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Aberdeen’s damaging away form continues with dire 2-1 loss at Livingston

Livingston's Jack Fitzwater clears the ball away from Aberdeen's Christian Ramirez
Livingston's Jack Fitzwater clears the ball away from Aberdeen's Christian Ramirez

Aberdeen’s shocking away form continued with a dismal 2-1 loss at Livingston.

It is the first time Aberdeen have lost away to Livi since 2004.

Aberdeen have now won just twice in 13 Premiership away games this season.

The Reds had a strong penalty shout rejected in the first half but referee Kevin Clancy was not to blame for this defeat.

The Dons and the management team were wholly culpable for this loss.

Stephen Glass’ Aberdeen team have now taken only two points from a possible 12 since the return to action after the Premiership winter break.

Concerning form – especially with the next game at home to league leaders Celtic on Wednesday.

Livingston went 2-0 up through goals either side of half time from Ayo Obileye and Alan Forrest.

Christian Ramirez pulled one back, but it was too little, too late.

In an ill-tempered match with 14 yellow cards, Livingston’s Cristian Montano was red carded in the 82nd minute for a second booking.

Influential skipper Scott Brown was left on the bench against Livingston and his absence was telling.

Brown dropping to the bench was one of three changes to the Aberdeen side that drew 1-1 with Ross County in Dingwall on Tuesday night.

Keeper Joe Lewis was ruled out having taken ill on the morning of the game and was replaced by Gary Woods.

Brown and midfielder Dylan McGeouch both dropped to the bench.

Coming in were Adam Montgomery and Teddy Jenks.

Aberdeen’s January signing Vicente Besuijen ahead of the clash at Livingston.

It was an Aberdeen debut for teenager Montgomery, having arrived on loan on transfer deadline day from Celtic.

Primarily a left-back, Montgomery, 19, started in left midfield.

Jonny Hayes remained in the left-back berth, having started there in the draw at Ross County, where he scored the opener.

In the absence of team captain Brown and club captain Lewis, centre-back Ross McCrorie wore the skipper’s armband.

Lvingston’s Christian Montano tackles Aberdeen’s Adam Montgomery on his debut.

Played in atrocious conditions with driving rain and a howling wind, Aberdeen created the opening opportunity in the third minute.

A scrambled clearance broke to Funso Ojo 22 yards out.

Ojo had time and space but blasted high over the bar.

Livingston grabbed the lead in the eighth minute when Bruce Anderson fired a low drive from 20 yards.

With his back to goal, Ayo Obileye connected with Anderson’s shot and flicked the ball on the half turn  with his left foot beyond Woods.

It was a disastrous start for Aberdeen, who should have dealt with the initial delivery from former Dons striker Anderson far better.

Aberdeen were denied a clear penalty claim in the 18th minute when Lewis Ferguson raced towards the near post in an attempt to meet a Calvin Ramsay.

However, the midfielder went down after Adam Lewis grabbed Ferguson’s shirt and pulled him down onto the pitch.

Referee Kevin Clancy waved play on to Ferguson’s clear frustration.

It was the second game since the winter break Clancy has denied Aberdeen a stonewall penalty kick.

Aberdeen were furious when Clancy waved off a clear penalty in the 1-1 draw with Rangers on January 18 when Ryan Hedges was poleaxed by Allan McGregor.

There was deja vu for the Aberdeen management, players and travelling Red Army.

In the 37th minute, Alan Forrest was given a free run across the edge of the 18-yard box by a static Aberdeen back-line.

He angled for a shot and fired a vicious 20-yard drive inches over.

It was terrible defending and the Reds were fortunate it wasn’t punished.

Aberdeen full-backs Hayes and Ramsay appeared to mix up a free-kick routine in the final minute of the first half.

From the confusion, Hayes eventually ran at goal and fired well over.

It was certainly no John McMaster-Gordon Strachan set-piece from the 3-2 European Cup Winner’s Cup quarter-final defeat of Bayern Munich in 1983.

Aberdeen had 74.9% of the possession in the first half but did nothing with it. They failed to muster a single shot on target with all four attempts going wide.

Half-time: Livingston 1 Aberdeen 0

Aberdeen boss Stephen Glass made a change at half-time, replacing on-loan Brighton midfielder Jenks with Jack MacKenzie.

MacKenzie went into the left-back berth with Hayes moving up into the left of the attacking three in support of Christian Ramirez.

Livingston increased their lead in the 52nd minute when Montano played Forrest through on goal behind a flat and static back-line.

Forrest raced in to the box then displayed tremendous composure to lift a 12-yard shot beyond Woods.

It should have been 3-0 moments later when former Aberdeen striker Anderson curled an effort from the edge of the box that cracked off the far post.

In the 62nd minute, Nicky Devlin waltzed past Ojo at will at the edge of the box and was allowed the time to cross along the face of goal.

Only a last-gasp clearance denied Anderson from connecting six yards out.

The Dons hit back in the 66th minute when substitute Matty Kennedy, on for just a minute, knocked down a cross from Hayes.

Striker Christian Ramirez lashed home a vicious volley for his 13th goal of the season.

Aberdeen were denied in the 79th minute when Hayes whipped in a dangerous cross to Ferguson, but his powerful header was saved by Max Stryjek.

Moments later Besuijen crossed from the left and found Ferguson, but, stretching the reach the ball, he fired wide.

In the 89th minute, McCrorie had a shot saved and David Bates also had a shot saved deep into injury time – but the Dons could not avoid defeat.

ABERDEEN (4-2-3-1): Woods 5; Hayes 6, Bates 5, McCrorie 5, Ramsay 5 (Kennedy 64), Ferguson 5, Ojo 5, Montgomery 5 (Emmanuel-Thomas 85), Jenks 4 (MacKenzie 46), Besuijen 5, Ramirez 6.

Subs: Ritchie, Gallagher, Brown, McGeouch, Ruth,  Milne.

LIVINGSTON (4-3-3): Stryjek 6, Devlin 7, Fitzwater 6, Obileye 6, Penrice 6, Omeonga 7, Holt 6, Lewis 5 (Pittman 46), Montano 5, Anderson 7 (Chukweumeka 85), Forrest 7 (Boyes 85)

Subs: Maley,  McMillan,  Bailey, Sibbald, Kelly, Longridge.

Referee: Kevin Clancy

Man-of-the-match: Alan Forrest (Livingston)

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