Peterhead 0 - 1 Morton

Peterhead 0
Morton 1 - McAlister (17)

Att - 650

The long journey north paid off as Morton progressed to the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup after a 1-0 win against former bogey team Peterhead.

Jay Shields returned from suspension and replaced Ryan Harding who Jim McInally revealed was carrying an injury. Shields slotted in at right back and Peter Weatherson moved in one to fill Harding's centrehalf berth. Jamie Stevenson came in for Chris Millar in cetral midfield and Michael Gardyne made his first competitive start in place of cup tied Iain Russell.

Peterhead started brightly and Lee Robinson pulled off two excellent saves early on. One, in particular, was extremely impressive. Robinson dived full stretch to grasp an angled header from close range that looked as if it was destined to go beyond the Morton keeper's dive and land in the back of the net. I'd actually written it off as a goal as soon as the Peterhead player's head connected with the ball.

We scored the only goal of the game when Michael Gardyne slipped a lovely angled ball through a gap in the defence and Jim McAlister cut in from the right wing to knock the ball round the keepers dive with his right foot. He didn't connect properly but it was still a decent finish.

New signing Michael Gardyne was inspirational. His first touch and control of the ball while running at speed are both superb and he used both effectively throughout the game. The first of two excellent Gardyne attemps on goal came when he burst forward from the half way line using a turn of pace to glide effortlessly past three Peterhead men and then unleash a powerful left footed effort arrowing for the top corner but the Polish keeper did very well to tip over. His second effort was a curling right foot effort that glanced off the top of the cross bar and over. Michael Gardyne was my man of the match (special mention must go to Dean Keenan who, as in recent matches, played very well in midfield). On this showing it would seem that Jim McInally has made a great signing here. No doubt my brothers (who told me he was excellent for Ross County last season) will be telling me how they told me he was brilliant in the morning.

Jim McAlister went close to grabbing a second goal when he drove down the left wing and cut in towards goal. He attempted to drill a ball across goal but the angle was a little bit tight and his effort cannoned back off the near post.

Peterhead had a decent penalty shout turned down as Stewart Greacen pulled his man in the box. If they did get the award it would have been a cruel blow as we deserved to progress to the next round after a decent performance.

To end any confusion David McGurn did not appear up front for Morton and Adam Coakley never came off the subs bench. The woman on the tannoy listed our substitute numbers as 12,13,14,15 and 16. However we never have a number 13, our sub goalkeeper uses number 20. So the second substitute listed (Chris Millar) was read out by the announcer as number 13 instead of 14 and every player afterwards was moved down one number.

I'll end my report the same way I did after the last Challenge Cup game. Home tie in the next round please.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Robinson - 7
2. Shields - 7
3. McAnespie - 7
4. Weatherson - 5
5. Greacen - 6
6. Keenan - 8
7. Finlayson - 7
8. Stevenson - 5 (16. Graham - 71 mins)
9. Linn - 6 (14. Millar - 65 mins)
10. Gardyne - 9
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

12. Templeman
15. Coakley
20. McGurn

Peterhead: Kula, Buchan, Mackay, Mann, MacDonald, Anderson, Hamish Munro (McKay), Cowie, Bavidge, Kozminski, Bagshaw (Donnie Munro).

Subs Not Used: Good, Donald, Will

My man of the match : Michael Gardyne

BBC Radio man of the match : Michael Gardyne

Sponsors man of the match :

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Russell Steele's Tele' match report : http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=12190

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