Aberdeen 0-2 Livingston

With the Dons holding the Lions to a draw the previous Saturday, Livi were still looking for that elusive win against Derek McInnes’ side – the only team they hadn’t beaten since their return to the top flight in 2018.

Livingston were looking for their first win over Aberdeen in any competition since 2004, and a trip to Pittodrie was expected to see the end of Davie Martindale’s thirteen match unbeaten run as boss.

Martindale made five changes to the side that drew with the Dons just three days earlier, resting key players such as skipper Marvin Bartley and Scott Robinson. Jon Guthrie and Craig Sibbald were also forced to sit out after picking up knocks in the warm-up.

Jackson Longridge came into the side for his first start for the club in his second spell, his last one coming in the memorable 1-0 win over Partick Thistle at Firhill in the Play-Offs in May 2018. There was also a first Premiership appearance since 12th August for Aaron Taylor-Sinclair.

The Lions couldn’t have got off to a better start, as on seven minutes they were given an absolute gift. Some good work from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Jason Holt saw the latter play Julien Serrano down the left wing. The full back whipped in a cross, which looked like it would be claimed fairly comfortably by Joe Lewis, but the Aberdeen goalkeeper fumbled into the back of his own net, gifting Livi an early 1-0 lead.

Just nine minutes later, Livingston were in dreamland as they made it 2-0. Josh Mullin whipped in an outstanding pinpoint cross from deep on the right wing, perfectly picking out Nicky Devlin on the penalty spot. The defender was right on cue to meet the delivery with a powerful header which he sent beyond Lewis to net Livi’s second of the night, and his second of the season.

It was nearly three moments later. Emmanuel-Thomas was invited to try his luck from around 25 yards out as the Aberdeen defence backed off, but his low effort rocketed just wide of the post.

In the last real action of the first half, Aberdeen had a chance to get themselves back in the game. Lewis Ferguson’s deep free-kick was met by Ash Taylor at the back post, but the defender’s header was straight at Stryjek.

Just after the half-time break, the Dons thought they had pulled one back. Greg Leigh’s dangerous cross was only cleared as far as Lewis Ferguson. The midfielder unleashed a cracking half volley which took a slight deflection towards goal, smacking the underside of the crossbar before being collected by Stryjek. Ferguson and his teammates surrounded the referee, convinced the ball had crossed the line, but referee Nick Walsh denied the protests and waved play on.

McInnes’ side still came forward, looking for that goal that would spur them on to mount a comeback. Lewis Ferguson was the main threat and driving force, and tried his luck again from a similar distance to his previous effort. There was no goal debate to be had this time though, with Stryjek getting down low to his right to beat the powerful strike away.

With Aberdeen failing to get back into the game, Livingston looked to kill it and wrap up the three points late on. Efe Ambrose’s long ball forward was cleared by Andy Considine, and picked up by Scott Pittman. The midfielder, who had scored at Pittodrie earlier in the season, beat the Dons defender before seeing his effort smash off the post.

It wouldn’t matter though as the Lions walked away 2-0 winners, taking all three points and extending their unbeaten run to 14 matches. Martindale broke more records, as the Lions won both against Aberdeen and at Pittodrie for the first time since 2004.

The result sees Livingston open up a ten point gap between them in fifth and St Mirren in sixth, whilst also closing the gap to Aberdeen in fourth to just five points.

Up next, Livingston host future Betfred Cup Final opponents St Johnstone in the Premiership, who the Lions have beaten on both occasions this season.


Aberdeen: Lewis, Hoban , Taylor (Campbell 44), Considine, Hayes, McCrorie, Ferguson , Leigh, McLennan (Hendry 44), Hedges ( Kennedy 14), Hornby ( McGinn 75)
Subs not used: Logan, McGeouch, Virtanen, MacKenzie, Woods
Goals:

Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Ambrose, Taylor-Sinclair, Longridge , Lawson, Holt, Mullin ( Robinson 81), Pittman, Serrano, Emmanuel-Thomas ( Reilly 70)
Subs not used: McCrorie, McMillan, Bartley, Sibbald, Forrest, Kabia
Goals: Lewis OG (7), Devlin (16)

Referee: Nick Walsh
HT: 2-0
Att: BCD
Match Report: Calum Brown


 

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