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Aberdeen 0 - 2 Livingston

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 2 Livingston

Scottish Premiership
Livingston scorers: Lewis (o.g.) 6, Devlin 16

02/02/2021 | KO: 18:00

Dons downed by Lions after poor opening

A very poor first 45 minutes was costly as Aberdeen shipped two poor goals to slip to defeat despite a vastly improved second half performance.

Following the comings and goings of deadline day, Derek McInnes gave Fraser Hornby an immediate start for the Dons in his one change from the starting line-up that drew 0-0 with Livingston on Saturday, Matty Kennedy dropping to the bench. Callum Hendry also got a first taste of the matchday squad, joining him on the bench, with Jack MacKenzie also among the substitutes in place of Kieran Ngwenya, the departed Scott Wright and Bruce Anderson, now on loan at Hamilton.

There were four changes from Saturday's game for Livingston, Jackson Longridge, Steve Lawson, Josh Mullin and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas in for Marvin Bartley, Scott Robinson who drop to the bench and Craig Sibbald and Ciaron Brown who miss out altogether. John Guthrie then got injured in the warm up - as did Sibbald, who was due to be on the bench - and was replaced by Aaron Taylor-Sinclair in the starting XI, a fifth change from Saturday.

After a scruffy opening in a swirling wind, Livi grabbed the lead with the scruffiest of goals after seven minutes. Greg Leigh gave the ball away in midfield initially, Livi working the ball out to the opposite flank. Serrano bent an ordinary looking ball into the near post which took a deflection, but as Joe Lewis came to collect it at waist height, it squirmed out of his hands, hit the post and rolled in.

The problems were compounded two minutes later when Ryan Hedges called for treatment having taken a blow on the shoulder when falling awkwardly a few minutes earlier under a poor challenge from Longridge who landed on Hedges. The Welsh international tried to continue but had to give up the fight in the 13th minute, Kennedy replacing him.

Just past the quarter hour, it was 2-0 to Livingston. Aberdeen had scrambled away a short corner but Livi worked it back out to Mullin on the right wing. He had time to curl in a cross and Devlin ran onto it, completely unchallenged, to bullet a header past Lewis from around the penalty spot. Echoes of the game against Motherwell earlier on in the season. It might have matched that scoreline in the 26th minute, Mullin intercepting a pass from Andrew Considine and releasing Emmanuel-Thomas. His drive from 25 yards out flashed across goal but just wide of the far post.

More concern on the half hour, Livingston pumping a long free-kick into the box, Lewis off his line but only able to get a weak punch on it as he came through a crowd of players. It fell to Taylor-Sinclair, but Lewis was down to block his shot. Two minutes later, as the sleet started to fall, Ferguson went into the book after colliding in mid-air with Mullin.

Lewis Ferguson was trying to spark his team into life and a driving run down the left won his side a free-kick 15 yards out. Kennedy's ball in almost found Ross McCrorie before the visitors managed to clear their lines.

Ash Taylor needed treatment after 42 minutes as the problems continued to pile up for Aberdeen and he had to make way for Dean Campbell. Callum Hendry replaced Connor McLennan at the same time, the Dons having the number of breaks for substitutions eaten into by the enforced changes. Immediately, Longridge sliced Kennedy in half with a late tackle, collecting a yellow card for his trouble.


There was a better start to the second from the Dons at least, Jonny Hayes on the run down the left to win a corner. Stryjek did well to punch Kennedy's flag kick to safety from under his crossbar.

It looked as if they'd pulled a goal back on the 53rd minute, Ferguson smashing one at goal from 15 yards after Hornby had cushioned a cross down for him. It flashed past Stryjek, whacked against the bar and bounced down. It certainly ruffled the side netting on its way down, but with the linesman behind the play, Livi were given the benefit of the doubt, the goal not given. Had that stood, it could really have been a game changer.

Ferguson was testing Stryjek again in the 57th minute, a low drive from the edge of the box, forcing him into a save at full stretch, away to his right. Much better from Aberdeen at last. It was Ferguson again on the hour, getting on the end of a Kennedy cross but putting his header wide of goal. If only the Dons had played the first 45 minutes with this same intensity and drive, because it was attack v defence now.

Livingston brought on their first sub on 69 minutes, Emmanuel-Thomas replaced by Reilly. Niall McGinn became Aberdeen's last change in the 75th minute, as Hornby's debut came to an end. Hoban picked up a yellow card, catching Pittman in the face with a stray arm, then Pittman almost sealed the win in the 78th minute, pouncing on a loose ball on the edge of the box and pinging a low cross past Lewis but off the post.

With ten minutes to go, Robinson joined the action in place of Mullin. The Dons kept plugging away but without really discomforting Stryjek, Leigh looping a shot over the bar after 83 minutes, then his cross from the left found the goalkeeper's hands three minutes later. Aberdeen were left to rue the mistakes of the first half as Livingston saw out the 90 minutes to make it 14 games without defeat.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Hoban, Considine, Leigh, Hornby (McGinn 75), Hedges (Kennedy 14), Taylor (Campbell 43), Hayes, McLennan (Hendry 44), Ferguson, McCrorie.

Unused Subs: Woods, Logan, McGeouch, Virtanen, MacKenzie.

Bookings:  Hoban (77).
Livingston Teamsheet
Stryjek, Devlin, Ambrose, Taylor-Sinclair, Longridge, Lawson, Holt, Mullin (Robinson 80), Serrano, Pittman, Emmanuel-Thomas (Reilly 70)

Unused Substitutes: McCrorie, McMillan, Bartley, Forrest, Kabia

Bookings:  Longridge 44
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Nick Walsh
Next Match
East Kilbride
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride