Myles Hippolyte tells fans ‘cheers for the jeers’

Liam Buchanan, third from left, celebrates scoring with his team-mates
Liam Buchanan, third from left, celebrates scoring with his team-mates
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Livingston winger Myles Hippolyte admitted he thrived on the hostility he was subjected to from the St Mirren supporters during his side’s 1-1 stalemate on Saturday.

The Lions picked up their first point of the season as Liam Buchanan’s penalty midway through the first half cancelled out Paul McMullen’s fourth-minute opener.

But it was the manner in which the visitors were awarded their opportunity to level matters that really riled the Saints fans as Hippolyte went down in the box under a challenge from Jack Baird.

Referee John McKendrick wasted little time in pointing to the spot before Buchanan, who netted in Livi’s 3-2 League Cup victory at St Mirren last Tuesday, sent goalkeeper Jamie Langfield the wrong way.

Former Brentford player Hippolyte was subsequently jeered by the home supporters there after as Livi came away from Paisley undefeated for the second time in four days.

“To be fair it was pretty silly on his [Baird’s] part because it seemed he was going for me rather than the ball,” Hippolyte said. “There was definitely contact. I got to the ball first, we got the penalty and Bucs [Buchanan] put it away which was great for us.

“I’ve never really had that before the crowd getting on my back. That’s the first time I’ve experienced it but in a way it makes you want to play better as you want to silence them as much as you can. It’s just something you have to deal with.

“I play better under pressure, so that was a benefit for me to be honest. You can’t stop fans from being like that and it just shows their passion for the club. You just have to have a mature head and carry on. There’s a lot more to come from us. It would have been good to get the three points but it’s something to build on.”

Manager Mark Burchill made two enforced changes from last week’s cup victory, Craig Sives restored to the Lions’ defence at the expense of the injured Ross Millen and Spas Georgiev replaced the suspended Danny Mullen after the youngster was sent off in the sides’ cup clash.

Livi found themselves trailing after just four minutes when captain Darren Cole surrendered possession to Stephen Mallen and the talented teenager threaded a neat pass through to McMullan, who managed to shirk off the attention of Sives, and slide the ball across Darren Jamieson into the far corner.

The Almondvale side, however, fashioned a quick response and were deservedly back on level terms when Hippolyte was scythed to the ground by the clumsy Baird and Buchanan duly slotted away the resulting penalty kick for Livi.

Hippolyte then had a shot from the edge of the area which was well held by Langfield after Buchanan had robbed Saints debutant and former Scotland internationalist Andy Webster of the ball.

Hippolyte was proving a real handful for Ian Murray’s side with his quick feet and directness as the home supporters tried to unnerve the No.11 by booing the Englishman every time he was in possession.

Mallan, though, came closest to restoring the home side’s advantage just minutes into the second half when his curling effort came back off Jamieson’s right-hand post.

Webster should have then done better when the ball fell kindly to him from eight yards but he failed to make the desired connection and Jamieson mopped up the loose ball.

However, Livi gradually reimposed themselves and were moving the ball around well with substitute Gary Glen adding some impetus in attack.

McMullen then produced a snapshot that went just over Jamieson’s crossbar before Jordan Stewart was booked for a cynical challenge on Glen who was breaking at pace.

But the visitors almost grabbed all three points right at the death when an inviting cross from the left from Hippolyte picked out the run of Jordan White, who beat Langfield to the ball, but his outstretched effort just went wide of the post with the goal gaping.

St Mirren: Langfield, Kelly, Webster, Stewart (Gow 85), Goodwin (Morgan 70), McMullan, Baird, Agnew, Mallan, Shankland, Gallagher (Thompson 74). Subs: Ridgers, Howieson, McLear, Cuddihy.

Livingston: Jamieson, Gallagher, Sives, Gordon, Longridge, Cole, Pittman (Glen 46), Gibbons, Georgiev (Faria 70), Hippolyte, Buchanan (White 82). Subs: Gould, Neill, Sheerin, Currie.

Referee: John McKendrick

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