In a game packed with controversy, the Lions ran out 2-1 winners at Pittodrie as Nicky Devlin and Jason Holt’s goals were enough to seal a crucial three points as Livi got off to the perfect start in the bottom six split.
As the players made their way out, the sun shone over Aberdeen and the players readied themselves for what was bound to be an enthralling match.
The Dons got themselves off to a bright start as a quick move eventually found the feet of Marley Watkins however he was unable to guide his shot towards goal.
It didn’t take long for the Lions to respond and create their first chance as Joel Nouble’s cross was deflected by David Bates towards goal but it was well saved by Joe Lewis.
As half time approached, there was a real moment of controversy as Max Stryjek gathered the ball from Ross McCrorie’s header. The goalkeeper sprinted towards the edge of his box in the hope of launching a quick counter attack, but was impeded by Aberdeen midfielder Vicente Besuijen. In frustration, Stryjek motioned his arm towards the face of the Dutchman who went down, as his teammates surrounded the referee in protest of a red card and penalty kick. However, Grant Irvine awarded Livingston a free-kick, and handed both players yellow cards much to the frustration of Pittodrie.
After getting away with one, the visitors went up the other end and created a move which started in their own half. Andrew Shinnie’s deflected shot found Odin Bailey six yards out. The winger was denied as Joe Lewis made an excellent save but much to his disappointment, skipper Nicky Devlin was on hand to poke the rebound home and put the Lions in front while boos echoed round Pittodrie.
After the restart, Aberdeen once again started the half on the front foot as Ross McCrorie found Besuijen out on the right, however the winger failed to work Stryjek as the ball was gathered with ease.
Livingston withstood a lot of pressure from the Dons in the opening stages of the second half and got their just rewards midway through the second 45. On the 68th minute, a clever through ball from Bailey found Shinnie in the box. The midfielder cut across Funso Ojo before going to ground, and gave the referee no choice but to point to the spot. After a couple of misses from 12 yards, Jason Holt stepped up in place of regular taker Ayo Obileye. The midfielder sent Lewis the wrong way as he sent his spot kick into the top corner via the underside of the bar to net his first goal of the season.
Things went from bad to worse for Aberdeen as, with 12 minutes of normal time to go, McCrorie was given his marching orders after a foul on Holt which earned the midfielder a second yellow card.
The ten men didn’t massively impact Jim Goodwin’s men as they still pushed to get back into the match. Besuijen got the better of the Livi defence as some quick feet helped him away from three defenders, but his powerful shot was well saved by Max Stryjek.
With a minute to play, Lewis Ferguson was brought to the ground inside the box by Ayo Obileye and Grant Irvine pointed to the spot for the second time in the game. Reliable as ever from the spot, Ferguson buried his penalty into the top corner to give the hosts hope of getting something from the game.
It proved to be too little too late for Aberdeen though, as Livingston earned a fantastic win on the road. The 2-1 victory sees the Lions remain in 8th place ahead of Saturday’s game against Hibs, who sit just above on goal difference.
Match Report: Allan Strachan
Aberdeen: Lewis, Ojo ▊, Gallagher (Ramirez 70), Bates, MacKenzie (Jenks 80), Barron, Besuijen ▊, McCrorie ▊, Ferguson, Hayes ▊, Watkins (Ramsey 85)
Subs not used: Considine, McLennan, Polvara, Woods, Ruth, Milne
Goals: Ferguson (90 pen)
Livingston: Stryjek ▊, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obileye ▊, Lewis (Longridge 45), Holt, Pittman, Kelly (McMillan 65), Bailey (Soto 86), Nouble, Shinnie (Montaño 74)
Subs not used: Anderson, Sibbald, Boyes, Konovalov, Maley
Goals: Devlin (41), Holt (70 pen)
Referee: Grant Irvine