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Livingston 1 - 2 Aberdeen

HT Score: Livingston 0 - 1 Aberdeen

Livingston scorers: Xausa 56
Aberdeen scorers: Anderson 1, McNaughton 73.

22/09/2002 | KO: 15:00

Defenders show way to goal

Aberdeen earned their second away win of the season with a fighting display at Livingston today. A Russell Anderson goal in the opening minute set up pulsating contest. Livingston forced their way back into the match and Xausa fired home a deserved equaliser in the 56th minute. The Dons simply rolled their sleeves up and carved out a winner in the 73rd minute. Broto had denied Mackie with a tremendous block, but the striker calmly collected the rebound and rolled the ball into the path of McNaughton. The youngster showed no nerves and calmly fired home for a vital 3 points.

Aberdeen made a whirlwind start when they forced a corner in the opening minute. Russell Anderson rose unchallenged to head home the opening goal to the delight of the travelling support. Aberdeen should have increased their lead in the 6th minute when Leon Mike lobbed the ball over Andrews and Mackie controlled, but fired his shot inches wide of Broto's goal.

Eugene Dadi was booked in the 8th minute for a high challenge on Russell Anderson and a minute later Livi had their first shot at goal, but it was well wide of the target. Aberdeen were sweeping forward again in the 10th minute when McNaughton set up Mike on the right. Unfortunately Mike chose the wrong option and his cross evaded everyone in the Livi box. Billio was lucky to escape a yellow card in the 12th minute following a wild challenge. The resultant free kick saw Bingham fire a fierce shot wide of Kjaer's far post.

Dadi had a chance to get his name on the scoresheet in the 15th minute as he ran on to a long through ball. Fortunately McGuire was alert and managed to steer the ball back to Kjaer who suffered a knock as Dadi followed through. The game was flowing from end to end at this stage as both sides were determined to pull clear of the bottom end of the table. Mackie went close in the 24th minute as he latched on to a McNaughton pass. He found himself crowded out and the ball fell to Deloumeaux who attempted a volley that certainly won't end up in his "my career" scrapbook.

In the 28th minute McNaughton showed an exquisite piece of skill on the bye-line, but ruined the moment by collecting a return pass and sending his first time cross high over the Livi bar. Three minutes later the Dons defence lost their composure for the first time and Anderson was forced to concede Livi's first corner of the match. The high delivery was bundled into the side netting. A minute later it was Anderson once more who was forced to make a block from a Quino drive.

Xausa went close in the 37th minute when he turned and fired inches over the bar. He was certainly proving more of a handful than Eugene Dadi had. Aberdeen escaped a penalty claim in the 42nd minute when Anderson appeared to barge Bingham in the box. Mr. McCurry was unimpressed however and waved play on. Livi pushed forward in the closing minutes and Darren Young was forced to clear off the line in the 44th minute as the Dons were pushed further and further back. The half time whistle was a welcome sound to a Dons side needing to reorganise for the second period.

Livingston made a bright start to the second half when Kjaer was at full stretch to deny Zarate in the 47th minute. McNaughton replied by releasing Derek Young on the right and Mike collected his cross. His shot however was easily blocked. Five minutes later Aberdeen won a free kick near the corner flag and Anderson nearly repeated his first half feat, but didn't quite get the same power in his header. A minute later McGuire was forced to concede a corner as Livi threatened once more.

The hosts were getting far too much space and Xuasa almost walked the ball into the net in the 55th minute. A minute later the Canadian equalised from what looked like a suspiciously offside position as the linesman kept his flag down. The Dons were now on the back foot and Skovdahl introduced Michie in place of Patrizio Billio who had been struggling throughout. Kjaer pulled off a magnificent save in the 59th minute from a Wilson header and seconds later Leon Mike had a great chance, but screwed his shot wide of the target.

Michie was then controversially booked for an alleged dive in the 64th minute. It certainly looked like there was contact as the youngster strode into the box. The booking looked extremely harsh. Once again Anderson saved the Dons with a tremendous tackle deep inside the danger area. Aberdeen were giving a better account now and a run of sustained pressure ended when Mike collected a nasty knock on the edge of the box as play raged on around him.

Aberdeen regained the lead in the 73rd minute in what was proving to be an exciting encounter. Mackie was found free on the left side of the penalty area , but Broto made a magnificent block before Mackie collected and crossed across the face of the goal where McNaughton made a cool finish. Mike had clearly not recovered from the earlier knock and Fabiano replaced him as the goal celebrations ensued.

Livi hit back in the 76th minute when Andrews headed a Livi corner wide of the target. Two minutes later Derek Young set up Fabiano, but the Frenchman hit his effort over the bar from a tight angle. Camacho had only been on the park for 11 minutes when he committed a horrific two-footed tackle on Russell Anderson. The referee felt a yellow card was sufficient, but the Livi player can count himself lucky to stay on the park. In the 90th minute Broto was forced to sprint from his area to clear as Michie threatened. This was the last real chance of the game and despite an extra 4 minutes of play, Livi never threatened to equalise and stay rooted to the bottom of the table.

Livingston Teamsheet
Broto, Brinquin, Andrews, Bollan, Rubio, Quino (McMenamin 86), O'Brien (Camacho 74), Bingham, Wilson, Zarate, Dadi (Xausa 25) Unused Subs: Mcewan, Bahoken

Bookings:  Dadi 8,   Bingham 73,   Camacho 85
Aberdeen Teamsheet
Kjaer, McNaughton (O'Donoghue), Anderson, McGuire, McAllister, Young, Deloumeaux, Billio (Michie 58), Young, Mike (Fabiano 74), Mackie.

Unused Subs: Preece, Payne.

Bookings:  Michie (64).
Attendance: 7,513
Venue: Almondvale Stadium, Livingston
Referee: Michael McCurry, Glasgow