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Livingston 0 Hamilton Academical 0: Comfortably numb keeper steals the show

SOMETIMES enough is enough.

As a windswept Darren Jamieson shivered violently within the Livingston dressing room at half-time on Saturday, a similar thought blew through the goalkeeper's mind. He had spent the previous 45 minutes being battered with rain, lashed with ferocious winds and laden with the burden of trying to clear a ball which, more often than not, ended up being blown back towards him. Perhaps he was better off staying where he was.

However, while remaining within the warmth as his teammates tentatively toddled back out into the bracing conditions, little did he know that referee Mat Northcroft - presumably in a hurry to get the second half over and done with - granted him his wish and restarted the match without him and one other member of the Livingston starting XI. Chaos soon erupted with Hamilton kicking off into an empty net, only for the remaining nine of the home flock to halt proceedings as a search party was promptly launched.

"I didn't have a clue the game had started. I was too busy inside having a hot Ribena with some honey in it, sitting having a nice time," explained Jamieson, masquerading as a big jessie. "Do you know what it was? Normally they come out at half-time and do the fast feet exercise and things like that, but I didn't want to do it and come out into the rain. I didn't realise everyone was waiting on me, though. The physio came running in and said 'We're all waiting on you DJ' and I thought 'Aw no'.

"I got a bit of surprise when I ran out and there was a cheer, I thought everyone just liked me."

Not quite. To be honest, John McGlynn could have put Rudolph in goal and left Jamieson to enjoy his beverage given how little he was called upon after the break. There were only two highlights: the first Burton O'Brien's thumping strike from 25 yards scudding Hamilton goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert's left-hand post, the second a disappearing act Siegfried and Roy would have been proud of - a long ball crashed into a puddle, causing an unsuspecting ball boy to vanish beneath the tidal wave. "The conditions were horrendous," affirmed Jamieson.

"First half it was difficult, just kicking the ball was hard enough. But I was happy with the clean sheet, it's my first of the season," he added, determined to eek out one happy note from a dour day. "That's definitely the worst conditions I've played in. The wind doesn't have a direction to it, it's just swirling. You kick the ball long once and then it lands short the next."

The conditions may have meant the contest looked destined for a draw from the off, but the point the stalemate delivered was far from inconsequential for Hamilton - not only had they returned to top of the SPFL Championship table, but they had halted a run of form which had seen defeats in their previous two matches.

Young full-back Ziggy Gordon was honest in his assessment of Saturday's turbulent game, especially when asked if he considered at any point approaching the referee to abandon the tie. "From the first minute," he joked. "I would have said to Livi 'If you don't score, we won't score, how does that sound?'.

"I've never played in a game like it. Regarding them missing their keeper at half-time, I was going to say to Daz [Darian MacKinnon] at the kick-off to just shoot, because I checked and saw they had no keeper. I didn't know where he was. In my opinion when the ref blows his whistle then that's it, if we'd scored I'd have been demanding the goal stood. To be fair, if it was the other way about it would have been a different story."

Contextual targeting label: 
Football

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