Alexander ‘pinching himself’ as Motherwell seal top-six with Livi draw

Ricki Lamie’s stoppage-time equaliser was enough for the Steelmen to sneak into the top half of the table at Livingston’s expense.

Graham Alexander ‘pinching himself’ as Motherwell seal top-six berth with Livingston draw SNS Group

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander was proud of his players after they sealed top-six cinch Premiership football with the last kick of the game at Livingston.

Ricki Lamie’s stoppage-time equaliser was enough for the Steelmen to sneak into the top half of the table at the Lions’ expense.

Livingston had been in command with goals from Odin Bailey and Alan Forrest either side of the break.

But an effort from distance from Callum Slattery sparked a comeback for Motherwell, who ended up needing at least a point after Ross County won at Aberdeen.

Alexander said: “I’m pinching myself. We threw ourselves down a massive hole, didn’t play particularly well and were deservedly behind.

“We dug deep within our character, the subs made an impact.

“To get the point in that fashion, it’s better than five minutes to go because I don’t think I could have done any more!

“Even when we scored the equaliser I didn’t really celebrate much because I was worried something might happen somewhere else – and there was still a bit of time.

“At the final whistle, I still didn’t celebrate until I saw it on someone’s phone and it was verified.

“I’m so proud of the players as a group because if we hadn’t made it it would have been our own fault.”

Asked if he was aware of how results were going elsewhere as their game entered the final stages, Alexander added: “It was really quiet and talking about making subs with 10 minutes to go. Chris (Lucketti) said we were still top six even at 2-1 down.

“Then he gave me the s**t sandwich by saying: ‘We need a goal’. That was four minutes to go, but we were going for it anyway so we just had to keep doing it.”

Livingston boss Davie Martindale insists his team must now make sure they do not get dragged into relegation trouble.

The Lions are currently eight points clear of the drop zone.

Martindale said: “We have to pick ourselves up, we’ve no choice. We’re in a relegation battle now, let’s be honest.

“There is a 15-point swing at stake, so you’re in a relegation battle.

“I think you have to watch what you say on days like today, emotions take over.

“It’s a season-defining goal. Instead of celebrating and praising the players and staff, we’re coming out and being a wee bit negative. Not a wee bit, but hugely negative and that’s the difference.

“Fair play to Scottish football because it’s been an exciting league and we have five games to finish the best of the rest and that’s how I see it.”