Scottish Premiership
AberdeenAberdeen2LivingstonLivingston0

Aberdeen 2-0 Livingston: Ryan Hedges shines in much-needed win

By Martin WattBBC Scotland
Ryan Hedges was on target for the first time since European qualifiers in August
Ryan Hedges was on the scoresheet for the first time since European qualifiers in August

Aberdeen halted their three-game Scottish Premiership losing run by powering to victory over 10-man Livingston at Pittodrie.

Talisman Ryan Hedges opened his league scoring account in an injury-hit season with a drilled near-post finish.

Max Stryjek superbly denied Hedges a second, but Livingston's hopes nosedived with a second yellow for Jackson Longridge on the hour.

David Bates swept in his first Aberdeen goal to make sure of a deserved win.

Stephen Glass' men move up a place to seventh, while Livingston drop to 11th - just two points above Ross County - after a fifth Premiership game without victory.

Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was brought in for his first Aberdeen start since September to face his old club as the Pittodrie men desperately sought to end their form slump.

It was fellow forward Hedges who sparkled most in an impressive team performance, though.

The Wales international might have had a penalty when his attempted pass brushed off the arm of Stephane Omeonga, and Aberdeen had another spot-kick shout for handball turned down after the break.

But the hosts' breakthrough came with a well-crafted move. Christian Ramirez sent Hedges galloping down the right and he cut inside to beat Stryjek at the near post with an empathic finish.

The lead should have been doubled when the pair linked to similar effect, this time Stryjek sticking out a leg to divert Hedges' close-range drive wide with a splendid stop.

Aberdeen manager Glass, watching from the stands as he served a one-match suspension, saw plenty to enjoy as his side displayed slick passing and a confidence that belied their recent run.

Livingston were blunt in attack, failing to register a shot on target, with former Pittodrie striker Bruce Anderson drilling wide before being substituted at half-time along with Ayo Obileye as David Martindale tried to spark his side to life.

The visitors immediately showed more bite as Longridge caught Funso Ojo on the ankle with a horribly late challenge. The defender was perhaps fortunate only to earn a booking.

His luck would soon run out, though, as a mistimed tackle on Hedges earned a second yellow - referee Craig Napier belatedly took action after seeming to wave play on - and hugely diminished his side's hopes of a comeback.

Aberdeen's intensity dipped but they were untroubled and centre-back Bates put the result beyond doubt when he met Jonny Hayes' free-kick with a cushioned volley.

Man of the match - Ryan Hedges

The Wales international was a constant menace and capped a fine performance with the opening goal
The Wales international was a constant menace and capped a fine performance with the opening goal

What did we learn?

Aberdeen have too often played well this season and came away with nothing but hard luck stories to show for it. This time, in a game they couldn't afford to lose, they delivered on all counts.

The defence, strengthened by the return of Bates from injury, didn't give Livingston a sniff while Scott Brown expertly marshalled the midfield and the dynamic frontline overwhelmed Livingston.

Perhaps Glass should watch from the stands every week...

As for Livingston, they are now now in the thick of a relegation fight. Martindale's side needed to show more attacking intent against a team who have shown plenty of vulnerabilities this season.

Even before Longridge's dismissal, the visitors were dismal. With three of their next four matches at home, they must make that advantage count on the artificial surface far from beloved by opponents.

What did they say?

Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass: "The first-half performance especially was really pleasing. The professionalism in the second half was good, the quality could have been a bit better but I won't complain.

"Ryan [Hedges] is disappointed he hasn't got another one or two goals at least, but that's the demands they put on each other. It's important we keep building and that this becomes a run of victories."

Livingston manager David Martindale: "First half was nowhere near good enough, but I take the blame because I stuck with the shape and it didn't help us.

"We changed the shape and personnel and were getting a foothold, then came Jackson Longridge's second yellow. It didn't think it was a yellow at the time and having watched it back I'm even more convinced. It was really soft."

What's next?

Aberdeen have another Premiership home outing on Saturday, against St Mirren (15:00 GMT), while Livingston are at home to Hearts 24 hours later.

