David Martindale says 2,554 crowd for Livingston 'a sign of the Covid situation' after 3,600 tickets were given away free

Livingston manager David Martindale enjoyed having a larger than usual crowd of 2,554 against Ross County – even though the club had hoped to play in front of nearly 5,000 after giving away 3,600 tickets to local children.

By Peter Wales
Sunday, 19th December 2021, 1:29 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th December 2021, 1:29 pm
Fans spread out in the in the stand for Livingston v Ross County at the Tony Macaroni Arena
Fans spread out in the in the stand for Livingston v Ross County at the Tony Macaroni Arena

"I thought it was a good atmosphere,” Martindale said after the 1-1 draw at the Tony Macaronie Arena.

"The kids aren't coming away with a defeat from their first game.

"To get over 2,000 after giving out 3,600 tickets, that was maybe signs of the Covid situation.

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"It was a nice atmosphere and we were chasing the winner and got the equaliser.

"I personally enjoyed it."

Martindale insists a point was the least his team deserved after Ayo Obileye headed in a late equaliser.

David Cancola put the visitors ahead in first-half stoppage time with a stunning curling effort that found the top corner.

Following a dire opening 45 minutes, the Lions took the game to the visitors after the break and created a handful of chances.

But they had to wait until the 89th minute for Obileye to draw them level.

Martindale paid credit to Cancola for his strike and revealed he had the chance to sign the Austrian last January.

"It's a fantastic strike on the stroke of half-time," Martindale said. "I actually had David in last January with a view to signing him, I know his agent well.

"I couldn't offer him anything at that time and he went up to Ross County.

"He did OK but I felt we were well versed in midfield areas.

"His CV was strong enough to have a look at him but it was difficult to jump into our midfield.

"He's a really good kid and a good footballer. You're always looking for better than you've got but he probably wasn't better than what we had at the time."