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Aberdeen 0 - 0 Livingston

HT Score: Aberdeen 0 - 0 Livingston

SPL

24/09/2005 | KO: 15:00

Lovell miss costs Dons

Highlights available on RedTV on Monday.

Aberdeen's old failings reared their head again today when they could only draw with basement boys Livingston. They should have collected all three points but Steve Lovell scooped a spot kick over the bar in the 70th minute and the home side never looked like subsequently breaking down an organised Livingston defence. The players left the pitch to a chorus of boo's in what can only be described as a poor performance by the home side. Despite the result Aberdeen sneaked into the top six as Motherwell lost to Hibs.

Aberdeen started with a 4-4-2 formation with Chris Clark playing in the right back berth. It was Livingston who threatened first when Dalglish fired in a weak effort with only 15 seconds on the clock. The visitors threatened again in the 2nd minute when they won a free kick 30 yards out. Fortunately Barrett fired well over. More worryingly for the fans was the fact that Livi were enjoying all the possession at this stage. That changed two minutes later when Aberdeen broke and Crawford's cross was bundled out for a corner that was subsequently defended with ease. In the 6th minute Smith worked his way forward and cut the ball back for Nicholson. Unfortunately the midfielder ballooned the ball over the bar.

Smith was again in the thick of the action when he fired in a snap shot in the 9th minute but it was blocked by a posse of defenders then three minutes later the same player headed a McNaughton cross straight into the body of the keeper. Then a looping header from Nicholson floated wide of the target. Aberdeen had settled now and were looking dangerous. In the 15th minute Clark fired in a cross and Nicholson went close as he fired in a Dempsey knock down. Livingston had the ball in the net in the 22nd minute but Dalglish had been adjudged offside. The Dons had been exposed by a ball over the top and they failed to heed the warning as the visitor's cut the Dons defence open in the same manner two minutes later.

This time Dalglish found himself one-on-one with Esson and the keeper stood up well to block the first effort then relied on Russell Anderson to clear Dalglish's chip off the line. A minute later Aberdeen worked their way up the left and Smith tested McKenzie with a low drive after being found by Lovell. A Crawford header was easily held by McKenzie in the 26th minute then the keeper made a great block from the same player three minutes later as the ex United man looked to grab his first Pittodrie goal. Livingston were still a threat and Diamond had to make a positive challenge in the 35th minute then a few seconds later McNaughton conceded a needless corner as he cleared a ball that Esson should have gathered.

The subsequent corner caused panic as Esson failed to clear the ball with his punch, but it was eventually scrambled clear as the red army started to get restless. In the 43rd minute McNaughton tried to beat McKenzie with an ambitious effort from wide in the left but a minute later Livingston went close again when Esson had to make a decent block from Derek Adams. Then in the final minute Aberdeen almost broke the deadlock when a well worked free kick from Severin was beaten away by McKenzie.

Muirhead replaced Dempsey at the interval and the fourth official Willie Hornby also replaced Eddie Smith. Muirhead was quickly in action but his first cross was too deep to threaten. The Dons then won a couple of corners that failed to test the Livi defence. The second half took on the same pattern as the first half even to the extent that Livi once again had the ball in the net after the offside flag had gone up. This incident led to Pereira being booked for protesting as Byrne replaced an injured Chris Clark. McNaughton made a powerful run in the 56th minute but his cross fell behind his strikers then on the hour mark Lovell had a great chance when he headed a Smith cross wide of the target.

Aberdeen came so close to opening the scoring in the 67th minute as Crawford went on a brilliant run then crashed a shot off the woodwork. A minute later Aberdeen were awarded a spot kick that was hotly disputed. It took about four minutes to finally get the kick taken as Adams collected a yellow card during the arguments. Steve Lovell finally stepped up and scooped the ball over the bar. A miss that the Dons could well rue. Both Crawford and Smith then missed the target with shots as the feeling of foreboding deepened in the terraces. Richie Byrne then tested McKenzie in the 77th minute and a minute later a dangerous cut back from Muirhead went begging as Aberdeen increased the pressure.

Livingston almost hit on the break when Pereira released McPake and the striker pushed the ball beyond Esson but then couldn't collect it before it ran out of play. A snapshot from Crawford a minute later was then easily gathered by McKenzie before McPake went close again when he pulled a shot wide. Aberdeen tried to force a winner late on but could find no way past the Livingston rearguard.

Livingston Teamsheet
McKenzie, Mackay, Dorado (Boyd 75), Strong, Dair, Walker, Adams, Brittain, Pereira (Vincze 90), Dalglish (McPake 74), Barrett.

Bookings:  Pereira 55,   Adams 69,   Vincze 90
Attendance: 12,402
Visitors:245
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Referee: Eddie Smith, Hamilton
Today's match programme.
1/12
Zander Diamond heads clear at Pittodrie.
2/12
Steve Lovell in action at Pittodrie.
3/12
Scott Severin challenges in today's match.
4/12
Heads up for Russell Anderson
5/12
Kevin McNaughton in action today.
6/12
The Livingston players have a point to make with the assistant.
7/12
The substitute referee waves them away as the Dons spot kick is delayed.
8/12
Steve Lovell scoops his penalty kick over the bar.
9/12
Lovell covers his face in anguish after the miss.
10/12
Calderwood can't look either as the Dons let the game slip.
11/12
Steve Crawford in action this afternoon.
12/12