Partick Thistle vs. Livingston – Football Match Report – May 20, 2018
Livingston clinched promotion to the Scottish Premiership after beating Partick Thistle 3-1 on aggregate in the play-off final.
The Lions ended a 12-year absence from the top flight of Scottish football after beating the Jags 1-0 in the second leg to send Alan Archibald’s side down to the Championship.
It is a second promotion in as many years for David Hopkin, whose side have exceeded expectations and backed up their 2-1 win at the Tony Macarnoi Arena on Thursday.
Keaghan Jacobs scored his second goal of the tie to all-but finish it early in the second half and Conor Sammon missed a late penalty that would have only given the hosts a slim chance.
There was a real edge to proceedings in the early stages, with Thistle keen not to let the visitors have it all their own way.
Livingston gave as good as they got though, and for all their intent the Jags still struggled to string together any sort of attacking threat.
The opening 20 minutes was littered with stoppages in play with the visitors happy to slow the game right down to the frustration of the crowd.
Thistle enjoyed the majority of possession, but the little threat they offered in the opening half hour was from out wide and that played right into Livingston’s hands as their three centre-backs were able to deal with crosses into the box, despite being forced further and further back.
Jordan Thompson and Shaun Byrne each saw shots blocked inside the Jags’ area before Blair Spittall forced a fine save – the first of the match – with a drive from outside the area that was heading towards the bottom corner.
Despite their best efforts to gee the team on, a lively crowd grew steadily more anxious with their side 45 minutes away from losing their Premiership status.
The killer blow came in the first minute after the break, and again it was Jacobs on target with his third of the season, stroking in from the edge of the area after a cross was knocked back into his path to open up a two-goal lead in the tie.
The game returned to the pattern of the first half, with Thistle dominating but not threatening.
Blair Spittall, Steven Lawless and Christie Elliott eventually had shots easily saved by Neil Alexander, but the hosts never looked like they believed they could close the two-goal gap.
Home fans started to leave the stadium early as it became clear their five-year stay in the Premiership was coming to an end, and Sammon’s miss from the spot merely compounded a bad afternoon as Livingston clinched promotion.