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AFC - Match Report
match report 2003-04 fixture list
SPL 
24/04/2004
 
Livingston 2 - 0 Aberdeen
Kick Off:  3:00 PM   McNamee (24), McMenamin (63)        
Attendance: 3,133
Venue: City Stadium, Livingston
Dons back to earth with a bump
It was back to earth with a thud for the Dons as they failed to beat Livingston for the seventh time this season. It was a controversial goal that set the home side on their way, but there were few arguments with the outcome once McMenamin had added a second. The Dons never looked like coming back and as the match progressed the three games in six days started to show as the young lads in the Dons side started to look tired and jaded. This result has sent the Dons back to second bottom spot only three days after moving up.

Aberdeen started positively with both Prunty and Foster having early half chances as the Dons took the game to the home side. This was followed by a wild effort from Sheerin in the 4th minute, which failed to test the keeper. Two minutes later an excellent pass from Sheerin released Muirhead and he did well to beat Rubio, but there was no support in the middle as he delivered the cross. Livingston then carved out their first chance seconds later when Lilley headed over when he really should have found the target.

In the 11th minute Andrews conceded a free kick and Sheerin quickly tapped the ball to David Zdrilic. The Aussie hit it firmly enough, but the effort was always rising and sailed over the bar. Two minutes later Preece prevented the Dons from going behind when good passing play set O'Brien up one-on-one with Preece. The Dons keeper was out quickly and blocked the effort to deny the home side. Livingston were having a good spell and Preece was in action again in the 14th minute saving from an Andrew's header.

 
The game then went into a lull as both sides appeared to cancel each other out and neither side were able to carve out any chances. The Dons then went behind in the 24th minute when McNamee was given too much space and cut inside before hitting the ball past Preece. There was controversy surrounding the opener when Prunty appeared to be fouled by Andrews in the build up to the goal. Not for the first time this season the big central defender was not penalised and the Dons were made to pay for the leniency that the big man was afforded.

Aberdeen tried to get back on terms with Sheerin hitting wide in the 28th minute and a minute later Zdrilic forced a save out of McKenzie. The Dons almost equalised in the 35th minute when Muirhead beat Rubio and delivered a cross that was met by Prunty. The striker hit a firm shot, which was turned round the post by McKenzie for the first corner of the match. A minute later Morrison tried a dig from distance but he failed to find the target. Livi were also looking to kill the game and a Lovell effort went wide in the 38th minute. Neither side looked like adding to the scoring in the closing stages of the first half.

The home side made a positive start to the second half as they went looking for a second killer goal. They won their first corner kick of the match in the 48th minute, which produced an effort from ex Don Jamie McAllister that went well wide. Then two minutes later Morrison released Zdrilic with a long pass. Unfortunately the Aussie was closed down and hit his shot wide of the goal. Then in the 52nd minute Preece was again the saviour as he saved from McMenamin and Andrews in the space of a minute. The game was now moving from end to end as a Sheerin cross was scrambled clear by Dorado with Foster threatening.

 
A deflected shot from Sheerin in the 57th minute forced another corner, but once again the Dons failed to capitalise. A minute later Zdrilic hit a powerful shot, which McKenzie managed to gather at the second attempt. The Dons were having their best spell at this stage, but had yet to break down the home defence. Just as the visitors looked to be making an impact a real mix up in the Dons defence lead to a second goal when Preece came for a ball that he failed to clear properly and allowed McMenamin to fire into the empty net. The second goal gave the home side confidence and as they looked for more goals the Dons defence started to look shaky after their assured performance in midweek.

Makel hit a decent strike in the 71st minute that scraped past the Dons post as the home side took total control of the game. With little options on the bench Paterson was forced to stick with the starting eleven. In the 76th minute a loose pass from Heikkinen was pounced on by Lilley and forced Preece into another fine save. Seconds later Prunty was released and his cross was almost turned into the net by Marvin Andrews.

In the 84th minute the Dons produced a good move allowing Sheerin a shot on goal, which McKenzie managed to smother. With five minutes remaining John Stewart replaced Prunty as time ran out for the Dons. In the final minute the Dons match was summed up when a Zdrilic shot crashed off the bar to deny Aberdeen a consolation.

Livingston Teamsheet:  McKenzie, Rubio, Andrews, Dorado, McNamee, Makel, O'Brien, Lovell, McAllister, McMenamin, Lilley.

Unused Subs: Snowdon for Dorado (72), McLaughlin for McNamee (83) Britain for Lilley (83)

Bookings:

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Preece, Morrison, Buckley, Heikkinen, Higgins, Rutkiewicz, Sheerin, Muirhead, Zdrilic, Prunty (Stewart 85), Foster.

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Referee: Craig Thomson

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