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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Livingston

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Livingston

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: McLennan 13, Anderson 81.
Livingston scorers: Dykes 86

26/12/2019 | KO: 15:00

Youngsters fire Reds to victory

Derek McInnes was forced to replace the suspended Sam Cosgrove with Curtis Main. Ryan Hedges and Connor McLennan also came into the starting XI.

Aberdeen then had to make a change pre match when Andrew Considine was injured in the warm-up. Shay Logan went to left back and Seb Ross took his place on the bench.

Scott McKenna was making his 100th senior appearance for the club.

The Dons made a positive start and Curtis Main set Connor McLennan free down the right in the second minute. The winger set himself for a shot but curled the ball with the outside of his foot over the bar. On five minutes Lewis Ferguson had a view of goal but his shot also never troubled the Livi keeper.

Apart from that is was quite a quiet opening.

After eight minutes Niall McGinn forced the corner of the game which was cleared at the near post.

In the 13th minute Aberdeen took the lead.

Great interplay by McGinn and Hedges on the halfway line in a tight area created the chance. McGinn then played a beautifully weighted pass through for Ferguson who had a shooting chance but showed good vision to pick out Connor McLennan on his outside and his shot took a deflection and landed in the net.

A very good team goal.

A few minutes later McLennan nearly picked out Hedges inside the area. It was against Livingston in December that Connor burst back into the team last season and you could see the confidence now running through him. Interestingly Connor has played against the West Lothian side more than any of the current first team squad.

After that the game became a midfield battle, both teams trying to get the upper hand.

The visitors won their first corner in the 26th minute - Joe Lewis claimed it well with a confident clutch.

Half hour gone, the game was still very stop start and without any real rhythm.

On 32 minutes Logan did well to get a cross over which Ferguson met, his header just went over Sarkic's bar. Two minutes later Aberdeen had a good opportunity when McLennan got the break of the ball inside his own half but the his pass to McGinn was way too strong.

Slowly Livingston were coming into the game. In the 40th minute a clever dinked pass found Scott Pittman and although he got to the ball ahead of Lewis, the keeper did well to do enough to put him off and McKenna came over to clear. A lucky escape in truth. On 41 minutes Lewis punched clear a second Livi corner.

Against the run of play, on 44 minutes Hedges broke free down the right and it took a very good tackle by last defender Jon Guthrie to save the day.

Half time: Aberdeen 1 Livingston

A number of games this season have seen the Dons score the first goal but not being able to grab a second. So the manager would have been looking for a strong start in the second half. Connor McLennan did just that and his run won a corner in the first minute. Talyor got up well from the Hedges cross but could not direct his header on target. Then the centre half played a superb deep cross in and Main was not far away from getting a touch.

In the 50th minute Sibbald was lucky not to be booked after a lunge at Scott McKenna. The midfield area continued to be keenly contested.

Livingston won a corner and then forced a free kick from 20 yards out when Dykes went down after a Logan challenge. McKenna produced a good clearing header.

On 58 minutes Jon Gallagher replaced Ryan Hedges.

On 61 minutes substitute Gallagher latched onto a ball from Logan down the line. The loanee was unable to find Main but laid it back to McGinn and his shot was blocked. A decent break that probably should have led to a more clear cut opening.

After 63 minutes a dangerous cut back was poorly cleared by McLennan as his ball went straight to Lyndon Dykes but thankfully his first time effort was well wide of goal.

A big chance on 65 minutes. A brilliant tackle by Main on the halfway line and then the striker found Ferguson. Lewis switched play to Niall McGinn but his shot was blocked and the headed rebound by McLennan was too close to the keeper. Aberdeen had plenty of bodies in the box and again should have done better.

McLennan was then replaced by Bruce Anderson.

Mistakes at the back almost led to Anderson breaking free and then at the other end a slip by Taylor needed Ferguson to come over and cover. It was a great tackle from the midfielder.

Some good pressure from Aberdeen around the 70 minute mark almost led to a goal when McGinn's cross was inches away from Main at the back post. The goalkeeper just did enough to put Curtis off.

On 77 minutes Funso Ojo was replaced by Dean Campbell.

Two minutes later Ferguson again set up McGinn but this time he went for goal and blasted a shot well over.

At the other end Aberdeen had defended very well all day, but with only one goal in it, it was going to be a nervous last ten minutes.

On 81 minutes Pittman found space on the left and his cross was headed over by Chris Erskine, who had just come onto the field.

A minute later Bruce Anderson scored a brilliant individual goal to make it 2-0. The striker picked a bouncing ball up on the half way line before driving towards goal and then firing in a low shot, in off the far post. It was a very composed finish. Curtis Main also deserves credit for helping Bruce win the initial ball.

That should have been that but the Dons switched off on the right and allowed a cross to come over which was headed home by Lyndon Dykes.

Aberdeen though produced some more good defending - McKenna and Taylor were superb today - and produced some good game management to win another important three points.

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Lewis, Vyner, Taylor, McKenna, Logan, Ojo (Campbell 78), Ferguson, McGinn, McLennan (Anderson 67), Hedges (Gallagher 58), Main.

Unused Subs: Ross, McKenna, Wilson, Cerny.

Bookings:  Taylor (85).
Livingston Teamsheet
Sarkic, Lawson, Lamie, Guthrie, Taylor-Sinclair, Bartley, Sibbald (Erskine 80), Lawless, Souda (Robinson 74), Pittman, Dykes

Unused Subs - Stewart, McMillan, Odoffin, Jacobs, Crawford
Attendance: 14,518
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Bobby Madden
Next Match
24 Feb 2024 / 15:00 / Rugby Park, Kilmarnock