Fresh Injury Problems

Just as Morton's injury problems appeared to be subsiding Chris Fitzgerald's article in today's Tele' throws up some fresh injuries - although the players always seem to be the same.

David MacGregor and Kieran McAnepie seem to be two very unlucky and injury prone footballers. MacGregor has a groin strain and McAnespie has broke his hand.


Keith Jackson On Craig Thomson

On Monday night's Real Radio football phone-in Daily Record journalist Keith Jackson appeared as a guest alongside regulars Ewen and Roughie. The programme focused on Chris Templeman's disallowed goal at Hamilton. Both Jackson and Ewen were critical of referee Craig Thomson and sympathetic to Morton's anger.

Jackson has followed this up with an opinion piece in today's Record. In the article, titled - The Ref's A Homer .. Homer Simpson (pictured), Jackson gives his take on events.

In yesterday's Greenock Telegraph Roger Graham has written a similar piece and Morton chairman Douglas Rae has updated the official website with 'further comments'. You can read all of these at the links below.

The latest information according to Chris Fitzgerald in today's Greenock Telegraph comes from SFA's head of referee development Donald McVicar. He is quoted as saying: "We’ve seen the tape from Hamilton and agree the correct decision was reached. However, the way it was reached has raised some concern and we’ll be sitting down with the referee and linesman involved to discuss the situation.”

Keith Jackson: http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/comment/columnists/sport-columnists/keith-jackson/2007/10/31/the-ref-s-a-homer-homer-simpson-86908-20037032/

Roger Graham: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=16499

Douglas Rae: http://www.gmfc.net/chairman/news-view.asp?id=31

Today's Tele' (Chris Fitzgerald): http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=16518


Call That A Moustache Keenan?

In this month's FourFourTwo magazine (#159 - November) the regular feature 'More Than A Game' is all about Manchester City vs Manchester United. One of the boxes to the side of the article is called '10 REASONS WHY CITY ARE SO SAD'. At Number 10 it says: "Mick McCarthy, Jim Tolmie (pictured below right), Neil McNab (pictured left), Trevor Morley, Neil Pointon, Tommy Hutchinson, Paul Power, Tony Coton and Gerry Gow - what was it about City players and Moustaches?

Of the two ex-Morton players mentioned I remember Jim Tolmie's effort but I had to do a bit of searching on google images for Neil McNab. I have to agree with the United fan's sentiments - unacceptable.

Dean Keenan has attempted to carry on this tradition with this recent effort below.



Gordon Ramsay Still Interested In Buying A Scottish Club

A Sunday Mail article has quoted celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay as saying: "I want to invest in a team...to turn it around and take it into the Premier League." The article also goes on to say that Ramsay has indicated that he would like to return to Port Glasgow "sooner rather than later." fuelling rumours that he is still interested in buying Morton.

This story first appeared in a Sunday newspaper in September 2005. At that time a BBC Sport report quoted the foul mouthed ex-Rangers player as saying:

I have been keeping an eye out for the right kind of club to invest in and it will definitely be a side from north of the border, Morton would be my first choice because my dad, Gordon, was a supporter and we have strong family ties in the Greenock area. I have been speaking to David Murray about this over the last couple of years and, if anyone knows how to run a football club, it is him. I have had a look at several First, Second and Third Division clubs from Scotland and I think it would be a great idea. Morton are a team I was recommended to go to after I was released by Rangers as a youngster, so I have a soft spot for the club. Some people might think that buying into a football club is a sure-fire way to lose your money fast. But it needn't be that way at all.
At the time Douglas Rae was quick to state that the club was not for sale and in a post on http://www.gmfc.net/ he said: "In the past year, I have had two enquiries, both via solicitors.
"On both occasions, I rebutted their interest - even at the suggested price of something over £2m. I love Morton too much to think of selling."

An interesting footnote to this story is that in one of only two appearances as a Rangers player Ramsay came on as a substitute against Morton at Cappielow. He played 10 minutes of the match.

An Observer article on Ramsay's short football career: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/story/0,,708139,00.html


*Updated* McInally On Real Radio

In tonight's Real Radio phone in the main point of discussion was Chris Templeman's goal-that-never-was. Ewen and Daily Record journalist Keith Jackson both appeared to have sympathy with Morton and concern over the referee changing his mind. Alan Rough was stubborn in his defense of the official, first trying to focus on Templeman and then claiming that the correct decision was reached and how they came to it didn't matter. Roughie was basically talking nonsense after backing himself into a corner.