Player of the match

HedgesRyan Hedges

with an average of 8.46

Aberdeen

  1. Squad number11Player nameHedges
    Average rating

    8.46

  2. Squad number17Player nameHayes
    Average rating

    8.29

  3. Squad number19Player nameFerguson
    Average rating

    8.03

  4. Squad number9Player nameRamírez
    Average rating

    7.94

  5. Squad number7Player nameWatkins
    Average rating

    7.90

  6. Squad number27Player nameBates
    Average rating

    7.89

  7. Squad number8Player nameBrown
    Average rating

    7.73

  8. Squad number2Player nameMcCrorie
    Average rating

    7.64

  9. Squad number16Player nameOjo
    Average rating

    7.27

  10. Squad number10Player nameMcGinn
    Average rating

    6.92

  11. Squad number1Player nameLewis
    Average rating

    6.88

  12. Squad number14Player nameEmmanuel-Thomas
    Average rating

    6.82

  13. Squad number18Player nameMcLennan
    Average rating

    6.27

  14. Squad number23Player nameSamuels
    Average rating

    6.23

Livingston

  1. Squad number32Player nameStryjek
    Average rating

    5.20

  2. Squad number14Player nameBailey
    Average rating

    5.19

  3. Squad number5Player nameFitzwater
    Average rating

    5.19

  4. Squad number17Player nameForrest
    Average rating

    5.15

  5. Squad number6Player nameObileye
    Average rating

    5.09

  6. Squad number18Player nameHolt
    Average rating

    5.04

  7. Squad number4Player nameParkes
    Average rating

    5.01

  8. Squad number23Player nameHamilton
    Average rating

    5.00

  9. Squad number2Player nameDevlin
    Average rating

    4.99

  10. Squad number33Player nameOmeonga
    Average rating

    4.90

  11. Squad number9Player nameAnderson
    Average rating

    4.87

  12. Squad number3Player nameLongridge
    Average rating

    4.81

  13. Squad number22Player nameShinnie
    Average rating

    4.50

  14. Squad number29Player namePenrice
    Average rating

    4.50

Line-ups

Aberdeen

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Lewis
  • 16Ojo
  • 2McCrorie
  • 27Bates
  • 17Hayes
  • 19Ferguson
  • 8Brown
  • 14Emmanuel-Thomas
  • 11HedgesSubstituted forSamuelsat 85'minutes
  • 9RamírezSubstituted forMcLennanat 84'minutes
  • 7WatkinsSubstituted forMcGinnat 80'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10McGinn
  • 18McLennan
  • 20Jenks
  • 21Gurr
  • 23Samuels
  • 24Campbell
  • 25Woods

Livingston

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 32Stryjek
  • 5Fitzwater
  • 6ObileyeSubstituted forShinnieat 45'minutes
  • 4Parkes
  • 2Devlin
  • 18Holt
  • 33Omeonga
  • 3LongridgeBooked at 61mins
  • 14Bailey
  • 17ForrestSubstituted forPenriceat 64'minutes
  • 9AndersonSubstituted forHamiltonat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Sibbald
  • 15Panayiotou
  • 21McMillan
  • 22Shinnie
  • 23Hamilton
  • 29Penrice
  • 36Maley
Referee:
Craig Napier
Attendance:
6,295

Match Stats

Home TeamAberdeenAway TeamLivingston
Possession
Home74%
Away26%
Shots
Home18
Away2
Shots on Target
Home6
Away0
Corners
Home4
Away1
Fouls
Home10
Away17

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aberdeen 2, Livingston 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aberdeen 2, Livingston 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Aberdeen) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lewis Ferguson.

  4. Post update

    Offside, Livingston. Odin Bailey tries a through ball, but Jack Fitzwater is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Foul by David Bates (Aberdeen).

  6. Post update

    Andrew Shinnie (Livingston) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lewis Ferguson (Aberdeen) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Scott Brown.

  8. Post update

    Scott Brown (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Shinnie (Livingston).

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Austin Samuels replaces Ryan Hedges because of an injury.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Connor McLennan replaces Christian Ramírez.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Niall McGinn (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Ryan Hedges.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Aberdeen. Niall McGinn replaces Marley Watkins.

  14. Post update

    Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Stephane Omeonga (Livingston).

  16. Post update

    Attempt saved. Marley Watkins (Aberdeen) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jonny Hayes.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Ryan Hedges (Aberdeen).

  18. Post update

    Nicky Devlin (Livingston) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Goal!

    Goal! Aberdeen 2, Livingston 0. David Bates (Aberdeen) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jonny Hayes with a cross following a set piece situation.

  20. Post update

    Jonny Hayes (Aberdeen) wins a free kick on the left wing.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers15113133141936
2Celtic1492332102229
3Hearts1576225141127
4Dundee Utd167451515025
5Motherwell167362024-424
6Hibernian145361718-118
7Aberdeen165381821-318
8St Mirren163851624-817
9Dundee154471527-1216
10St Johnstone15357915-614
11Livingston153481222-1013
12Ross County152581927-811
View full Scottish Premiership table

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