Luke McCowan free-kick gives Dundee victory over Livingston

The Dundee midfielder scored the only goal of the game at Dens Park.

Luke McCowan free-kick gives Dundee victory over Livingston SNS Group

Luke McCowan scored the winner in a tight cinch Premiership contest to give Dundee a 1-0 win over Livingston at Dens Park.

The midfielder’s stunning second-half free-kick came after the visitors’ Sean Kelly had seen an initial red card reduced to a yellow following a VAR intervention.

The result moved Dundee up to sixth in the table while Livingston remain 11th and have now lost four games in a row.

These two sides had played each other just eight days previously at the Tony Macaroni Arena with Dundee winning 2-0 thanks to a Joe Shaughnessy double.

Both teams had also been in action in midweek with Dark Blues boss Tony Docherty making three changes to the side that was beaten 5-0 by Rangers at Dens with Jordan McGhee, Zak Rudden and Lyall Cameron coming in for Aaron Donnelly, Scott Tiffoney and Malachi Boateng.

Livi manager Davie Martindale made just one alteration to the team that narrowly lost to Hearts with Mo Sangare dropping to the bench to be replaced by Danny Lloyd, making his first start for the Lions.

Michael Devlin had the first shot of the game from outside the Dundee box but his effort was easily gathered by Dark Blues keeper Trevor Carson.

As the half-hour mark approached, there was little in the way of flowing football with too many wayward passes and wrong decisions ensuring that both keepers were virtual spectators.

The best chance of the half finally arrived in the 37th minute when Livi’s James Penrice hit a superb cross from the left that was just begging to be put in but Joel Nouble volleyed over Carson’s bar from close range.

The hosts had an opportunity of their own soon after when Owen Beck hit a free-kick from the left with Ricki Lamie bulleting a header just wide of Livi keeper Jack Hamilton’s right-hand post.

The game finally burst into life after the break and there was a huge moment of controversy when Kelly chopped down Zak Rudden in full flight with referee Alan Muir showing the Lions player a straight red card.

However, the VAR Don Robertson asked the whistler to have another look on the trackside monitor with the referee changing his decision, showing Kelly a yellow.

Dundee were raging but that anger turned to delight straight after in the 57th minute when McCowan stepped up to take the subsequent free-kick and sent it flying into the top corner of Hamilton’s net from 25 yards.

Deep in stoppage time, Livi came agonisingly close to salvaging a draw but Carson made a superb stop from a deflected Bruce Anderson effort.

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