David Martindale can't hide his frustration after Livingston pay heavy price for 'schoolboy defending'

David Martindale could not hide his frustration after his Livingston team slipped to a 1-0 home defeat by Ross County after dominating large parts of the game. He certainly wasn’t making excuses.

“We've got to have a long hard look at ourselves,” said the manager. “Whatever way you sugar-coat it, we've thrown away points."

The visitors were under the cosh for long spells at the Tony Macaroni Arena, but the Staggies’ defence and goalkeeper Ross Laidlaw held firm and Owura Edwards snatched victory with a strike 16 minutes from time.

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Martindale admitted his side had been profligate in attack during a 90 minutes where they enjoyed 61 per cent possession and had 22 shots on goal. But the Livi boss blamed "schoolboy defending" for the loss after Sean Kelly gifted County possession with a weak header in the build-up to the match-winning goal.

Livingston manager David Martindale's frustration is clear during his team's 1-0 home defeat by Ross County. Picture: Roddy Scott / SNS

Martindale said: "I know why we didn't take anything from it. One moment of schoolboy defending. First contact, we don't do enough with it, then we're not on the second contact. That's why we lose the game. When you have so much of the ball it can sometimes be a problem, you switch off.

"We dominated large spells of the game. Shots, corners, everything. But if you don't defend properly you're not going to win. It's not good enough. Possession is a stat, a nice stat but it doesn't win you games of football if you don't defend your box properly and don't take your chances at the other end.

“It's not a great combination for picking points up and that's where we've found ourselves in the last two games. The chances we created were half decent. But Kurtis [Guthrie] should score, Ayo [Obileye] and [Scott] Pittman had chances. We got in behind them on numerous occasions but [it was] that final ball.”

Ross County manager Malky Mackay was thrilled for his players after the heavy midweek defeat to Motherwell and a poor record in West Lothian.

Livingston's Ayo Obileye and Ross County's Jordan White challenge for the ball at the Tony Macaroni Arena. Picture: Roddy Scott / SNS

Mackay said: "I really enjoyed the nature of the win. I always knew it was going to be difficult coming down here. We hadn't won here in a decade so I'm delighted to put a marker down as far as that is concerned.”