How to watch the Europa League final on BT SportMay 18 | 4 min read
Marvin Bartley hopes Livingston win is tonic for ill boss Davie Martindale
Livingston survived what should have been a red card for goalkeeper Max Stryjek.
Assistant manager Marvin Bartley hopes Livingston’s 2-1 cinch Premiership victory over 10-man Aberdeen will be the perfect tonic for manager Davie Martindale, who missed the trip to the north east after being taken to hospital on Friday night.
Livingston survived what should have been a red card for goalkeeper Max Stryjek, after a confrontation with Vincente Besuijen, to take all three points.
Nicky Devlin opened the scoring from close range and Jason Holt doubled the advantage from the penalty spot, before Lewis Ferguson netted a consolation with a late spot-kick at the other end after the Dons’ Ross McCrorie had seen red for a second yellow card.
Bartley said: “The players didn’t find out Davie had been taken ill until today. It was quite a shock to the players and it was a shock being around him yesterday, when he was taken to hospital.
“The win is definitely dedicated to him.
“It was never going to be an excuse, had we lost the game. You lose players to injury and unfortunately we’ve lost a staff member.
“The players were well prepared and knew what was expected of them – they went and executed it perfectly well.”
Of the clash between Stryjek and Besuijen, he added: “I was behind the dugout as I was suspended. I’ve seen Max go towards him and the next thing I know, he’s on the floor.
“It’s not something we’re shocked at seeing in terms of him being on the floor.”
Aberdeen boss Jim Goodwin refused to make referee Grant Irvine the scapegoat for the defeat, but admits his side are desperate for a win to stave off relegation concerns.
He said: “It would be a lot easier for me to come in here and say ‘we were outplayed and deserved to lose’. I can’t say that today. I didn’t think we deserved to lose the game.
“We started the game as well as we have done since I came in and could have just got ourselves in front. Livingston score against the run of play and we’re chasing the game.”
He did concede, however, his view on the Stryjek and McCrorie incidents, adding: “I don’t want to talk about referees, but Stryjek has pushed his hands into Vinny’s face so, by the letter of the law, it’s a red card and penalty.
“Ross I think, it’s two committed boys going into a 50/50 challenge. It’s a silly tackle to get involved in as Ross gives the referee a decision to make.”