France 0 - 1 Scotland

This is a Morton blog and so I really only want to include Morton related news so thank you Paul Hartley for giving me the excuse to get this match a mention here.

In what I can only describe as the best Scotland performance (well result really) I've seen in my life time Scotland beat World Cup runners up France 1-0 to go top of group B tonight.

James McFadden scored a stunning long range effort to cap a heroic performance by a Scotland team including ex-Morton loanee Paul Hartley (pictured celebrating with James McFadden after his goal tonight).

Hartley spent a month on loan at Cappielow from Hibs in season 1999-2000. He played 3 times scoring one goal - a free kick against St. Mirren at Love Street on Monday the 3rd of January 2000. His other appearances were in a 1-0 win against Raith Rovers at Cappielow on the 27th of December 1999 and in a 6-2 defeat away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Saturday the 8th of January 2000.

Hartley is a bit of a cult hero at Cappielow and not just because of his loan spell. He is despised by St. Mirren fans dating back to an incident at Love Street in his Hamilton Accies days and any enemy of St. Mirren is a friend of ours. Hartley was also in the Morton end when we played St. Mirren in the Challenge cup semi-final twos seasons ago. Immediately prior to the game Hartley was a studio guest on a radio programme. He informed the presenter he had to leave the studio as he was going to Morton v St. Mirren. The presenter asked him who he was going to support and he replied "Morton of course". After spotting him in the Morton end of the North Bank the Ton support treated him to a rendition of 'there's only one Paul Hartley'.

Since those days at Cappielow Hartley's career has come a long way. He now plays for Celtic after spells at St. Johnstone and Hearts and tonight he won his 16th cap for Scotland, he has scored one goal - against Slovenia in a 3-0 win in 2005.

Hartley played am important part in tonight's win. I know his time as a Morton player wasn't the longest or most significant but I still think it's great to see someone who I've seen play in a Morton jersey play a part in one of Scotland's greatest ever results.

You can listen to an after match interview from tonight's match with Hartley here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/6986781.stm

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