By Alison McConnell
It finished goalless at the Tony Macaroni Arena but the Livingston point did not come without cost.
Bruce Anderson had to be stretchered off in the latter stages of the game with a serious head injury after a clash with Aberdeen debutant Slobodan Rubezik. The substitute spent Saturday evening in hospital in order to ascertain the extent of the damage to his head wound while there was always a suspicion of broken ribs.
And Martindale has warned that no-one will be bullying his side this season.
“I felt from February onwards we were very naive and weak, got bullied and that is not something that will happen this year,” said the Livvy boss. “I don’t think you’ll come up against a better pairing than Duk and Miovski and we kept the both of them really quiet.”
Rubezik had already endured a VAR sweat in the opening period after he was booked for a robust touchline challenge on Kurtis Guthrie for which he was booked but survived a red card check.
That challenge set the tone for an afternoon when Beaton put in the busiest shift of the afternoon with seven bookings dished out – as well as one for a mouthy Barry Robson as the game grew increasingly scrappy.
Both teams were committed and could not be faulted for effort but there was very little in the way of genuine goalmouth action.
Livingston midfielder Mo Sangare drew an effort wide when he let fly from the edge of the box but the best chance of the half was passed up by Jamie Brandon.
Cristian Montano had cut the ball across the six-yard box but Brandon, at the back post, just couldn’t quite get a connection on it.
Aberdeen had a couple of half-hearted penalty calls with Bojan Miovski claiming his shirt had been pulled by Ayo Obileye.
The visitors, however, toiled to find a way past a fairly resolute Livingston backline.
Jonny Hayes almost found a way through it when he met a Leighton Clarkston’s cross but his effort was into the side-netting while Cristian Montano brought out a save from Dons keeper Kelle Roos – the only save of the note of the day.
Still, Dons boss Barry Robson felt that a couple of half chances Duk had should have given Aberdeen more than a point.
“You will never come down here and play free-flowing football but we tried to come and get the three points and could have done if Duk had been at it a bit more,” he said. “For me it was two clear cut chances that you really fancy him to score. When you come down here you have got to take them, especially on the first day of the season.”
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