The phone-in became more interesting when Morton manager Jim McInally phoned in - primarily to defend Chris Templeman as Rough seemed to be casting aspersions on his character based on the point of view that the big striker had intentionally handled the ball.

McInallys conversation with Ewen went along the following lines:

McInally: Calls because he has an issue with Roughie's comments about Chris Templeman. Says Templeman told him the ball came off his shoulder, not his arm or hand and that even if he did it was undeliberate and should still have stood. He added that this would open a whole other can of worms and was largely irrelevant.

Jim went on to give Ewen his version of events. He claims both officials had admitted to him that they both gave the goal. He also said that Thomson's explanation on the Whistleblower section of the SFA website was "unacceptable to us as a club."

McInally explained further. He said that he is now in the habit of checking whether or not both the Referee and Linesman have given the goal before celebrating so as to not make a fool of himself. He said both gave the goal. Then 3 Accies players badgered the linesman. When the Ref went over Jim initially thought he was going over to book the Accies players. He was amazed when the Referee then disallowed the goal.

Ewan: Why did the referee change his mind?

McInally: The Linesman looked reasonably young. He looked to be intimidated and overwhelmed by what was going on.

Ewen: - Did you believe it was because of Accies players / management influence that the decision was changed ?

McInally: - Yes 100%. If I could go back I think should've took my players off the park.

Ewan: - Where do you go from here?

McInally: - I hope Gordon Smith will take an interest in it. (Adding he was delighted to see a football man like Gordon get into power at the SFA).

I'll be banned for two games, Martin Clark will be banned for two games. The referee should carry the can. I would like clarification [that Refs can't change their mind after making a decision presumably] so that this can't happen again because How can I tell my players not to badger the linesman / referee if they know it can work in their favour?

Also, what if it was Celtic v Rangers?

I would like to see them punished the same way I'll be punished.

This shouldn't be swept under the carpet but I'll accept my punishment without appeal as I was probably still in the wrong.

* This isn't Jim McInally's or Ewen's exact words. It's a rough description from notes taken at the time.

The BBC Sport website has a story on Morton's protest, including an interview with Jim McInally: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7068152.stm

Buckie Thistle At Home

Today Morton were drawn to play Buckie Thistle at Cappielow in the 3rd round of the revamped Scottish Cup. The tie will be played on Saturday the 24th of November.

Highland League side Buckie are familiar opponents. In our relatively recent Highland tours we have played them twice at their Victoria Park ground. I was at both matches and in each game the the Celtic look-a-likes in green and white hoops were decent opposition. They were strong, competitive and determined to show their senior opponents they were no mugs.

On each occasion the final score was a 1-1 draw. The first match was played on the 21/07/03 with Mel Bottiglieri scoring (pictured playing in that game) and the second match was played the following season on 19/7/04, Jason Walker netting our goal.

Buckie are a much improved side since we last played them. They are now managed by former Aberdeen and Scotland striker Duncan Shearer and have invested in some decent players. Their star man is Craig McMillan, who incidentally is from Inverness and one of my wee brothers pals. McMillan is a striker who is widely thought to be the Highland League's best player and a Scotland International at semi-professional level (Pictured below: scoring against Ireland). He scored something like 30 goals for Cove Rangers a couple of seasons back and this lead to rumours of Peterhead's Steve Paterson making an attempt to sign him, Elgin were also interested but Cove wanted £12,000. Peterhead's loss was Buckie Thistle's gain as they swooped to snap up the hitman paying an undisclosed fee.

Ex-Caley Thistle and Peterhead winger Tony Low is also on Buckie's books. My brother also knows Low who, like McMillan, is from Inverness. You might remember a stunning goal he scored for Peterhead against us at Cappielow in March last season.

Jim McInally told the BBC sport website: "It is a real bonus to be at home, but we will be respectful of Buckie Thistle. They are top of their league, have Duncan Shearer as their manager, we know some of their players and we'll have them watched."

Despite all of the praise I've given them I still expect us to smoothly progress to the next round but we could have had a much easier tie.

