Lions need to sharpen their claws

LIVINGSTON boss Gary Bollan was left to rue missed chances at Somerset Park, as his Livingston team could only fight to a 0-0 draw against Brian Reid’s Ayr United on Saturday.

Despite having much of the play and creating the best chances throughout the 90 minutes, the Lions couldn’t find a goal to send them home with all three points. Bollan knows his team need to find the net when they’re on top. He said: “We’re playing well enough in games, but we’re just lacking that killer instinct just now to score goals. It’s important we start turning these draws into victories.

“I think there’s no doubt we have guys in the squad who are more than capable of scoring, and given we had most of the possession one point isn’t good enough.”

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The hosts Ayr started the game with more of the possession, but struggled to create a clear opening that threatened Livi keeper Andy McNeil’s goal. The blustery conditions were making it difficult to put together coherent attacking moves, and Ayr’s best effort in the early stages was a Mark Roberts free-kick that sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Livi responded with new midfield signing Mark Fotheringham – who last week joined the club on a short-term deal along with ex-Scotland internationalist Maurice Ross – sending a rasping effort from 20 yards just over.

Ross missed out thanks to a groin strain, but in his absence Livi were beginning to apply sustained pressure. Bobby Barr went on a dazzling run that saw a last-ditch tackle clear the ball for a corner, and Craig Barr then headed wide from a Fotheringham free-kick.

As half-time approached, the Lions spurned another chance with Marc McNulty’s header from a Bobby Barr cross just looping over.

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Early in the second half, Iain Russell and Bobby Barr combined to tee up Stefan Scougall, but the young midfielder failed by inches to find the target. Barr himself came close again, with his shot being saved at the second attempt by Kevin Cuthbert in the home goal. Liam Fox was next to have a go, driving the ball wide after a neat passing move.

Ayr rallied briefly as the half wore on, with Roberts teeing up Michael McGowan, but his header was well saved by McNeil. Eddie Malone then went close with a similar chance, but his headed effort from a corner was scrambled off the line.

In stoppage time, Scougall went close for Livi with his drive ending up on the wrong side of the post after the home side failed to clear their lines from another set play, and the two sides shared the points.