Livingston suffered a gut-wrenching last-minute defeat at the hands of Aberdeen as the match looked set to finish all square.
Livingston were the better side in the first half, and created numerous chances. Just three minutes in, Scott Pittman poked wide from close range after a good ball in from James Penrice as The Lions really should have taken the lead.
Ryan Hedges was next to try his luck as The Dons created their first chance of the match. The winger cut inside onto his right foot but sent the ball well over the bar.
On 34 minutes, the hosts had another fantastic chance. Jason Holt nicked the ball in the middle of the park and found Alan Forrest. The winger checked inside and slipped in the marauding Jackson Longridge who fired at goal, but Joe Lewis was equal to it and pushed away.
Aberdeen didn’t really threaten, and Livi’s pressure paid off as they took the lead just a minute later through former Dons man Bruce Anderson. After the ball was cleared from a corner, James Penrice headed back into the box from the edge of the area and Anderson was first to get his head to the ball, flicking over Joe Lewis to put The Lions in front.
Moments later, the hosts had a golden opportunity to double their lead and it was Scott Pittman with another chance. A counter attack saw Jackson Longridge play Anderson down the left wing between Aberdeen’s full back and centre half. The striker drove forward and squared up Declan Gallagher before unselfishly finding Scott Pittman who had burst into the box. Pittman had a couple of bodies around him, but will feel he should have done better as his tame effort from close range was easily gathered by Lewis.
Half Time – Livingston 1-0 Aberdeen
The Lions were punished for not taking their earlier chances two minutes after the restart as the visitors equalised through Teddy Jenks. A ball into the box was cleared by Longridge, but only as far as Jenks on the edge of the box. The on-loan Brighton midfielder struck the ball first time and saw his effort fly into the back of the net as he opened his account for his new club.
Aberdeen nearly went in front six minutes later but for Craig Sibbald clearing off the line from a goal-bound header.
Just a minute after, there was another header off the line up the other end. Ayo Obileye met Alan Forrest’s corner with a header, but Andy Considine was there to clear on the line to prevent the hosts going in front.
A fantastic piece of play from centre back Jack Fitzwater nearly led to a goal for The Lions. Fitzwater stepped forward to dispossess former team mate Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and drove with the ball to find Anderson. He gave the ball back to the defender who continued his impressive run before slipping in Jack Hamilton, but the young forward sent an effort just wide of the post.
Both teams were keen to look for a winner, not wanting to settle for just a point. Late on, Livingston had a couple of chances through Jack Hamilton and Jason Holt but neither could get the desired connection on the ball.
Then, with virtually the last kick of the ball, Aberdeen’s Jack MacKenzie won all three points for The Dons. The young full back cut inside, and audaciously tried a shot on his weaker right foot from about 25 yards out. The effort was tame and it looked like a goalkeeper’s bread and butter, however Livingston stopper Max Stryjek fumbled the strike as the ball squirmed through his hands and into the goal behind him.
It was an awful moment for The Lions, and you can’t help feel sorry for Stryjek who has had a very good start to the campaign!
The hosts will feel it’s a tough one to take as Aberdeen snatched the victory at the death, especially as they were more than deserving of a point over the course of the match.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin ▊, Fitzwater, Obileye, Longridge ▊, Holt, Pittman ▊, Penrice ▊, Sibbald ▊ (Hamilton 59), Forrest (Kelly 66), Anderson (Reilly 72)
Subs not used: Barden, Parkes
Goals: Anderson (35)
Aberdeen: Lewis, MacKenzie, Considine, Gallagher, McGinn (Ramirez 63), Hedges, Emmanuel-Thomas, McGeouch, Hayes (Brown 44), Jenks, Gurr (Ramsay 87)
Subs not used: Woods, McCrorie, Ojo, Ruth
Goals: Jenks (47), MacKenzie (90)
Referee: Kevin Clancy