Livingston 0-0 Aberdeen

After a late, but deserved, victory against Kilmarnock three days earlier, Livi hosted an Aberdeen side they had only taken one point from in their last six Premiership meetings.

Davie Martindale changed the system a little bit from the usual 4-2-3-1, and opted for a three at the back to match the Dons. Julien Serrano, Craig Sibbald and Scott Robinson came in for Alan Forrest, Josh Mullin and Gavin Reilly.

The hosts had the first real opportunity of the match, and it was a great one too with Livi believing they had taken the lead. Sibbald slipped in Serrano down the left, and the wing back put through the legs of Joe Lewis and into the back of the net, but the on-loan Monaco man was just offside, so the goal didn’t stand.

Then, just a few minutes later up the other end, the Dons thought they had a goal of their own too. A lovely dinked ball in from the right by Jonny Hayes was met by the head of Conor McLennan, but his effort hit the underside of the cross bar and bounced just on the line, not over it.

Almost immediately after, a good move from Aberdeen should’ve seen them take the lead. Matty Kennedy slipped in Hayes who, in acres of space, lost his balance and fired a shot over Stryjek’s goal. The former Celtic really should’ve burst the net.

There was an even closer call for referee Steven McLean to make at the other end, and goal-line technology wouldn’t have been sniffed at by either side to see how close both really were to going over the line.

Serrano was involved again, this time his cutback found Scott Pittman at the back post who, on the stretch, poked an effort towards goal. Joe Lewis made a tremendous save to claw it away, but the Livingston players were up in arms and claiming for a goal, as the midfielder’s appeared to just sneak over the line. It was definitely a very close call, and almost an impossible one for the officials to conclusively give in the split second.

After an action-packed but goalless first half, the game faded out a little. Both teams still tried to win the game, yet at the same time seemed happy enough to settle for a point.

Livi had the first chance after the break. A Jason Holt corner was headed back across goal by Efe Ambrose to Scott Robinson. The Hampden hero got good contact on his header back towards goal, but saw it sail just over the bar.

Aberdeen really should’ve taken the lead later in the half when Ryan Hedges slipped through Ross McCrorie. The midfielder was one-on-one with Max Stryjek, but the Polish stopper, who was after his 10th clean sheet of the season, made a great save to deny him.

Matty Kennedy and Ash Taylor had half chances towards the end for the Dons, with Kennedy firing over from the edge of the box, and Taylor sending a half volley he’d met from a free-kick straight down the throat of Stryjek.

With five minutes to play, Scott Pittman’s lofted through ball sent substitute Steve Lawson down the right-hand side through on goal. The Togo international tried to dink the on-rushing Joe Lewis, but the Aberdeen goalkeeper was out quickly to block the attempt.

Bruce Anderson could’ve won it moments later for the Dons with a better finish. Tommie Hoban charged forward from defence, and cut a cross back to the head of the Aberdeen substitute, but Anderson’s effort flew wide.

Then, with almost the last kick of the ball, Scott Pittman forced Joe Lewis into another good save. After some good pressing by the energetic midfielder, he broke forward and unleashed an effort towards goal. It was headed for the bottom corner, but Lewis got down quickly to his right and tipped behind for a corner.

It would be a point apiece for Livingston and Aberdeen, in a fairly more frantic, entertaining 0-0 draw than you’d typically get. It extended Livi’s unbeaten run to thirteen games under Martindale, and it set up an interesting encounter the upcoming Tuesday.

Livingston: Stryjek, Ambrose, Guthrie, Brown, Devlin, Bartley, Holt , Serrano (Longridge 84), Sibbald (Emmanuel-Thomas 67), Pittman, Robinson (Lawson 87)
Subs not used: McCrorie, McMillan, Mullin, Forrest, Kabia, Reilly

Aberdeen: Lewis, Hoban, Considine, Leigh, Hedges, Taylor, Hayes, McLennan (Wright 79), Ferguson, Kennedy (⇔  Anderson 84), McCrorie
Subs not used: Woods, Logan, McGinn, McGeoch, Campbell, Virtanen, Ngwenya

Referee: Steven McLean
HT: 0-0
Att: BCD
Match Report: Calum Brown

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