Second-half lapse leaves Livi trailing

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CRAIG BARR and his Livingston team-mates were left rueing slack second half defending as Livi’s good work came undone against league leaders Partick Thistle at Firhill.

The Lions matched the home side throughout the first half and had fashioned good opportunities to take the lead, but a second half Aaron Sinclair header forced Thistle ahead before Stuart Bannigan doubled the lead.

Barr admitted the 2-0 defeat was a sore one for the visitors, who suffered their first loss in seven matches.

He said: “ I thought in the first half we weren’t too bad and it was pretty even, but the second half was disappointing.

“I don’t think we came out well and it was especially disappointing to let them score from a set play.

“We’ve been looking solid over the last few weeks and it was a killer to lose one that way. It gave them a wee bit of confidence and they kicked on from there. We didn’t really come out of the traps after that and it hit us hard.

“They’re a good side, top of the league for a reason and we matched them for so long but unfortunately not for long enough.

“Being six games unbeaten going into today we’d have liked to make a statement, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”

Livi pinned Thistle in early on in the game, with Liam Fox and Stefan Scougall firing off target before Anthony Andreu saw a dipping half volley shoved wide by Graeme Smith.

The Jags began to impose themselves on the game as the half wore on and Chris Erskine whipped an effort wide after dancing past three Livi challenges.

Bannigan was next to threaten, also sending an effort past the post after nicking possession 25 yards out.

After the break Jackie 
McNamara’s side went ahead when a Ross Forbes cross found Sinclair, and his deft header nestled in the bottom corner on 54 minutes.

It was two ten minutes later as Bannigan picked the ball up on the edge of the box and curled a perfectly weighted shot past Andy McNeil.

Barr and Marc McNulty were both denied in the closing 
stages, but Thistle held on to their clean sheet and all three points.