Livingston kicked off their cinch Premiership 2023/34 campaign with a well fought 0-0 draw at The Tony Macaroni Arena.
It was a match that held little chances but showcased the Lions hunger and desire to defend well, stopping the Dons from managing to muster even a shot on target.
Livi manager David Martindale fielded a surprise side, making four changes to the side that beat Clyde 1-0 to progress to the second round of the Viaplay Cup.
The visitors forced Lions keeper Shamal George into a smart save early on, a freekick whipped into the box from the right hand side landing at the feet of Robezic. His shot was saved well, however he was judged to be offside.
Good play down the left from Jamie Brandon pushed the ball forward to Andrew Shinnie. His inch perfect pass played in Cristian Montano, and although his initial cross was headed away, it fell to Mo Sangare on the edge of the box, who dragged his shot wide left of the goal.
The Lions almost took the lead through Brandon, who was causing a nuisance down the wings. A counter attack saw determined running from the Livi half by Joel Nouble. Reaching the edge of the box, he played the ball left to Montano, whose low cross almost found Brandon at the back post, however he failed to connect with the ball.
Aberdeen’s best chance of the game would come early in the second half. A ball played up the field was expertly flicked on to Miovski, and the number nine held the ball up beautifully before laying off to Clarkson. His cross would find Johnny Hayes at the back post, but his effort trickled into the side netting.
Livi’s plan to frustrate the Dons was clearly working, and a string of decisions by the referee led to the Red’s manager Barry Robson being booked for dissent. He would be further agitated moments later, as Duk had a chance that he really should have capitalised on, however his shot was screwed high and wide.
The game would be stopped late on after leading goal-scorer Bruce Anderson picked up a head knock, after going for a 50/50 ball with Rubezic. The Serbian defender came off the better of the two, with Anderson being stretchered off, looking in a bad way.
Captain Michael Devlin, and the fans in the West Stand, thought he had won it in stoppage time, with a thunderous strike catching the top of the net, ensuring the Lions picked up a decent point against tough opposition.
Match Report: David Hastie
George, Devlin © ▊, Obileye, De Lucas, Montaño ▊ (Penrice 73), Holt, Shinnie, Brandon, Sangare ▊ (Pittman 45), Nouble, Guthrie (Anderson 63 (MacKay 90))
Subs not used:
Roos, Devlin ▊, MacKenzie, Shinnie ©, Miovski, Clarkson ▊, Duk, Hayes ▊, Morris (Sokler 78), Polvara, Rubežić ▊
Subs not used:
|Referee: John Beaton | HT: 0-0 | Att: 5,630