ST MIRREN moved to the top of the Championship with three second half goals against Livingston at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Tuesday night.

The visitors opened the scoring half an hour via Dale Carrack in a lacklustre first half.

Saints were much improved in the second period, and leapfrogged Dundee United thanks to goals from Lewis Morgan, an own goal and Ian McShane.

Manager Jack Ross stuck with the same starting line-up and bench that picked up a 2-0 win up in Inverness on Saturday.

Saints’ first meaningful attack of the game was well worked by Lewis Morgan, the winger drifting infield past two and finding Kyle Magennis with his cross, but the header went wide.

Cammy Smith was the first to test goalkeeper Neil Alexander, his long range effort stinging the palms of the former Rangers shotstopper, pushing it behind for a corner on 19 minutes.

Saints then had a goal ruled out for a soft foul on Alexander from a corner.

Livingston open the scoring on the half-hour mark, a long-range shot from Josh Mullin is palmed away by Craig Samson, but Carrick reacts quickest to tap home.

St Mirren players began to get frustrated with each other, McShane firing a strong pass at Liam Smith being unable to control it.

Saints almost equalised three minutes before the break, Adam Eckersley’s cross fooled everyone, flying over Alexander and crashed off the post, the ball luckily richoeted off a Livingston player out for a corner.

Saints last lost a home game in January, and that looked under threat at half-time.

But the hosts were a different side in the second half, equalising via Morgan on 51 minutes.The Scotland under-21 international’s low shot squirmed under Alexander, the keeper perhaps expected to better with the attempt.

Livingston manager David Hopkin made two changes after the hour mark, as the visitors looked to get a foothold in the game, with the hosts were in the ascendancy. But it was the Buddies who took the lead.

Morgan did well down the left and Eckersley drove into the box.

His strike was cleared off the line by Declan Gallagher, but his clearance bounced off a Livingston player and bobbled into the net.

At this point St Mirren were in control of the game, with Livingston rarely threatening from then on. Saints third came after Alan Lithgow fouled Jack Baird in the penalty box, who was making his 100th appearance for the Buddies on Tuesday night, with referee Gavin Duncan pointing to the spot.

McShane scored his second in as many games from 12 yards out to put Saints back at the top of the table. St Mirren next host Dumbarton on Saturday, kick-off is at 3pm.

ST MIRREN: Samson, Smith, Baird, Davis, Eckersley, McShane, McGinn, Magennis (Stelios, 88), Smith (Buchanan, 79), Morgan, Reilly (Sutton, 89). Subs not used: Stewart, McCart, Kirkpatrick, Duffy.

LIVINGSTON: Alexander, Lithgow, Halkett, Gallagher, Byrne, Pittman, Longridge, Jacobs, Mullin (De Vita, 60), Cadden (Mackin, 70), Carrick (Todorov, 60). Subs not used: Maley, Penrice, Knox, Henderson.

Attendance: 3177