Listen to Jim McInally talk about the Buckie match (but mostly about the Hamilton match) in the interview on this page: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7068152.stm


Hamilton Academical 1 - 0 Morton

Hamilton Academical 1 - McCarthy (5)
Morton 0

Att - 2,562

Morton scored a late, late equaliser to gain a creditable 1-1 draw away at New Douglas Park. Wait, it's now 2.56 am on Sunday morning and the linesman appears to be consulting with the referee over Chris Templeman's equalising goal...

As you can see from my drunken introduction posted on Saturday night Morton fans are in uproar at what is probably the strangest refereeing decision any Morton fan has witnessed at a game. The run of events as they actually happened are that Chris Templeman bundled the ball into the back of the net after a Michael Gardyne cross. The Morton support were seated in the stand behind the opposite goal so no one in our end could honestly say whether or not Templeman handled the ball. However, the referee gave the goal as did the stand side linesman. He did not as some suggest raise his flag and put it down again. Evidence of this can be seen in James McFadden's picture below:

In our stand we celebrated the goal in full, the ball was respotted and the Morton team had returned to their half to restart the match. However by that time a few Accies players surrounded the Linesman and as a result the Craig Thomson went down to the linesman to sort it out. The result? Referee and linesman conferring and then deciding to un-award a goal they had already both awarded - something they have both admitted in Sunday's and today's press - as a result of Hamilton players going nuts. In the ensuing melee Morton's management team of Jim McInally and Martin Clark and Accies' Player / Assistant Manager were sent to the stand.

Thomson has attempted to explain the situation on the whistleblower section of the SFA's website but anyone who isn't a complete moron knows he is trying to talk himself out of the situation but talking absolute rubbish in the process.

You may not believe it but there was a full 90 minutes played in this match and for me Morton were very poor and didn't deserve a draw from the game. The form from the last two matches wasn't carried over. Peter Weatherson and Iain Russell were well off the pace up front and our midfield were dominated by Alex Neil, James McArthur and James McCarthy. But I would argue that the synthetic pitch is a big advantage for the home team as the ball appeared to bounce differently and run much faster - leading to lots of misjudged Morton passes.

The only real positive for me was Chris Millar's impact after coming off the bench at the start of the second half.

The winning goal was scored in the fifth minute when Hamilton's highly rated young midfielder James McCarthy lobbed David McGurn in the Morton goal. I didn't see the whole move leading up to the goal but the consensus around me was that David McGurn was badly at fault. He appeared to race from his goal only to find himself stranded as the young 'Irishman' easily lifted the ball over him.

All in all a very controversial day that will live long in the memory but looking at the match as a whole I thought that we got what we deserved based on the 90 minutes - nothing.

Below - Champions League, you're having a laugh! Incompetent ref Craig Thomson

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 5
2. Weatherson - 5
3. McAnespie - 6
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 6
6. Shields - 6
7. Finlayson - 5(14. Gardyne - 69 mins)
8. Stevenson - 4 (12. Millar - 46 mins - 8)
9. Russell - 5 (16. Templeman - 69 mins)
10. McLaughlin - 6
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

15. Walker
17. Graham

Booked: McLaughlin,Weatherson

Hamilton: Halliwell, Evans, Easton, Swailes, McLaughlin, McCarthy, Winters, McArthur, Offiong (Wake 71), Neil, Gilhaney.
Subs Not Used: Stevenson, Gibson, Taylor, Cerny

My man of the match: Chris Millar

Sponsors man of the match: James McCarthy

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Craig Thomson's excuse: http://www.scottishfa.co.uk/whistleblower.cfm?newsid=3324

Douglas Rae's comments: http://www.gmfc.net/chairman/news-view.asp?id=30

Tontastic / James McFadden's pictures: http://www.tontastic.com/index.cgi?dir=2007-10-27-League-A-Hamilton-JMCF

Sunday Mail match report: http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/sport-news/scottish-football/2007/10/28/mcinally-we-were-robbed-of-point-78057-20021652/

Tele' match report and comment by Roger Graham: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=16487




Morton Sign 9 Youngsters From First Touch

According to an article (no byline) in the news section of today's Greenock Telegraph, Morton have signed nine players from the First Touch initiative.

The players are pictured and are listed as: Jack McArthur, Keir Abercrombie, Darren Gallacher, Alan Frizzell, Sam Ball, Craig Ellis, Iain Beattie, Brady Grierson, and Matthew McLelland.

