Livingston's Bruce Anderson has his say on scoring against Aberdeen, rejects chant, Scott Brown clash and outjumping Joe Lewis

Football fans are a fickle breed. This truism was vividly illustrated on Sunday afternoon at the Tony Macaroni Arena.

Aberdeen's Scott Brown remonstrates with Livingston's Bruce Anderson.

This time last year, Banff-raised Bruce Anderson was the local boy trying his damnedest to come good at the club he supported as a boy. Scott Brown, meanwhile, was the arch enemy of Aberdeen supporters and someone always likely to feature prominently in a list of most disliked opposition players.

Fast forward 12 months, and the easy way in which affections can be transferred has been underlined. Pantomime season came early as Anderson, now at Livingston of course, was identified as the villain of the piece. It didn’t help that he put his new side ahead right in front of the Aberdeen fans ten minutes before half-time. Refreshingly, the 22-year-old didn’t stint on the celebrations. He didn’t exactly go crazy, but he certainly made clear he had enjoyed scoring the first league goal of his post-Aberdeen career – as one hopes would be the case.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Anderson later claimed the identity of the opposition was neither here nor there. As hurtful as it might have been, he shrugged off the vilification of the Aberdeen fans. One chant must have been particularly wounding.

When he was involved in a spat with Brown in the second half, the away support loudly proclaimed who they were backing. Their loyalty lay not with the player who joined Aberdeen when he was just 11-years-old and scored an injury time equaliser on his debut against Rangers in August 2018. Rather, they were pledging allegiance to a former bogeyman who once delighted in baiting the Aberdeen support. "Broonie! Broonie!" they chorused. “Reject, reject!” they bayed at Anderson.

“It is what it is,” said the young striker. “I am a Livingston player now and I can't think about Aberdeen. If I score, I am just delighted for the club I am at now. Aberdeen wasn't on my mind."

Anderson did not elaborate on the reason for Joe Lewis seeming quite so exercised by his former team-mate out jumping him to score a back-header, although it was undoubtedly embarrassing for the 6ft 6in Aberdeen ‘keeper.

“I don't know what he said, he was probably complaining about something, but I used to do that to him in training all the time!” said Anderson.

As for Brown, Anderson shrugged off the significance of this altercation too. “He's been doing that for years, hasn't he? He's a top professional. It's just part of the game."

Anderson could at least enjoy being the subject of effusive praise from his manager after the match. “I have had some good forward players but they were manufactured No 9s and they did a good job, but Brucie is probably the first one who has walked in the building in my time here and you go: 'he’s a No.9',” said David Martindale.

As for Anderson, a harsh 2-1 defeat, with Aberdeen’s winner coming from a bad mistake by goalkeeper Max Stryjek, won’t derail his or his new team’s objectives.

“Hopefully you will soon see the way we are trying to play and on a personal note, I will start banging them in," he said.

“We have a lot of good players who are injured. Once we get them back in, we will start to show what we can do."

A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.