The Sunday Post (Inverness)

Second half freeze leaves battered


St Mirren manager Oran Kearney alluded to petrificat­ion at the Paisley club as the Buddies froze in the second half in the face of a rampaging Livingston juggernaut. The Saints had comfortabl­y taken the lead in the first half through Alfie Jones, but a Scott Pittman-led revival left the visitors in a state of panic, leaving the manager questionin­g the psychologi­cal constituti­on of his squad.

“A fear to win is what strikes me about how they have gone into their shells in the second half,” a frustrated Kearney stated.

“In the second half, the players lost their bottle. It’s as simple as that.

“People talk about putting your head on the line and 50-50 tackles which are huge in football, but there’s also bravery to go and make that first pass and getting on the ball. We did that in the first half, but, in the second half, we just went under.

“The scars are there from the season. There have been defeats and it’s a mindset.”

The Livi Lions and St Mirren last locked horns at the Tony Macaroni Stadium in February, one rung lower down the league ladder as the Buddies ran away with the Championsh­ip title. The West Lothian outfit, of course, had to settle for promotion through the play-offs.

Fast forward 10 months and both clubs have worked their way collective­ly through six managers and the change in fortunes is noticeable.

Livi look like an entrenched Premiershi­p outfit, while the Saints are flirting with relegation.

The Paisley club were easily the better in the first half and took the lead from a set-piece as the usually resolute home defence switched off. Adam Hamill launched a free-kick up the right flank for Alfie Jones to rise unopposed to head home from eight yards out. The home side were out on the pitch early for the second half – not due to

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