FOR all the qualities with which Nicky Devlin takes to the pitch, popping the ball into the bottom corner from more than 20 yards is not exactly one most punters would have him down for. 

His stunning strike in Saturday's draw in Paisley was less a 100/1 shot than a once in a career moment for a player who, by his manager's admission, is about as much threat to Max Styjek's goal in training as Livingston's clash with St Mirren was to the top spot on Sportscene. 

It was hardly a classic at the SMiSA Stadium but, when all is said and done, David Martindale and his cohorts will likely look back on the point as one gained rather than two dropped. And for Devlin, 28, he got his moment to savour when his perfectly struck volley flew beyond Jak Alnwick and into the bottom corner to spark wild celebrations from the guests. 


“That is me made my play for goal of the season!" the Livi captain, who scored for just the third time for the club, said. "There will be no other entries from me. It was a good strike and overall I thought we deserved to take something from it.

“It would have been harsh to come away with nothing. I was lucky enough to be the one who scored it but it’s just good to get the points on the board and that’s five unbeaten now." 

Not only is it five without defeat but in that run Livi have stopped Celtic and Dundee United in their tracks and picked up vital wins over St Johnstone and Ross County on the road. With a solid structure and their own threat from a host of underrated talents – including Odin Bailey, who once again impressed on Saturday – they are showing exactly why the Livingston stereotype exists and why so many in the cinch Premiership hate welcoming the Lions. 

“We are better on the grass and might be better changing our pitch to grass!" joked Devlin, when asked about the team's recent away form. "We set up hard to beat to begin with and go into every game aiming to get clean sheets. 

“That can frustrate a lot of teams as they need to come and attack us rather than the other way about.

“I am not sure why we get points on the road but we can continue to do that. We have been a wee bit slack at home this year and we have let teams come and beat us which is not like us.

“If we can sort that out and pick up away points, we will be alright."

While Devlin's strike was one for the scrapbook, Jamie McGrath's opener was no slouch and will surely feature in the goal of the month discussion. His chip looked to have sent the Buddies on their way to a vital win only for their Achilles' heel to once again rear its ugly head. 

That's now seven draws from 14 games for Jim Goodwin's St Mirren, something McGrath knows they will need to address if they are to make the most of their chance to stay in the top six. 

HeraldScotland: Jamie McGrath opened the scoring Jamie McGrath opened the scoring

“I thought we were the better team for the whole match then just got that sucker punch right at the end," the Irishman, who scored for the first time since July, said. “It was a scrappy game in the first half and they might have edged it. But I thought we deserved all three points and it’s a big kick in the teeth not to win. It feels like a loss.