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Livingston and Hearts shared a hard fought draw in West Lothian, as the visitors passed up the better of the opportunities to secure a vital 3 points in the race for European places.

The Gorgie side travelled to the Tony Macaroni Arena with a capacity away contingent, as they looked to cement third place in the Cinch Premiership by pulling 10 points clear of their hosts, who were the closest chasers ahead of kick off.

Yutaro Oda, the latest in a string of J-League import to the Scottish top division, had the best chance of the opening 45 minutes for Hearts. Lawrence Shankland drove a low ball across the face of goal, but Oda couldn’t make a clean connection despite being just yards out.

That chance epitomised a tough first start for the Japanese under-21 international and he was replaced at half time by Newcastle United loanee Garang Kuol. The Australian wonderkid then had a glorious chance of his own just minutes into the second period, but could only fire the ball straight at the grateful Shamal George in the Livingston goal.

Robbie Neilson’s away side began turning the screw in the second half, as Stephen Humprhys worked space in the box only to see his shot parried away on the hour mark.

Moments later though and Livingston almost took the lead. A long ball over the top found new recruit Steven Bradley, who looked to lift the ball over the advancing Zander Clark only to see his lob headed off the line by Stephen Kingsley.

Both sides end the day as they started, with neither side able to take a leap towards third place.