Livingston sealed back-to-back wins and moved up to fourth in the Premiership as they held off a spirited second-half fight from St Johnstone to secure a 4-2 victory.
Stephen Kelly’s first-half brace and a goal in each half from James Penrice were enough to secure all three points in a six-goal thriller at McDiarmid Park.
The home side were booed off the pitch at half-time but fought back thanks to substitutes Jamie Murphy and Connor McLennan. However, their hopes of a comeback were quickly dashed as Penrice sealed all three points for the visitors on the other side with a stunning strike into the top left corner.
St Johnstone boss Callum Davidson has made three changes since his side lost to Aberdeen, with Nicky Clark and David Wotherspoon replacing Jamie Murphy and Cameron MacPherson, while Adam Montgomery replaced Tony Gallacher who missed out completely.
David Martindale has named a side unchanged since Livingston’s 2-0 win over Ross County, with Kurtis Guthrie returning to the substitutes’ bench after a long absence.
The home side started well but found themselves behind as Livingston took the lead against the run of play when Kelly picked the ball up on the edge of the box, moved the ball to his left foot to break through the ball through a sea of bodies and into the bottom corner.
It was all Livingston after the opener, and they scored again in the 15th minute when Kelly again had time and space on the edge of the box to line up a shot and he sent a good shot home to double the visitors’ lead.
St Johnstone was booed as John Beaton whistled for half-time. Davidson responded with a series of changes at the break as Murphy, McLennan and Cammy MacPherson replaced Graeme Carey, Wotherspoon and Alex Mitchell.
They looked sharper after the interval and threatened an incredible comeback when substitutes Murphy and McLennan both came home from close range after a tentative defense from Livingston.
However, all hopes of sealing a point were dashed when Penrice played a well-worked brace with Kelly down the left before firing into the top corner past Remi Matthews.
Attention turns to the Scottish Cup for Livingstone with a tie in the fourth round against Stenhousemuir January 21. Kick off 3 p.m.
Their next Scottish Premiership game is at home against Hearts January 29, live on Sky Sports. Kick off 1:30 p.m.
St Johnstone the next match is far away Rangers in the league on January 28. This game starts at 3 p.m.