It was one match away from a Hampden semi-final, but could Livingston do what they have done many times before and send Aberdeen packing from the league cup again. Just over 6000 managed to turn up for the match, and they were all to witness an epic cup tie in which the Almondvale men would make hard work of a well deserved victory.
When we left Livingston, the visibly was about 500 yards, and there was some concern amongst the Livi support that the match would be called off, but a quick phone call to Aberdeen FC reassured the Livi faithful that the match would be on.
It was the Lions who first threatened the Aberdeen goal when Lee Makel fed the ball to Derek Lilley but his cross was too far ahead of David Fernandez and Kevin McNaughton was on hand to clear.
On the 15th minute, Livingston took the lead deservedly when some great work down the right hand side by David McNamee, saw his cut back find Derek Lilley, who slotted the into the back of the net despite the presence of three Aberdeen players on the line. A great goal by the Lions, and the Aberdeen supporters by this point knew that it was going to be a long and painful night.
Livingston star David Fernandez pulled up with a hamstring injury just before the Lions took the lead and had to be replaced by Fernando Pasquinelli. It was a blow for Livi, and it looks like Fernandez will be missing for the Celtic match.
Livingston at this point were the better side, but some of the tackling was reckless, and former Dons player Jamie McAllister was riding his luck, and referee Stuart Dougal was keeping a close eye on the Livi star.
Livingston were dealt another massive blow when David McNamee went off with a suspected broken wrist after a 50/50 challenge. John Paul McGovern replaced him, and Livi had to reshape due to the couple of forced substitutions they had made.
As normal, when Livi are the better side, they seem to ride their luck, but Aberdeen grew more hungry, and it was no big surprise when they equalised through a player Jim Leishman let slip though the net. After some neat play and crisp passing by Scott Booth, the ball landed at Stevie Tosh’s feet, and he fired an unstoppable low drive past McKenzie, which just sneaked inside the Livi goal.
Aberdeen were now the better side, and were growing in confidence, and the Livi players and management team were glad to get into the dressing room before the Dons could grab another.
Five minutes after the break, Livingston nearly took the lead again when Rubio met a Burton O’Brien cross, but his goal bound header was brilliantly saved by David Preece, who tipped the ball over the bar. The resulting corner saw Fernando Pasquinelli nip in front of the Aberdeen defence, and this time, Preece was nowhere near as the ball once again found the back of the Aberdeen goal. Livi deserved to be in front, but this match was far from over.
Aberdeen quickly fought back and nearly equalized when Markus Heikkinen forced Roddy Mackenzie into a great save, but the pressure was rising, and something had to give.
The pressure finally paid off and Aberdeen once again found away back, and it was Stevie Tosh who was determined to show the Livi supporters what they were missing, and he didn’t disappoint when he fired the Dons level in the 60th minute. He played a neat one-two with David Zdrilic and crashed the ball past McKenzie in the Livi goal. Great work by Tosh, but Roddy should have protected his near post better.
Jamie McAllister was substituted much to the delight of the Aberdeen supporters, and McAllister didn’t look very pleased about it, but it was a good move by the management team, as Jamie was riding his luck with the ref, and could have been sent off earlier in the match for dissent.
Tosh was now on fire, and he looked to have given Aberdeen the lead with only 12 minutes remaining. He picked up the ball 25 yards out, easily beat Marvin Andrews, and saw that the goalie was off his line, and dinked a superb chip over McKenzie’s head, and from where the Livi supporters were sitting, the ball seemed to fall just under the bar, where in fact, it had just cleared the cross bar. Fantastic play by Tosh, and the Lions were lucky not to find themselves a goal down.
Marvin Andrews had a great chance to put Livi through to the Semi-Final with seconds remaining, but his diving header just squeezed past the post, and the match was heading for what every Livi supporter had been dreading, extra time.
Livingston were looking the most tired side, and Stuart Lovell was toiling to even run 10 yards, and Lee Makel was nearly as knackered.
The Lions seemed to have overdosed on the Red Bull during the break at the end of the match and it paid off when they took the lead five minutes into extra time when Lee Makel picked the ball up 25 yards from the Aberdeen goal, and he fired an unstoppable shot past the Aberdeen goalie, smacked the underside of the cross bar, and hit the back of the net in spectacular fashion. A wonder goal, and a goal that is up there with any I have ever seen.
The first and second half of extra time flew in, Aberdeen had one or two chances, but Stuart Dougal blew the whistle after 30 minutes of extra time, and the small band of Livi supporters that made the trip went wild
Man of the match - Marvin Andrews
Moan of the match - Lovell didn’t look fit again
Aberdeen:Preece, Anderson, Diamond, Rutkiewicz, McNaughton, Deloumeaux, Heikkinen, Tosh, Muirhead, Zdrilic, Booth.
Subs: Esson, Hinds, Sheerin, Mackie, Clark.
Livingston: McKenzie, McNamee, Rubio, Andrews, McAllister, Dorado, Makel, Lovell, O'Brien, Lilley, Fernandez.
Subs: Main, Camacho, Pasquinelli, McGovern, Quino.
Referee: S Dougal ck here