Morton 2 - 2 St. Johnstone

Morton 2 - Russell (15), Stevenson (63)
St. Johnstone 2 - Jackson (20), Sheerin (pen 57)

Att - 2,876

A superb Jamie Stevenson free kick rescued a point in this bruising encounter at Cappielow.
Morton took the lead in the 15th minute. Iain Russell controlled a pass dummied by Templeman and steadied himself before side footing high past Alan Main. It's good to see Russell open his account in a Morton jersey, hopefully this goal will take a great weight off his shoulders.

The Saints equalised 5 minutes later when ex-Morton hero Derek McInnes played a superb pass in behind Alex Walker at left back. Right back Gary Irvine cut in from the right hand side and drilled a ball across goal for Jackson to tap in at the far post.

This match showcased the difference between 1st division and 2nd division football. Although not necessarily dirty St. Johnstone were extremely hard in all their challenges resulting in Morton players dropping like flies all over the pitch. Both Dean Keenan and Michael Gardyne had to be replaced in the first half by Shields and Finlayson respectively. Although I have said the tackles were hard rather than dirty I thought the tackle on Michael Garydne was dirty. The tackle seemed to be over the ball and the players studs crunched into Gardyne's ankle. Amazingly -well not so amazingly when you consider referee Somers' performance was disgraceful- the foul went St. Johnstone's way. I think Morton have to adapt to this more physical environment or they will be bullied in the vast majority of matches this season. Jim McInally must address this situation by bringing in some 'harder' players in the January transfer window. We need more Jay Shields and less Chris Millars.

Owen Coyle's side took the lead for the first time in the match when penalty expert Paul Sheerin dispatched his spot kick after both Greacen and McAlister seemed to combine to foul Jackson in the box - a stonewaller from where I was standing.

Morton equalised when Jamie Stevenson fired a superb 35 yard free kick past the desparing dive of Alan Main. I didn't notice a deflection myself but a pal and Roger Graham in today's Tele' both said that the ball took a slight deflection off of Stanic's boot so I'll take their word for it. Stevenson seemed to really come onto a game after this goal and almost scored a second but Main pulled off a good save.

Both teams had chances to win it at the end. First Andy Jackson appeared to be fouled by Lee Robinson as he attempted to round the keeper after the Rangers loanee made a mistake but the referee waved play on. The final chance fell to Russell who controlled the ball in the box and swivelled brilliant only to fire over with a pretty poor finish.

A point a piece was a fair result and all Morton fans seemed to be happy with the team's performance but I really think we need to toughen up or it could be our undoing in an unforgiving league.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Robinson - 6
2. Weatherson - 6
3. Walker - 6 (12. Linn - 85 mins)
4. Harding - 5
5. Greacen - 6
6. Keenan - 4 (14. Shields - 28 mins - 7)
7. Gardyne - 6 (15. Finlayson - 34 mins - 6)
8. Stevenson - 8
9. Templeman - 7
10. Russell - 7
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. McLaughlin
20. McGurn

Booked: Russell

St Johnstone: Main, Irvine, Anderson, Rutkiewicz, McManus, Stanic (McLaren 84), Quinn (Moon 62), McInnes (Weatherston 69), Sheerin, Jackson, Deuchar. Subs Not Used: Stewart, Cuthbert.

My man of the match: Jamie Stevenson

Sponsors man of the match: Jamie Stevenson

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Tele' match report by Roger Graham: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=15561

Scotland On Sunday match report: http://scotlandonsunday.scotsman.com/football.cfm?id=1521392007

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