Livingston 2-1 Aberdeen: Hosts survive second-half rally

Livingston 2-1 Aberdeen: Hosts survive second-half rally

8 min


Livingston 2-1 Aberdeen: Hosts survive second-half rally


Sean Kelly scores a penalty for Livingston
Sean Kelly’s first-half penalty proved to be the winner

Livingston moved level on points with Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership as they held off a second-half rally in a game that saw three penalties given for handball following VAR intervention.

The hosts led 2-0 at half-time through Jack Fitzwater’s low drive and a Sean Kelly spot-kick, with Aberdeen striker Bojan Miovski’s penalty saved by Shamal George.

Luis Lopes did pull one back from the spot after the break, but despite dominating the visitors couldn’t find an equaliser.

The win moves David Martindale’s side up from eighth to fourth, while Aberdeen stay third.

David Martindale spoke about the importance of home form prior to kick-off, and his players raced out of the blocks.

Fitzwater opened the scoring after just six minutes when he lashed a shot through the grasp of Kelle Roos after the ball fell to his feet following a corner.

The hosts doubled their lead after VAR spotted a Connor Barron handball. Nick Walsh went to the monitor, duly pointed to the spot, and Kelly coolly slotted past Roos to hammer home Livingston’s advantage.

Aberdeen had been sloppy, but the second goal seemed to shake Jim Goodwin’s side into life. Miovski saw a header tipped over the bar by George, and the Livingston goalkeeper then got down quickly to save efforts from Jack MacKenzie and Ross McCrorie.

The visitors were presented with a golden chance to pull one back on the stroke of half-time, but were unable to take advantage.

Walsh pointed to the spot after Leighton Clarkson’s shot flicked Jason Holt’s hand, with VAR again alerting the referee to the infringement. But Miovski’s tame penalty effort was saved and the North Macedonian striker could only head the rebound straight at George.

Whatever Goodwin said at the break seemed to have an effect, as his side rallied and halved the deficit.

After a cross dropped on to Fitzwater’s arm, VAR intervened for the third time. And although George got a hand to Lopes’ penalty, the Livingston keeper couldn’t keep it out.

Aberdeen smelled blood and Lopes appeared to be a man possessed – he was at the heart of everything good for the visitors in attack, but spooned the best chance for an equaliser over the bar after getting in behind the Livingston defence.

Martindale’s men dug in and repelled attack after attack to secure a massive three points and continue Aberdeen’s woes on the road.

Player of the match – Shamal George

Livingston goalkeeper Shamal George
The Livingston keeper made eight crucial saves, which included the stop from Miovski’s first half penalty.

Sloppy start cost profligate Dons – analysis

In the opening exchanges, Livingston looked threatening every time they went forward – they were first to every loose ball, and the quick feet of Dylan Bahamboula consistently created openings.

It allowed them to open up a two-goal lead, but from then on, Aberdeen dominated.

The visitors had 63% possession, 41 touches in the opposition box, and 25 shots at goal with 10 of those on target. However, for all that, they couldn’t find the all-important second goal.

Goodwin said before kick-off that he wasn’t particularly worried about his side’s away form – which now stands at three wins in 29 – but deep down he will know that results need to improve on the road.

For Livingston, tonight was yet another example of the resilience and grit that Martindale’s side possess. They defended their box as if their lives depended on it and continue to punch well above their weight.

Player of the match

GeorgeShamal George

Livingston

  1. Squad number1Player nameGeorge

  2. Squad number19Player nameNouble

  3. Squad number9Player nameAnderson

  4. Squad number5Player nameFitzwater

  5. Squad number29Player namePenrice

  6. Squad number7Player nameBahamboula

  7. Squad number15Player nameBoyes

  8. Squad number2Player nameDevlin

  9. Squad number8Player namePittman

  10. Squad number6Player nameObileye

  11. Squad number10Player nameEsmael Gonçalves

  12. Squad number11Player nameCristian Montaño

  13. Squad number22Player nameShinnie

  14. Squad number33Player nameOméonga

  15. Squad number18Player nameHolt

  16. Squad number24Player nameKelly

Aberdeen

  1. Squad number11Player nameDuk

  2. Squad number3Player nameMacKenzie

  3. Squad number33Player nameKennedy

  4. Squad number8Player nameBarron

  5. Squad number20Player nameClarkson

  6. Squad number99Player nameRamírez

  7. Squad number22Player nameCoulson

  8. Squad number10Player nameBesuijen

  9. Squad number9Player nameMiovski

  10. Squad number16Player nameRamadani

  11. Squad number24Player nameRoos

  12. Squad number25Player nameRichardson

  13. Squad number4Player nameScales

  14. Squad number5Player nameStewart

  15. Squad number15Player nameWatkins

  16. Squad number2Player nameMcCrorie

Line-ups

Livingston

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1GeorgeBooked at 90mins
  • 2DevlinBooked at 14mins
  • 6Obileye
  • 5FitzwaterBooked at 82mins
  • 11MontañoSubstituted forPenriceat 72′minutes
  • 24Kelly
  • 18HoltBooked at 45minsSubstituted forOméongaat 61′minutes
  • 7BahamboulaSubstituted forShinnieat 61′minutes
  • 8PittmanSubstituted forBoyesat 85′minutes
  • 19Nouble
  • 9AndersonSubstituted forEsmael Gonçalvesat 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Longridge
  • 10Esmael Gonçalves
  • 15Boyes
  • 17Kelly
  • 22Shinnie
  • 29Penrice
  • 31Konovalov
  • 33Oméonga

Aberdeen

Formation 3-5-2

  • 24Roos
  • 2McCrorieBooked at 11minsSubstituted forKennedyat 45′minutes
  • 5StewartSubstituted forRamírezat 83′minutes
  • 4Scales
  • 25RichardsonSubstituted forWatkinsat 90+3′minutes
  • 8BarronBooked at 76mins
  • 16RamadaniBooked at 65mins
  • 20ClarksonSubstituted forBesuijenat 72′minutes
  • 3MacKenzieSubstituted forCoulsonat 71′minutes
  • 9Miovski
  • 11de Barros Lopes

Substitutes

  • 1Lewis
  • 7Morris
  • 10Besuijen
  • 15Watkins
  • 22Coulson
  • 33Kennedy
  • 36Bavidge
  • 47Lobban
  • 99Ramírez

Referee:
Nick Walsh

Attendance:
2,598

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