It was back to league business for St Andrews after last week’s disappointing result in the Scottish Cup.
But they faced a Bathgate team who were in good form so the Saints knew a good display was essential if they were to take anything from this match.
It was Bathgate who started the match brightest and broke through Saints defence several times in the first 10 minutes but some poor finishing and good goalkeeping from Hunter’s prevented them from taking the lead.
St Andrews striker Paul Quinn caused the Bathgate defence problems and managed to turn in the penalty area but got no power in his effort.
During the next 20 minutes Saints took control and made the breakthrough in the 29th minute when, after good move involving several Saints players, Lawrie hit a great left foot shot past the home keeper.
Two efforts for Bathgate just before the break forced Hunter into making two good saves to preserve the Saints lead.
The second half saw much fewer chances for both sides.
Lawrie had another effort go just wide in 59 minutes.
Bathgate drew level in 61 minutes when Saints conceded a penalty.
The referee decided a Bathgate forward was fouled as he attempted to get a shot away.
McLeod made no mistake as he hit it into the roof of the net.
A blow for Saints in 67 minutes when Quinn was straight red-carded for alleged verbal abuse with the referee.
Hunter pulled off another outstanding save in 71 minutes when he cleared it out of the goal area.
Substitute Falconer for Saints was unlucky in 80 minutes to see a powerful header blocked and cleared by the home keeper.
In the last 10 minutes, Bathgate applied a lot of pressure but Saints held out well with decent defensive play.
It looked like it would be a tragic end for Saints – despite their efforts – in the last of three minutes of injury time when Bathgate were awarded a second penalty.
McLeod stepped up again but Saints hero of the day, Hunter, managed to get an outstretched leg to save.