ADAM Rooney fired a second half hat-trick to finally confirm Aberdeen’s place in the League Cup quarter finals as the holders’ class eventually told against the Championship side.
Scorers: Aberdeen - Taylor 8, Rooney 61, 74, 87
The Irishman took his tally to ten for the season with two clinical finishes from distance before completing a second treble of the campaign from close range with four minutes left.
The final scoreline was cruel on Livingston, who had contributed to an entertaining tie, but Aberdeen eased through comfortably despite being without captain Russell Anderson and Niall McGinn through injury while Barry Robson, Andrew Considine and Jamie Langfield were on the bench.
Scott Brown was given a Dons debut in goal after a summer switch from English League Two club Cheltenham and to be fair he had a few opportunities to impress.
Livingston were rocked by an early goal but they stuck to their patient possession football and tested Aberdeen’s new back-up goalkeeper several times, mainly from distance.
Keaghan Jacobs, Gary Glen and Jordan White all tried their luck from outside the penalty area in the first half only for Brown to pull off a variety of saves to keep the home side ahead. Aberdeen’s opening goal came in eight minutes and was the result of a set piece straight from the training ground as Willo Flood and Nicky Low combined over a short corner.
The former calmly flighted the ball to the back post where Ashton Taylor was left unmarked to guide his header into the net for his first goal for Aberdeen since joining from Tranmere Rovers.
We then had two examples of David Goodwillie’s renaissance since moving to Pittodrie in the summer after a miserable three years at Blackburn Rovers.
First he sent Rooney through with a neat return pass only for Livingston goalkeeper Darren Jamieson to produce an important block at the striker’s feet.
Then Peter Pawlett benefited from a similarly adroit pass with Jason Talbot making a wonderful recovery challenge to prevent the pacey midfielder from fully exploiting the situation.
Rooney then settled things with an impressive three-goal burst. The first came in 61 minutes as he swept home an outrageous backheel from Goodwillie with the second following 14 minutes later, Rooney drilling into the corner from the edge of the box.
With Livingston out on their feet, he tapped home from close range in the dying minutes to really rub it in.
But it was not all good news for the Dons as Jack was carried off with a nasty-looking injury.
Aberdeen: Brown, Taylor, Hayes, Logan, Reynolds, Low (Considine - 61), Jack (Robson - 71), Flood, Pawlett, Rooney, Goodwillie (Smith - 71)
Livingston: Jamieson, Talbot, Sives, Jacobs, Fordyce, O’Brien, Jacobs, Robertson (Hippolyte - 57), McKenna (Mullen - 79), White, Glen (Ogleby - 78)