Shot-shy Livingston ordered to test keeper more

Livingston manager Mark Burchill. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Livingston manager Mark Burchill. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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Livingston manager Mark Burchill says his players need to work their opposition’s goalkeeper more after Denny Johnstone’s sixth-minute penalty for Morton consigned them to defeat on Saturday.

Full-back Jackson Longridge’s clumsy tackle on Conor Pepper enabled Johnstone to seal the win from the spot as the Greenock outfit moved nine points clear of the Lions – seeking a third-successive win – in sixth place.

But Livi more than matched Jim Duffy’s men for endeavour, enjoying the lion’s share of possession with some intricate link-up play.

However, Burchill said: “We’ve got to work the goalkeeper more as I don’t think he really had any good saves to make. We need to work on that and make sure our final decision is much better.

“I think we were the better side but without really creating much chances. We got ourselves in really good situations but we perhaps made the wrong decision or took that extra touch.

“It was really disappointing to lose the goal after six minutes but I thought we responded very well and were excellent in the first half. It’s disappointing to lose to a side who we could have gone three points behind had we won. But to be fair to Morton they defended very well.”

Both Liam Buchanan and Gary Glen went close with shots that went wide of goalkeeper Grant Adams’ post before substitute Jordyn Sheerin’s late volley sailed over the crossbar.

Morton themselves rarely tested Marc McCallum in the Lions goal, Johnstone’s composure from 12 yards ultimately proving the difference.

With games against the Championship’s top three on the horizon, Burchill admits he is relishing the challenge.

“We’ve got Hibs, Rangers and Falkirk coming up but these are the sorts of games you don’t need to worry about,” he said. “We tend to get our best performances against the big teams so they’ll take care of themselves. That’s certainly what I’ve found since I’ve been manager of Livingston.”

Morton: Adam, Pepper, Kilday, Gasparotto, Russell, Barr (Miller 90), McKee (Forbes 69), O’Ware, Tidser, Samuel (McCluskey 76), Johnstone. Subs: McGowan, Scullion, Quitongo, Orr.

Livingston: McCallum, Neill, Gordon, Gallagher, Longridge, Glen, Faria, Gibbons (Sheerin 67), Pittman, White, Buchanan. Subs: Jamieson, Millen, Georgiev, Currie.