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Livingston 2 - 1 Aberdeen

HT Score: Livingston 1 - 0 Aberdeen

Scottish Premiership
Livingston scorers: Obileye 8, Forrest 49
Aberdeen scorers: Ramirez 66.

05/02/2022 | KO: 15:00

Dons defeated in West Lothian battle

A frenetic final 25 minutes from the Dons wasn't enough to rescue a point after Livingston had been allowed a two goal start, the home side hanging on to take all three points, their first win against Aberdeen at home for 18 years. There were 13 bookings in what turned out to be a bruising encounter.

Following the 1-1 draw at Ross County in midweek, Stephen Glass made three changes to his side for the trip to Livingston with Scott Brown and Dylan McGeouch dropping to the bench and Joe Lewis unavailable for the game through illness. In came Gary Woods, Teddy Jenks and debutant Adam Montgomery. Ross McCrorie captained the Dons for the first time.

Livingston lost 2-1 home to St Johnstone last Tuesday and made two changes to their starting XI with Scott Pittman and Odin Bailey among the subs. Into the side in their place came Adam Lewis and Cristian Montano.

In the pouring rain and swirling wind, Aberdeen started briskly, right on the attack, a good period of passing ending with Montgomery teeing up Funso Ojo 25 yards out. He didn't look convinced of his footing on the Livingston surface as he came onto the ball, and skied his shot into the crowd in the second minute.

It was Livingston who were in front on eight minutes though. The ball was floated into the box from a free-kick wide on their left and headed clear by Montgomery. Anderson's angled shot took a deflection into the path of Obileye who, from eight yards out, manufactured a clever flick over Woods and into the roof of the net.

On 17 minutes, the Dons won a corner and from Calvin Ramsay's delivery, Lewis Ferguson was screaming for a penalty after being clearly pulled to the ground by Devlin. Referee Clancy waved the game on. The assistant referee had a great view of the incident but did not raise his flag.

Ramsay threatened next for Aberdeen on 20 minutes, cutting inside and having a shot from 20 yards, the ball deflected just over the bar. The Dons were moving the ball nicely without being able to really get in on the Livi goal.

Livingston responded midway through the half, Montano giving the opportunity to run across the face of goal before firing in a skidding shot from 25 yards, Woods down to his right to make a scrambling save.

Aberdeen got away with one on 35 minutes when a poor ball across the face of goal by Jonny Hayes was intercepted by Forrest. He caught his effort nicely from the edge of the box but fortunately, the ball drifted just over.

Fitzwater was the first player to be booked on 38 minutes, a burst from Vicente Besuijen ended with a hack on the halfway line. Omeonga followed him three minutes later for bundling Ferguson over - he had already been warned by the referee after a number of fouls from him.

In the final minute of the half, Ramsay and Hayes were over a free-kick from 40 yards out that ended with Hayes advancing half a dozen paces before swiping a rising shot over the bar. There was still time for Lewis to become the third home player to be booked after clearing out McCrorie on halfway.

The Dons will have been disappointed with the conditions the way they were, that they did not test Stryjek once during that first half.

HALF-TIME: LIVINGSTON 1 ABERDEEN 0

Jack MacKenzie was Aberdeen's first change as the sides came back out, Jenks withdrawn. Livingston replaced Lewis with Pittman.

Three minutes into the half, it was 2-0 to Livi, Montano dragging a ball forward that got Forrest in behind the Dons' defence. He looked suspiciously offside but no flag came and, from there, Forrest advanced into the box and finished neatly, clipping the ball over Woods.

David Bates stumbled to the turf on 51 minutes and took some lengthy treatment before continuing. It was very close to three on 54 minutes, Livi coming forward in numbers. Holt came onto a loose ball 25 yards out. Trying to bend his shot into the far corner, Woods made a fine save at full stretch, just getting enough on the ball to divert it onto the post.

The Dons had their first positive moment of the half on 58, Ramsay drifting in from the right before firing a shot at goal, Stryjek saving comfortably. A minute later, Devlin strolled into the Aberdeen box with ease, McCrorie getting in the way of the cross before voicing his displeasure at his colleagues. Matty Kennedy replaced Ramsay on 64 minutes in the Dons' next change.

It paid instant dividends. Kennedy was away down the left and drilled a low cross through the box. Hayes came in at the back post and chipped the ball back across goal where Kennedy got his head on it, down to Christian Ramirez who produced a fine finish from eight yards out, ramming the ball into the roof of the net to give Aberdeen hope.

Montano was booked on 68 for preventing Aberdeen from taking a set piece quickly. Hayes and Pittman were next for the book on 71 minutes after an altercation when Pittman was trying to slow the game down from a Dons free-kick. Stryjek was next to be carded, this time for dissent on 73. Stephen Glass also found his name in the referee's notebook a couple of minutes later.

Aberdeen had finally come alive now, looking much more fiery in the teeming rain.

Ferguson pounded in a great near post header on 77 minutes from a Hayes cross, Stryjek up to his left to push the ball behind. The Dons were keeping Livi penned in and two minutes later, a dangerous cross from Besuijen came into the box, Ferguson stretching for the volley, putting it wide of goal.

Besuijen was booked after an altercation with Montano, the Livi man collecting his second yellow of the game, leaving the hosts eight minutes to play with ten men. Chukwuemeka and Boyes replaced Anderson and Forrest in the aftermath, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on for Montgomery for the Dons as three minutes had passed without any play taking place, Livi taking the sting, and Aberdeen's momentum, out of the game. Ojo was next to be cautioned on 87 minutes.

McCrorie advanced forward on 89, before hammering a drive at goal from 35 yards, Stryjek clutching the ball safely. Holt went into the book for preventing the Dons taking a free-kick on 90 minutes, Bailey replacing Chukwuemeka at the same moment.

Aberdeen were inches away from a goal from the free-kick, admirable patience from Besuijen to wait before putting his cross in. It reached Emmanuel-Thomas but somehow, his shot was scrambled off the line, Stryjek then completing the clearance. The goalkeeper was then twice throwing himself across goal to punch clear from another Besuijen cross as Aberdeen poured forward in added time, Stryjek on the floor and calling for treatment on both occasions as Livi desperately tried to stop the Dons' momentum. By now, we'd had about 60 seconds of football in the four minutes of added time.

Ramirez was next to have a chance, a cross reaching him at the back post, his effort on the turn crashing into a slew of black shirts, Livi having everyone back in the box. In the end though, it was a case of too little, too late from Aberdeen.

Livingston Teamsheet
Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obilaya, Penrice, Holt, Omeonga, Lewis (Pittman 46), Montano, Forrest (Boyes 84), Anderson (Chukwuemeka 84 (Bailey 91))

Unused substitutes: Maley, Longridge, McMillan, Kelly, Sibbald,

Bookings:  Montano 23,   Fitzwater 38,   Omeonga 41,   Lewis 46,   Forrest 68,   Pittman 71,   Stryjek 73,   Montano 82,   Holt 90  Montano 82
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Woods, McCrorie, Ramirez, Besuijen, Montgomery (Emmanuel-Thomas 84), Ojo, Hayes, Ferguson, Jenks (McCrorie 46), Ramsay (Kennedy 64), Bates.

Unused Subs: Ritchie, Gallagher, Brown, McGeouch, Ruth, Milne.

Bookings:  Hayes (71),  Besuijen (82),  Ojo (87),  MacKenzie (91).
Attendance: 4,276
Visitors:1,236
Venue: Almondvale Stadium, Livingston
Referee: Kevin Clancy