Livingston head coach David Martindale was left astounded that his side ended up with nine yellow cards as they earned a hard-fought 2-1 win over Aberdeen.
Ayo Obileye opened the scoring for Livingston after eight minutes with an intelligent flick before Alan Forrest doubled the Lions’ advantage with a composed finish over Gary Woods.
Christian Ramirez handed Aberdeen a lifeline with 25 minutes remaining with an acrobatic effort but the Lions managed to secure a well-deserved three points after Christian Montero was shown a second yellow by referee Kevin Clancy.
Martindale said: “I’m delighted with the three points. I’m still trying to get my head round how there could be 13 yellow cards in that game. It’s incredible. Are you not allowed to tackle anymore?
“I can’t believe we walked off the park with eight of my players booked, maybe nine because Christian is a double yellow. For the life of me, I can’t get my head round it.
“I think with Christian’s second he gave the referee a decision to make. He put his hands on the player and it’s a bit of sportsmanship.
“I think he has been naive, especially after I spoke to the boys at half-time and told them they had to watch out because four of them were on yellow cards.
“Aberdeen do that side of the game very well. I’m not saying it’s cheating; I don’t mean that at all.
“Christian was a little bit naive because you can’t put a hand on an opponent when you’re on a yellow card.
“I spoke to the boys at half-time and said I thought the next goal wins the game.
“I told them to go and get the goal. If Aberdeen had got the goal, it could have been backs to the wall.
“I told Alan Forrest he had been brilliant again and all that was missing was a goal.
“He took his finish really well.
“It was one of those finishes where you tell him it’s a brilliant finish. It’s one where he dinked it and if he’d missed you go absolutely crazy at him.
“A third goal might have taken my heart rate by 50 beats a minute.”
Aberdeen manager Stephen Glass was left disappointed with his side’s performance.
He said: “It was poor. We didn’t start playing until we were 2-0 down then we showed a reaction that should’ve been there from the start.
“The amount of effort that went in after going 2-0 down is the standard that’s expected at a minimum but you can’t wait till that stage against anyone.
“The last half-hour masked our deficiencies, the approach wasn’t good enough until that point. The mentality of a top player is that the game’s on the line from the start.
“I don’t feel the season’s running away from us. As poor as we’ve been we’re fortunate the teams around us aren’t winning games either. A lot of teams will be in the same boat as us, thinking they should be doing better.”