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Partick Thistle 0-1 Livingston (agg 1-3)

Livingston players celebrate
Livingston won both legs of their tie with Partick Thistle to seal a place in next season’s top flight

Livingston completed an aggregate victory in the Premiership play-off final to secure successive promotions and relegate Partick Thistle.

In a first half of few chances, Thistle’s Blair Spittal had a low strike saved as the Jags tried to overturn their 2-1 first-leg deficit.

Keaghan Jacobs’ sweeping shot put Livi in front on the day after the break.

Partick Thistle 0-1 Livingston (agg 1-3)
Partick Thistle 0-1 Livingston (agg 1-3)

And goalkeeper Neil Alexander saved a late Conor Sammon penalty to make sure of victory for David Hopkin’s side.

The Championship runners-up, who won last season’s League One title, return to the top flight after a 12-year absence and become the first side since Hamilton Academical in 2014 to win promotion via the Premiership play-off final.

Conor Sammon looks dejected
Sammon was denied from the penalty spot on a miserable day for Partick Thistle

Alan Archibald’s Thistle go back to the second tier five years on from their promotion and just a year after finishing sixth in the top league.

The Jags knew all the pressure was on them to get at least one goal without reply just to take the tie to extra-time.

The opening 20 minutes were frantic with the home side looking nervous and both Christie Elliott and Adam Barton finding their way into the book of referee John Beaton.

Eventually, though, Archibald’s side found their way and were able to force a sustained spell of pressure, Chris Erskine’s header from a Stevie Lawless cross coming close.

Livingston looked content to allow the home side possession until the final third of the pitch before then applying the pressure required to keep their hosts at bay.

But with the home side pushing forward gaps began to appear in the Thistle defence.

Jordan Thompson had a shot blocked by the legs of Barton and, after a slip by Andrew McCarthy, Livi midfielder Shaun Byrne found himself with space in front of goal but delayed his effort and the chance was gone.

Blair Spittal shoots
Spittal came closest to scoring for the Jags in the first half

On the stroke of half-time, Spittal drove forward and fired in an effort from the edge of the box that 40-year-old Alexander dived low to his left to tip the ball around the post.

And just 30 seconds into the second period Livingston gave themselves extra breathing space in the tie.

Lee Miller flicked on a long throw into the box with the ball falling at the feet of Byrne. The midfielder cushioned the ball into the path of the advancing Jacobs, who drilled his low shot beyond Tomas Cerny.

The 2,000-plus fans who had made the short trip along the M8 were now in full voice as they roared their team on.

Keaghan Jacobs scores
Jacobs scored his second goal of the tie to put the seal on Livingston’s win

Archibald soon looked at the bench with Sammon given the nod and McCarthy making way as Thistle looked to find a way back into the tie.

Hopkin responded with Thompson replaced with the fresh legs of Nicky Cadden and his trio of central defenders – Craig Halkett, Alan Lithgow and Declan Gallagher – were throwing their bodies in front of anything that came their way.

The home side were now committing more and more players forward and both Lawless and Spittal had long-range efforts that ended up in the arms of Alexander, who denied Lawless again moments later.

Many of the home fans had already made their way towards the exit before the board showing four additional minutes was raised.

But the drama was far from over when the home side were awarded a penalty after a handball by Lithgow.

However, Alexander dived to his right to make a terrific stop from Sammon’s spot-kick and when referee Beaton blew the full-time whistle it was the Livingston fans who were able to celebrate.

The rise, fall and rise again of Livingston
1995: Meadowbank Thistle relocated to Livingston and renamed after town
2001: Promoted to Scottish Premier League for first time
2002: Finish third in top flight, behind Celtic & Rangers, qualify for Uefa Cup
2004: Win Scottish League Cup
2006: Relegated from top flight
2009: Almost liquidated; demoted to old Scottish Third Division (now League Two)
2010: Win Third Division title
2011: Win Second Division title
2015: Avoid relegation from Championship in play-offs
2016: Relegated to League One (third tier)
2017: Win League One title
2018: Finish second in Championship; beat Partick Thistle in play-off final

