan Smillie blazed over when presented with a glorious opportunity to snatch the win for the Dumfries side.

Craig Barr nearly made amends in stoppage time, but he saw his last-gasp shot sail over the bar.

Scougall added: “I thought we could have hung on to all three points but they’ve gone down the pitch and got the penalty.”