Livingston manager: My men deserve the plaudits

James Tavernier battles with Myles Hippolyte
James Tavernier battles with Myles Hippolyte
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Livingston boss Mark Burchill says his players deserve the plaudits for their recent performances rather than picking apart their opponents’ weaknesses.

The Lions more than matched Mark Warburton’s Rangers side on Saturday and were well worth their point through Myles Hippolyte’s terrific second-half equaliser after Jason Holt had given the Ibrox men the lead after 22 minutes.

However, after last Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Hibs, Livi responded with a disciplined team performance and, on another day, might have taken maximum points.

That said, Burchill was quick to praise his own set of players for their endeavours against the Championship’s top two sides.

“I’ve got to laugh about it but I’m looking forward to reading how badly Rangers played, Hibs were terrible the other night and that’s why we got close and Rangers were terrible again and that’s why we’ve run them close,” the Lions boss quipped. “I’ve been saying from the start of the season that we’ve got a middle-of-the-table squad at worst and that’s where I think we’ll finish.”

There was little to separate the sides until Holt capitalised on Barrie McKay’s intended pass to Martyn Waghorn as the ball fell kindly for the former Hearts midfielder and he slotted past Marc McCallum for the opener.

McKay was again the architect with Rangers next move after cutting in from the left before sending a curling effort that came back off the far post.

Jordan White missed a gilt-edged chance for the hosts just before the interval, but Livi were level six minutes after the restart when Ben Gordon’s shot was deflected into the path of Hippolyte, the Englishman taking one touch to control before curling past Wes Foderingham from 18 yards.

McCallum produced a smart stop at the other end to deny substitute Kenny Miller’s half-volley as Rangers went in search of a winner.

However, the home side might have had a penalty when Gary Glen went down under a challenge from Dominic Ball but appeals fell on deaf ears.

Livingston: McCallum, Neill, Gordon, Gallagher, Longridge, Pittman, Faria, Gibbons, Hippolyte (Millen 89), Sheerin (Glen 72), White (Buchanan 86). Subs: Jamieson, Georgiev, Currie.

Rangers: Foderingham, Tavernier, Ball, Kiernan, Wallace, Oduwa (Miller 56), Halliday (Shiels 78), Zelalem, McKay, Holt, Waghorn. Subs: Kelly, Wilson, Thompson, Aird, Clark.

Referee: George Salmond.

Attendance: 6505.