Livingston 1-1 Motherwell: Van Veen earns visitors point

Kevin van Veen's strike canceled out Morgan Boyes' opener.
Kevin van Veen’s strike canceled out Morgan Boyes’ opener

Motherwell’s Scottish Premiership relegation concerns deepened despite Kevin van Veen’s audacious effort earning a point away to Livingston.

David Martindale’s side led through a Morgan Boyes header, but Van Veen’s reply was prompt.

Livingston captain Nicky Devlin had a retaken penalty saved by Liam Kelly after bundling home the rebound of the initial spot-kick.

Motherwell are now only above the play-off spot on goal difference.

While Steven Hammell’s men are winless in six, Livingston have gone five games without victory but rise a place to sixth.

Two wins in their last 14 league matches had increasingly brought Motherwell cause for concern, with their luck in dire need of turning.

Ricki Lamie cut a perplexed and dejected figure when referee David Munro pointed to the spot, judging the ball had struck the arm of the Motherwell defender, who was facing the other way. This was only the start of the drama.

Devlin’s initial penalty lacked vigor, allowing Kelly to push it back into the mix and gift the taker a second bite at success, which he put away.

However, a retake was ordered, seemingly for encroachment, and the Motherwell goalkeeper made no mistake in blitzing away any sniff of a rebound as Devlin again failed from 12 yards.

Injecting a well-needed wake-up call into the visitors, Van Veen began to exhibit what Hammell’s side have been missing in recent weeks as he forced Shamal George into action.

Epitomizing an end-to-end encounter, Stephen Kelly crackled an effort just wide, before dropping a free-kick on to the head of Boyes at the back post for the Welshman to nod open his Livingston account.

Motherwell pounced back through a perfect piece of creativity as Van Veen’s razor-sharp instinct led him to looping a shot past George.

Level at the interval, an extended period of injury-time was played due to the head injury suffered by Cristian Montano, who didn’t return in the second half.

What did, though, was the time. His replacement, recent signing Steven Bradley from Hibernian, nearly made an immediate impact, catching Kelly off guard. Van Veen, at the crux of it again, crashed a close-range chance off the crossbar.

It swiftly became the clash of the Kellys, Stephen and Sean testing Liam’s goal with shots from range and a free-kick from the latter the last bid for a winner from either side as a draw petered out.

Player of the match – Kevin van Veen

With six shots at Shamal George, he was Motherwell's most dangerous player.  If the Steelmen are to avoid the drop, they'll need the Dutchmn at his best in front of goal
With six shots at Shamal George, he was Motherwell’s most dangerous player. If the Steelmen are to avoid the drop, they’ll need the Dutchmn at his best in front of goal

‘Well in a serious relegation scrap while Livi huff and puff – Analysis

Motherwell may have taken a point before a ball was kicked, but they certainly wouldn’t have taken a Dundee United win. The result in Perth pulls United level with Hammell’s side, or rather drags the Steelmen down to them.

There were promising pieces of play – width was well utilized with Blair Spittal getting creative and Matt Penney looking lively – but Motherwell need points as well as performances.

Livingston boss Martindale wasn’t his jubilant self on the sidelines, there was a fair bit of frustration as his side were a little wasteful at times.

Livingston had only netted two of their last six penalties prior to today’s misses, which add to their disappointment.

Stephen Kelly was the key cog in the middle of the park and Martindale will be pleased with the showing of Bradley who got in about it in the second half.

What’s next?

Livingston make the trip up to Dingwall to take on Ross County on Saturday, 7 January (15:00 GMT), while Motherwell play a day later at home against Hibernian (13:30).

Player of the match

KellyStephen Kelly

Livingston

  1. Team number17Player nameKelly

  2. Team number24Player nameKelly

  3. Team number9Player nameAnderson

  4. Team number11Player nameCristian Montano

  5. Team number22Player nameShinnie

  6. Team number7Player nameBahamboula

  7. Team number6Player nameObileye

  8. Team number1Player nameGeorge

  9. Team number15Player nameBoyes

  10. Team number29Player namePenrice

  11. Team number16Player nameBradley

  12. Team number33Player nameOmeonga

  13. Team number10Player nameEsmael Goncalves

  14. Team number2Player nameDevlin

Motherwell

  1. Team number27Player nameGoss

  2. Team number9Player namevan Veen

  3. Team number1Player nameKelly

  4. Team number8Player nameSlattery

  5. Team number18Player nameCornelius

  6. Team number7Player nameSpittal

  7. Team number29Player nameshields

  8. Team number24Player namePenney

  9. Team number16Player nameMcGinn

  10. Team number4Player nameLamie

  11. Team number15Player nameJohansen

  12. Team number17Player nameMcKinstry

Line-ups

Livingston

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1George
  • 2Devlin
  • 6Obileye
  • 15Boyes
  • 11MountainBooked at 10minsSubstituted forBradleyat 45′minutes
  • 22Shinnie
  • 24KellyBooked at 44mins
  • 17Kelly
  • 7BahamboulaSubstituted forOmeongaat 59′minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 9AndersonSubstituted forEsmael Goncalvesat 89′minutes
  • 29Penrice

Substitutes

  • 3Longridge
  • 5Fitzwater
  • 10Esmael Goncalves
  • 16Bradley
  • 25Cancar
  • 31Konovalov
  • 32Hamilton
  • 33Omeonga

Motherwell

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Kelly
  • 16McGinn
  • 15Johansen
  • 4Lamie
  • 24Penney
  • 18Cornelius
  • 27GossBooked at 79mins
  • 8SlatteryBooked at 73mins
  • 29shieldsSubstituted forMcKinstryat 77′minutes
  • 9van Veen
  • 7Spittal

Substitutes

  • 2O’Donnell
  • 6Maguire
  • 13Oxborough
  • 17McKinstry
  • 20Blaney
  • 26Tierney
  • 36Speirs
  • 38Miller
  • 47Ross

Referees:
David Munro

Attendance:
2.163

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