Aberdeen’s young guns earned them the points against Livingston as goals from Connor McLennan and substitute Bruce Anderson secured a 2-1 win at Pittodrie.
Victory helped the Dons maintain the pressure on Motherwell in the battle for third place in the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership, with Lyndon Dykes pulling one back for the visitors late on.
Andrew Considine dealt the home side a blow before the match even started as he dropped out of the starting XI with an injury sustained in the warm-up and was replaced by Shay Logan.
But Aberdeen started in lively fashion as Curtis Main, in for the suspended Sam Cosgrove, harried Jon Guthrie as the Livingston man dwelled on the ball, creating an opportunity for McLennan which the winger put high and wide of the target.
However, McLennan did have the ball in the net after 13 minutes.
Niall McGinn played a superb ball through from midfield for Lewis Ferguson, who in turn fed McLennan. His strike was deflected on the way past goalkeeper Matija Sarkic.
It was 20 minutes after the goal until there was another noteworthy chance, Ferguson sending a powerful header just over the crossbar from Logan’s left-wing cross.
The visitors had rarely threatened but could have levelled as Scott Pittman beat Joe Lewis to a through ball and nicked it past the goalkeeper, only for Scott McKenna to recover well and clear.
And on the stroke of half-time, a superb sliding challenge from Guthrie averted the danger as Ryan Hedges homed in on goal from a McLennan pass.
The pattern continued in the second period with few chances coming along, although McLennan should have done better with his header after McGinn’s shot was deflected into his path in the 65th minute.
The home side continued to look the more likely to score, with McGinn’s superb ball from the left somehow glanced wide of the target by Main when it looked easier to score.
Chris Erskine came off the bench for Livingston with 10 minutes remaining and his first touch saw him head a Steven Lawless cross wide of the post.
Seconds later, Main flicked on Lewis’ goal-kick for Anderson, who raced through the defence and steered a low strike just inside the right-hand post.
Livingston were still in the game, though, and Dykes headed home a Lawless cross from eight yards to give his side a lifeline with four minutes remaining.
That meant a nervy end to the match for the home support, but their side did enough to earn the points.
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