Livingston 2 Dundee United 1: Tangerines slump at Livi

Dundee United suffered another blow to their promotion hopes as they went down to Livingston at the Tony Macaroni arena.

The 2-1 loss means The Tangerines are still 14 points adrift of Championship leaders St Mirren and now six behind Livi.

Freezing temperatures in Livingston put the game in doubt until less than an hour before kick off and referee Craig Thomson only gave it the thumbs up after two late inspections.

When the action got underway Livi were on top and inside the opening five minutes Harry Lewis twice had to make good saves to deny Ryan Hardie.

United did go close when Emil Lyng saw a 20-yarder blocked by veteran Neil Alexander in the home goal, but it was no surprise when Livingston took a 22nd minute lead.

The goal came when a Raffaele De-Vita free kick was not cleared and when the ball was rolled back to Scott Robinson, he fired home 18 yards.

United tried to hit back and when Mark Durnan tried to find Lyng in the box, Alexander had to move smartly to cut out the danger.

Twelve minutes before the break they did go close when a Billy King 20-yarder was superbly saved by Alexander.

As half-time approached there was another blow for United when Lyng picked up a knock and was replaced by Thomas Mikkelsen.

Livi then had the ball in the net again from a Hardie header, but this time United were saved by the assistant referee’s flag for offside.

Early in the second half Nicky Cadden went close from a free kick 25 yards out.

United almost equaliser via a long range shot from Willo Flood that was brilliantly saved and then a Tam Scobbie header that flashed just wide.

With 15 minutes remaining, United finally found a way to goal when sub Matty Smith fired home from the edge of the area for his first league goal for the club.

But in injury time Ryan Hardie struck the winner for Livi to leave United bitterly disappointing and wondering where the next win is coming from.