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Cristian Montano fires Livingston to narrow victory at Dundee United

Cristian Montano was the matchwinner for Livingston (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Cristian Montano was the matchwinner for Livingston (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Livingston secured their first win of the cinch Premiership season with a narrow 1-0 victory over Dundee United at Tannadice.

Cristian Montano scored the only goal of the game – his first for the club – early in the second half.

It was a disappointing defeat for the home side, who must now pick themselves up for the second leg of their Europa Conference League third qualifying round tie against AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands on Thursday.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for United great Finn Dossing, who died in June.

Livingston created the first opening of the game in the fifth minute when Joel Nouble pulled a ball back from the right to Sean Kelly at the edge of the United box but he dragged his low shot wide of home goalkeeper Mark Birighitti’s post.

After that early opportunity, both sides struggled to carve out further openings.

As the half-hour mark approached, there was a glimmer of a chance for the home side as striker Steven Fletcher chased down a long through ball but Livi keeper Shamal George snuffed out the danger.

Fletcher tried his luck again with a speculative long-range shot but his effort flew well wide.

The Lions then made a promising break from inside their own half, with Montano eventually finding space down the left but his shot was off target and both sides headed down the tunnel at the break with the game still goalless.

However, the deadlock was finally broken in the 49th minute.

Nouble hit a shot which Birighitti did well to block but the ball rebounded to Nicky Devlin who teed up Montano and he fired a thunderous 20-yard shot that flew past the keeper and into the back of the net.

United had a chance to make an instant response but Tony Watt’s close-range shot was well saved by George.

The home side continued to press for an equaliser, with skipper Ryan Edwards seeing a shot deflected wide and Fletcher going close shortly after.

Watt was then presented with a clear sight of goal but he could not keep his low shot from 16 yards out on target.

Livi could have doubled their lead in the 69th minute when Nouble played Scott Pittman through on goal but Birighitti did well to snuff out the danger with his feet.

United hit straight back as substitute Mathew Cudjoe struck a superb long-range effort that was tipped over the bar by George.

However, Livi saw the game out to take all three points.