Aberdeen edged out Livingston 2-1 at Pittodrie as they look to finish 2019 on a high.
It was far from a classic against the Lions but Connor McLennan’s early opener and Bruce Anderson’s counter in the last 10 minutes were enough to defeat Gary Holt’s team, who found the net through Lyndon Dykes.
Dons boss Derek McInnes made three changes to the side which lost 2-1 to Celtic on December 21.
Initially Shay Logan and James Wilson dropped to the bench while Sam Cosgrove was suspended after being sent off at Parkhead.
Curtis Main came in up front with McLennan and Ryan Hedges also drafted in with Zak Vyner moving from central midfield to right-back.
However, minutes before kick-off Logan returned to the line-up after Andy Considine was injured in the warm-up, Seb Ross moved on to the bench.
After the ball had spent most of the first 13 minutes in the air Aberdeen took the lead as a result of the first quality move.
Niall McGinn exchanged passes with Ryan Hedges on the left and then rolled a fine ball into Lewis Ferguson at the edge of the area and with Livingston caught short he slid a pass onto Connor McLennan on the right side of the box and the winger rifled into the net.
For McLennan – making his first start since October 27 – it was exactly the sort of impact he would have wanted to make.
Outwith the goal Aberdeen didn’t create another clear-cut chance in the first half.
Lewis Ferguson had a header saved by keeper Matija Sarkic from Hedges’ left-wing cross and the pair combined again before the break but this time Ferguson put the header over.
In another bright moment McLennan overhit a pass to McGinn when a better ball could have given the latter a one on one chance.
Livingston’s only decent opportunity was in the 40th minute when Aymen Souda found Scott Pittman in the area, his shot bobbled past the onrushing Joe Lewis but Scott McKenna cleared.
In the second half defences continued to dominate with neither side’s attackers having much joy.
After McGinn had a couple of efforts blocked Main passed up a good chance to double Aberdeen’s lead 18 minutes from the end.
McGinn crossed to the back post, but the former Motherwell striker failed to get any purchase on the header.
However, nine minutes from time the points were secured when Main flicked on for sub Anderson and he raced through before slotting into the bottom right corner.
But it wasn’t over when Dykes headed home Steven Lawless’ cross four minutes from time, however, the Dons safely saw the game out.
Aberdeen: Joe Lewis, Zak Vyner, Ash Taylor, Scott McKenna, Shay Logan, Funso Ojo (Dean Campbell 78), Lewis Ferguson, Niall McGinn, Connor McLennan (Bruce Anderson 67), Ryan Hedges (Jon Gallagher 58), Curtis Main.
Subs not used: Tomas Cerny, Seb Ross, Mikey Devlin, James Wilson.
Livingston: Matija Sarkic, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair, Craig Sibbald (Chris Erskine 80), Ricki Lamie, Jon Guthrie, Marvin Bartley, Scott Pittman, Steven Lawson, Steven Lawless, Aymen Souda (Scott Robinson 73), Lyndon Dykes.
Subs not used: Ross Stewart, Jack McMillan, Robbie Crawford, Keaghan Jacobs, Hakeem Odoffin, Chris Erskine.