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Aberdeen 1 - 0 Livingston

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 0 Livingston

Scottish Premiership
Aberdeen scorers: Miovski 44.

25/02/2023 | KO: 15:00

Dons battle for the three points

The Dons were back in the top six after a well organised display from back to front, the game settled by a crisp Bojan Miovski finish and a well deserved clean sheet at the other end.

Following last Saturday's defeat at Celtic Park, Barry Robson made two changes to the starting XI. Ross McCrorie returned from suspension and Ryan Duncan came into the side, Jonny Hayes and Matty Kennedy starting from the bench. Alfie Bavidge was among the subs again after being away with Scotland Under 17s last weekend.

Livingston lost 3-0 at home to Rangers last weekend, and made the one enforced change, the suspended Stephane Omeonga replaced by former Don Bruce Anderson.

The Dons were quickly into their stride, good football taking them from one box to the other, from Jay Gorter to Duk via Ylber Ramadani and Jack MacKenzie, Duk fractionally offside as he fired off a third minute shot.

McCrorie took a sore one three minutes later, trying to block a cross and taking Stephen Kelly's delivery flush on the side of the head. He went down for some treatment before being cleared to continue.

A little bit of Duk magic got the Dons moving in the 18th minute, quick feet by his own corner flag setting him off on the run. He picked out Bojan Miovski who then helped it along to Ramadani. He floated a dangerous cross to the back post where Duk was inches away from making a telling connection as the ball drifted behind. There were penalty claims in the 20th minute as Miovski crumpled to the floor in the box under challenge from Fitzwater, but the referee waved the game on.

A flurry of Aberdeen corners midway through the half came to nothing but the Dons were certainly growing into the game and beginning to take charge of things. Livi got a corner of their own on 33, the outcome of that being injury to Obileye who need lengthy treatment before continuing.

Gorter was almost caught out by the swirling wind on 39 minutes as a Livi corner suddenly swerved goalwards, but the Ajax goalkeeper flung himself to his left to parry clear as the ball threatened to curl in.

Gorter was in the thick of it again a minute later, firing a clearance forward that found McCrorie on the charge. George was quickly off his line to smother the danger.

The Dons were in front on 44 minutes though, a ruthless finish from Miovski. Duncan slung in a dangerous left footed cross from the right, Obileye up highest to try to head clear under pressure from Mattie Pollock, but, going back across goal, it only found Miovski on the right corner of the six yard box and his precision volleyed guided the ball into the roof of the net.

HALF-TIME: ABERDEEN 1 LIVINGSTON 0

The visitors brought on Holt and Boyes at the break, Bradley and Sean Kelly staying in the dressing room.

Livi made a good start to the half, the Dons sluggish as a low cross came all the way through the area to Nouble. His curling shot was set for the far corner but Angus MacDonald was back on the line to head clear in the 49th minute.

MacDonald got his head on it at the other end in the 57th minute, getting free from Leighton Clarkson's corner but thumping his header over the bar from a dozen yards out, a great opportunity to double the lead. Fitzwater was in the book two minutes later for a scything swing aimed at Graeme Shinnie that fortunately missed its target.

Anderson was in behind on the hour, collecting a good pass forward from Kelly, MacDonald getting across to get an important block on the shot. Kelly was then replaced by Andrew Shinnie on 65 minutes.

Ramadani wasn't far away from goal a minute later, collecting the ball from Duk and getting off a rasping drive from 22 yards out that flew inches over the crossbar. McCrorie was in the wars again on 69 minutes after tangling with Anderson, more treatment required to patch him up and get him going again. The fourth Livi change came on 78 minutes, Penrice making way for Bahamboula, while the Dons introduced Hayes for Duncan. Marley Watkins was next to join the fray, replacing Miovski on 83 minutes.

It was well drilled, workmanlike stuff from the Dons in the second half, ensuring the clean sheet was protected first and foremost, much to the frustration of Livi, Andrew Shinnie booked for dissent on 89. Hayden Coulson replaced Duk in the aftermath of that.

Devlin was in the book for a tackle on Graeme Shinnie in the 90th minute, the two captains exchanging words thereafter, one of which might have been, "Outside..." Again though, it was indicative of the way the Dons had suffocated any Livingston attempts to find a way back into the game.

McCrorie might have made it 2-0 in the final seconds but his low shot was never troubling George. No matter, the final whistle sounded seconds later on a vital Aberdeen win.

5 minutes added at end 1st half.
4 minutes added at end 2nd half
Livingston Teamsheet
George, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obileye, Penrice (Bahamboula 78), Pittman, Sean Kelly (Boyes 46), Stephen Kelly (Shinnie 65), Anderson, Nouble, Bradley (Holt 46)

Unused Substitutes: Hamilton, Longridge, de Lucas, Brandon, Stenhouse

Bookings:  Fitzwater 59,   A. Shinnie 89,   Devlin 90
Attendance: 14,091
Visitors:131
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: David Munro
Next Match
East Kilbride
A
20 Jul 2024 / 15:00 / K-Park Training Academy, East Kilbride