Line-ups

Partick Thistle

  • 1Cerny
  • 16McGinn
  • 13BartonBooked at 31mins
  • 4Cargill
  • 14ElliottBooked at 4mins
  • 37Woods
    Substituted forEdwardsat 70′minutes
  • 24McCarthy
    Substituted forSammonat 55′minutes
  • 7Spittal
  • 10Erskine
    Substituted forBoothat 75′minutes
  • 11Lawless
  • 9Doolan

Substitutes

  • 3Booth
  • 12Scully
  • 15Devine
  • 18Sammon
  • 19Edwards
  • 21Penrice
  • 39Storey

Livingston

  • 1Alexander
  • 31Gallagher
  • 26Halkett
  • 4LithgowBooked at 90mins
  • 14Jacobs
  • 8Pittman
  • 6Byrne
  • 24ThompsonBooked at 32mins
    Substituted forCaddenat 59′minutes
  • 3Longridge
  • 18Miller
    Substituted forMcMillanat 68′minutes
  • 17Robinson
    Substituted forBuchananat 79′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McMillan
  • 5Buchanan
  • 7Mullin
  • 11Cadden
  • 19Frizzell
  • 20Maley
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
7,122

Match Stats

Home TeamPartick ThistleAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home66%
Away34%
Shots
Home8
Away5
Shots on Target
Home6
Away1
Corners
Home11
Away2
Fouls
Home10
Away7

Live Text

Posted at

Match ends, Partick Thistle 0, Livingston 1.

Full Time

Posted at90’+5′

Second Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, Livingston 1.

Posted at90’+4′

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Jackson Longridge.

Posted at90’+1′

Foul by Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle).

Posted at90’+1′

Shaun Byrne (Livingston) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Posted at90’+1′

Penalty saved! Conor Sammon (Partick Thistle) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom left corner.

Booking

Posted at90′

Alan Lithgow (Livingston) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Posted at90′

Penalty conceded by Alan Lithgow (Livingston) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Posted at85′

Attempt saved. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Posted at84′

Gregor Buchanan (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at84′

Foul by Conor Sammon (Partick Thistle).

Posted at84′

Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Posted at84′

Foul by Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston).

Substitution

Posted at79′

Substitution, Livingston. Gregor Buchanan replaces Scott Robinson.

Posted at77′

Attempt saved. Christie Elliott (Partick Thistle) header from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Posted at76′

Attempt saved. Blair Spittal (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Posted at75′

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Callum Booth replaces Chris Erskine.

Posted at74′

Attempt saved. Steven Lawless (Partick Thistle) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Posted at72′

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Declan Gallagher.

Substitution

Posted at70′

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Ryan Edwards replaces Martin Woods.

Substitution

Posted at68′

Substitution, Livingston. Jack McMillan replaces Lee Miller.

Posted at67′

Blair Spittal (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Posted at67′

Foul by Nicky Cadden (Livingston).

Posted at60′

Attempt missed. Craig Halkett (Livingston) header from the left side of the six yard box is too high.

Posted at60′

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Christie Elliott.

Substitution

Posted at59′

Substitution, Livingston. Nicky Cadden replaces Jordan Thompson.

Posted at57′

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Scott Robinson.

Substitution

Posted at55′

Substitution, Partick Thistle. Conor Sammon replaces Andrew McCarthy.

Posted at48′

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Craig Halkett.

Goal!

Posted at46′

Goal! Partick Thistle 0, Livingston 1. Keaghan Jacobs (Livingston) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Shaun Byrne.

Second Half

Posted at

Second Half begins Partick Thistle 0, Livingston 0.

Half Time

Posted at45’+4′

First Half ends, Partick Thistle 0, Livingston 0.

Posted at45’+3′

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Neil Alexander.

Posted at45’+2′

Attempt saved. Blair Spittal (Partick Thistle) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Posted at44′

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Alan Lithgow.

Posted at43′

Corner, Partick Thistle. Conceded by Jackson Longridge.

Posted at41′

Corner, Livingston. Conceded by Paul McGinn.

Posted at41′

Attempt blocked. Shaun Byrne (Livingston) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

Posted at41′

Attempt blocked. Jordan Thompson (Livingston) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Posted at39′

Kris Doolan (Partick Thistle) wins a free kick in the attacking half.


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