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Andrew Shinnie netted a last gasp winner to condemn St Johnstone to a fourth successive defeat – and set up an intriguing relation fight at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday night.

Saints will host fellow strugglers Ross County – who were hammered by Motherwell – knowing that a win for the Highlanders would seal their fate.

They had only themselves to blame for allowing this one to get away from them. After getting off to the perfect start when Adama Sidibeh gave them an eighth minute opener they conspired to miss a number of chances that would have put the game to bed.

Instead, Livingston who had looked hungover from their confirmed relegation, were allowed to wriggle off the hook with second-half goals from Cristian Montano and Andrew Shinnie giving the hosts the win.

St Johnstone started the game with intensity and purpose as they looked to make an impression from the off.

Nicky Clark set the tempo after just 40 seconds with an effort that went just over the bar before Livvy keeper Shamal George denied Stevie May – making his first start since the end of December – and Sidibeh.

 

There was an inevitability, though, about the goal as Sidibeh got them off to a flying start. May’s scuffed shot fell kindly to the 25-year-old at the back post who steered the ball over the line.

With their tails up, Saints kept at it as they looked to make life a little more comfortable for themselves.

However, their failure to sustain the same tempo enabled Livingston got a foothold within the game and although they struggled to create too much for Dimitar Mitov to deal with, they succeeded in taking the wind out of St Johnstone’s sails.

Not that Saints were without their chances to double their lead. Drey Wright had a fierce strike that he dragged just wide after Sidibeh had held the ball up for him while Clark brought out a decent save from George.

 

Saints struggled to find the killer second goal with Livingston punishing them for their profligacy.

Mitov was forced into a save from a powerful Tete Yengi header before the leveller came.

A deep corner had Mitov floundering with the ball falling ti the unmarked Montano who, in acres of space, prodded home at the back post.

It seemed indicative of St Johnstone’s season with recurring cheap goals significant in why they find themselves in their current predicament.

It could have got worse for Saints with substitute Ayo Obileye cracking the post after another corner had the visitors in disarray while Stephen Kelly lashed a furious effort just wide of the target from the edge of the box.

Clark had a massive chance to seal the points at the death after Graham Carey picked him out but the striker lost his composure and blasted wildly off target.

It proved to be huge.

Livingston went up the park with Shinnie netted in the 95th minute. VAR allowing the goal rubbed salt in Saints’ wounds.

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