After a cagey first half, Derek McInnes’ men scored two minutes after the restart via a Lewis Ferguson penalty before Scott Wright finished off a lovely passage of play with a neat finish. Scott Pittman got Livingston back into proceedings after some great work by Jack Fitzwater but the two goals early in the second half were enough for the hosts.
The Dons were coming into this one off the back of a much-needed 1-0 win over St Johnstone, lifting some pressure off the club after a turbulent few weeks. Meanwhile, Livi were looking to build on a very good 0-0 draw with Rangers, albeit without Lyndon Dykes following his move to QPR.
Livi were to threaten first, Shay Logan needing to make a last-ditch tackle to deny Scott Robinson having a shot of goal inside the box. Jonny Hayes had a go for Aberdeen with a deflected effort by the post, both teams showing early attacking intent.
After that it became a physical affair, the ball spending a fair amount of time in the air. Livi did have a big chance after the half-hour mark, Nicky Devlin driving into the box before Robinson and Craig Sibbald were denied by good blocks. The away team were coming into this one more, getting in Aberdeen’s faces.
The first half finished goalless, probably fair on the basis of play, but within four minutes of the restart Aberdeen had a penalty. Sibbald tripped Ferguson in the box and the young Dons star stepped up confidently to dispatch his penalty into the top corner.
A second was to come six minutes later and it was sublime. Ryan Hedges showed some great feet to find some room, playing some great short passes with Wright, who did well to beat Robby McCrorie and hand Aberdeen full control.
This deflated Livingston, who after a promising first half, were on the backfoot inside 1o minutes of the second half. Marley Watkins, making his Dons debut, almost scored a third Reds goal twice inside a minute as the home team looked to put things out of reach for their visitors.
Fitzwater helped inspire Livi back into the game. Showing quick-feet on the right-hand side, the centre-half shuffled by two defenders before whipping a great ball into the box, scrambled into the net by Pittman.
It set up a tense final 20 minutes as Livi threw what they had at their hosts, albeit without any clear chances. Aberdeen did a good job of shutting them out as they made their way over the finishing line for another decent day’s work. They make it two wins from three whilst Livingston are still searching for their first win five games in.
Here are three things we learned.
Fast restart sends Dons to victory
There was a lot of battling from both sides in the first half but little quality in front of goal. Livi probably had the better of the chances in the first half and could have been ahead on another day.
But Aberdeen’s two goals inside the first ten minutes of the second half was the catalyst for McInnes’ men securing another good win. It knocked the wind out of Livi’s sails and they could have scored more through Watkins following the opening two strikes. There was a bit of life from the Lions as Pittman put one away but the Dons did enough to get three points.
Hedges makes a difference again
The Welsh winger looks like he could be a key creative spark for McInnes this season. Against St Johnstone he showed initiative to grab the winner, again in this game he showed pace and trickery to create a goal.
His ability to run at the defence at pace is proving hard to deal with and it’s helped Aberdeen gain six points this week.
It’s an impressive start from the wideman.
Two big games next for Livi
Whilst Livi have had a very tough start to the season, facing three away games with two home matches against Hibs and Rangers, it’s not the start they wanted. Zero wins from five, despite the opposition, won’t please Holt.
But their next two games are big. Facing Ross County then Hamilton at the Tony Macaroni Arena, Livi need to make sure wins are secured in these ones if they are to kickstart their term.