Aberdeen 2 - 1 Livingston: Dons keep pressure on in battle for third place

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Goals from Aberdeen youth academy graduates Connor McLennan and Bruce Anderson ended Livingston's stubborn resistence as well as the West Lothian side's five game unbeaten record.

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Bruce Anderson puts Aberdeen two goals to the good. Picture: SNS

Bruce Anderson puts Aberdeen two goals to the good. Picture: SNS

If the result wasn't frustrating enough for Gary Holt, the manner in which they surrendered them on an afternoon when the Dons prolific marksman Sam Cosgrove started a two game suspension made much worse.

The first came from a slick attacking move involving Niall McGinn, Ryan Hedges and Lewis Ferguson, who carved up their opponents defence as effectively as a Christmas turkey in 13 minutes.

McLennan, starting his first game since the ignominy of being substituted at half time in Aberdeen's 4-0 thumping from Celtic in October, struck a shot that took a deflection off a defender on it's way in.

Then after long day when Curtis Main worked hard a direct replacement for Cosgrove without looking like adding to his solitery goal since signing from Motherwell last summer, it was substitute Anderson who showed the way.

The 21-year-old, who has scored 20-goals himself this season for the development side, sped on to Main's flick to finish in style, although more poor defending contributed to that effort nine minutes from time.

It almost felt like adding insult to injury when Lyndon Dykes headed his tenth of the season near the end as they had looked deviod of real threat up until that point despite seeing a lot of the ball.

Perhaps that explains why Livingston end 2019 with just one away win in the league to their credit and Holt is looking for better at both ends of the park is they are going to deflate Edinburgh derby winners Hibernian who visit on Sunday.

‘Disappointed is one word for it, frustration is another" said Holt afterwards. "Aberdeen are a good side, who have been top three, and in the top two recently but individual mistakes cost us today. It was a sore one to take.

‘I have told them we have to take responsibility for the ugly side of the game.If you look at their backline, Lyndon Dykes never got a freekick. They defended well. We had to score a world class goal.

‘But my keeper has not had a save to make in the game expect picking the ball out of the back of the net twice - and that’s unacceptable"

‘I want my team to be a bit braver and make things happen. It’s not like I’m asking them to do Cruyff turns in the box. If it doesn't work I don't care but I do want them to try and make it happen."

By contrast Aberdeen assistant manager Tony Docherty was pleased to see two home grown youngsters on the scoresheet as the prepare to head to Tynecastle at the weekend.

‘We lost our goalscorer but we had a young deputy in Bruce Anderson who came on and scored.It was pleasing from the club’s points of view that two academy graduates got the goals today.

‘Bruce is a fantastic finisher but he’s behind one of the top scorers in Scotland and Curtis Main who showed at the second goal today what he is all about. But Bruce bangs in the goals in the reserves and he showed his goal threat again today."