Soccer

David Martindale rues ‘ridiculous’ game management as Livingston suffer defeat

Josh Sims netted in stoppage time for the hosts to earn a 3-2 win which leaves Livi six points adrift at the foot of the cinch Premiership table.

Livingston manager David Martindale suffered a late blow
David Martindale Livingston manager David Martindale suffered a late blow (Robert Perry/PA)

Livingston manager David Martindale bemoaned “ridiculous” game management following his side’s last-gasp defeat against Ross County.

Livi fought back from Eamonn Brophy’s first-half double in Dingwall as a brace from Bruce Anderson got his side level with four minutes left.

But Josh Sims netted in stoppage time for the hosts to earn a 3-2 win which leaves Livi six points adrift at the foot of the cinch Premiership table.

Martindale said: “I thought our game management for that third goal was ridiculous – terrible.

“In the first half, it was a wee bit toothless, gutless – we couldn’t get close enough. Our distances were all wrong.

“The first goal was a blatant error, under no pressure at all. A lack of focus leads to the first goal. It gives Ross County momentum and takes a wee bit of belief away from us.

“The second goal we don’t go in tight enough. We were too narrow and give Brophy too much room.

“We go in at half-time 2-0 down and make changes. It wasn’t down to the two who came off. We could probably have looked at the defensive unit as being the ones at fault.

“But you have to change something so we changed to 4-4-2 and put Bruce on and get the next goal.

“We threw caution to the wind in the last 10 minutes with big Kurtis Guthrie on and get the second goal back.

“At that point, maybe I should have changed it back to a back four or five and taken the point. I never, I thought the momentum was with us.

“Unfortunately we get done with a sucker punch. Again, defensively, we’ve got to do a lot better as a unit.”

County interim manager Don Cowie hailed his side’s character after keeping their composure following Livingston’s equaliser.

“We were very good in the first half and were worthy at 2-0 up,” said Cowie.

“I was really disappointed to lose a goal so early in the second half. It gave Livingston a massive boost and it became a difficult half of football.

“But we hung in there and came up with a bit of magic to win the game. I’m delighted for the group.

“The fact they kept going like that was pleasing. Most people would have assumed it would be Livingston who would go on and get the winning goal at that stage, but we came again.

“It’s the character that I know is in that dressing room.”