Morton 1 - 0 Livingston

Morton 1 - Graham (26)
Livingston 0

Att - 1,658

In a fairly boring match a gritty, hard working Morton side beat Livington 1 - 0 to progress to the second round of the Challenge Cup .

In an adventurous move - which was probably slightly influenced by injuries - Morton went with a 4-3-3 formation for this match. Davie McGurn and Jay Shields came in to replace Lee Robinson and Jamie Stevenson - both of whom picked up knocks at the weekend. Bobby Linn replaced Stewart Greacen who was 'rested' according to Roger Graham in today's Greenock Telegraph (http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=sport&id=9329). This meant that Peter Weatherson partnered Ryan Harding in central defence and Brian Graham played in a more advanced role than Saturday.

Morton scored the only goal when Jay Shields flighted over a nice cross and Brian Graham looped a header towards goal. The ball didn't appear to be concerning Livi's Polish goalkeeper Liberda until the last second but by then it was too late and his scrambled dive was not enough to keep the ball out. This was Brian Graham's first goal at senior level and comes on the back of a very impressive ratio of almost a goal a game for the reserves last season. I've been very impressed with him in the reserves, friendlies and three first team appearances he has made. It would be nice to think Brian could follow the likes of Jim McAlister in the transition from reserve team player to valuable first team player in the coming season.

Livingston had a Lee Matthew's goal chopped off for offside and spurned a great chance to score when Davie McGurn pulled off an excellent save from a shot from close range. Apart from that Livingston didn't really threaten. From what I have seen of our opponents so far I think I - and a lot of Morton fan's - have both overestimated our opponents and underestimated our own team this season. Morton weren't far off a reserve team tonight but we still disposed of Livingston fairly comfortably. Going on their performance tonight and recent match reports I've read Livi must be candidates for the drop. I also think we will finish comfortably mid-table and with a couple of signings could push into the top four.

Morton had a couple of great chances towards the end. Substitute Adam Coakley (who must've signed a contract) looked lively when he came on and had a great chance to finish the game but he shot straight at Liberda. Shortly afterwards he flighted a superb ball to Templeman at the far post but his header was weak and poorly directed. Chris really has to work on this aspect of his game. For a big guy he doesn't get the power or direction behind any of the headed chances he gets and for someone his size working on this could add a few more goals to his tally at the end of the season.

Another positive I've taken from tonight's match was the performance of Jay Shields at right back. Jay is ferocious in the tackle and looks like he really relishes the physical aspect of the game. Hopefully his combative style will rub off on some of his team mates as it's certainly something that most of our players have failed to show in recent seasons.

Another home game in round two please.

Morton (4-3-3):

1. McGurn - 7
2. Weatherson - 7
3. Walker - 7
4. Harding - 7
5. Keenan - 7
6. Shields - 8 (15. Black - 90 mins)
7. Millar - 7
8. Linn - 6 (14. Coakley - 70 mins)
9. Templeman - 7
10. Graham - 7 (12. Greacen - 75 mins)
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

16. McGeough
20. Robinson

Livingston: Liberda, Mitchell (Snodgrass 71), MacKay, Noubissie (Weir 71), McCaffrey, Dorrans, McPake, Kennedy, Hamill, Matthews (Pesir 61), Fox. Subs Not Used: James, Stewart

My man of the match : Jay Shields
Sponsors nan of the match : Jay Shields

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)


Post Match Interviews : http://www.livingstonfc.co.uk/audio.php?media_id=135

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