Let's hope some of these boys go on to be the next big thing at Cappielow.

First Touch will be holding their football festival at Cappielow this Sunday.

Click on the image to read the article (you might need your glasses).

Hamilton v Morton - Preview

Morton face their toughest test of the season so far with an away trip to New Douglas Park (pictured) to face league leaders Hamilton Accies.

Not only do Morton need to contend with a team with players such as James McCarthy, Alex Neil, the league's top goalscorer Richard Offiong and young player of the month James McArthur but we also have to contend with all these players coming into the game with huge confidence after beating Dunfermline 5-0 at East End Park; a win that put them 4 points clear at the top of the league.

To make matters worse we also have to play them on their synthetic surface which, it is argued, is an unfair advantage for the home team as they are used to playing on the surface. A final gripe could be that the surface is much tougher on the joints. Altrincham train on a similar pitch - the same one England used to prepare for the Russia game in Moscow - and Altrincham's Gareth Whalley doesn't like it. He told the BBC "I'm not a big fan of the pitch at all. If you've got any niggles, the pitch will certainly pick them out." - this could be bad news when you consider a lot of players in our squad are just returning form injury.

It's not all doom and gloom though. Morton come into the fixture on the back of two impressive wins while at the same time looking a much improved outfit. I'd pick out three key elements here. The first is Kieran McAnespie at left back. I don't necessarily think he's a good defender but he is actually left footed which provides the team with balance and allows him to go up the line or clear up the line, naturally. On a similar note Scott McLaughlin's return to the centre of midfield has added balance and security in the middle of the park. Finally Peter Weatherson's move up front has provided much need goals. There are reasons to be optimistic for Saturday, I can't see us getting a hammering like Dunfermline but I can't see us getting anything either. I hope I'm wrong.

Team news: Morton are still without Lee Robinson and David MacGregor. I'd expect us to start with the same team as the Clyde and Partick Thistle matches.

Hamilton right-back Tom Parratt is out for 4 months with a Jones fracture in his left foot while striker Paul McLeod is doubtful. Player / Assistant manager Stuart Tayor is likely to return.

My Predicition: Hamilton 2 - 1 Morton


Andy Ritchie - SPL Delegate

Firstly, thanks to the person who got in contact in reply to the Andy Ritchie appeal.

For anyone who's interested the journalist who contacted me eventually got a hold of Andy's number and has interviewed him over the phone and plans to meet him as well I believe. I'll post details of the article(s) when they are passed on so anyone who wants to can read it.

Apparently Andy is now an working as an SPL delegate and will be on duty at the Dundee United v Rangers game this Sunday.
Sunday Herald journalist Stewart Fisher has written an article on the subject of SPL match delegates and their duties. He says: "Match delegates are asked to arrive an hour and a half before kick-off, meet the match commander, inspect the pitch and speak to the referee and managers. From 3pm they must keep one eye on the action unfolding, and another on incidents in the crowd."

On page two of Fisher's article Ritchie's name appears on a list of SPL delegates. It reads: "Tommy McLean Former Motherwell, Hearts and Dundee United manager Willie McLean Former Motherwell and Morton manager Allan Preston Former Hearts player who had a spell as Livingston manager Andy Ritchie Former Morton striker and head scout at Celtic Alex Smith President of the managers and coaches association Pat Stanton Hibs legend and former boss."


Where Are They Now? - Brian Reid

Former Morton defender Brian Reid was appointed Ayr United manager yesterday. Big Reidy was give the job after Neil Watt's sudden resignation in response to Ayr's poor start to the season. After spells with Rangers, Newcastle United, Blackpool, Queen of the South, Burnley, Falkirk and Dunfermline he finished his playing career at Somerset Park at the end of last season - bowing out, quite appropriately, in a 1 -0 win against Morton on the final day of the 2006/07 season (pictured). Reid (and Andy McLaren) were give a warm reception by the travelling 'Ton fans and at the end of the game Reid returned the applause to show his appreciation in what appeared to be an emotional moment for him.

Reid had two spells at Cappielow. The first was from 1988 - 1991, in that period his performances were so impressive that he was signed by Rangers but injuries - particularly a cruciate ligament injury - prevented him from fulfilling his potential. He then returned to Cappielow in March 1996 in a deal rumoured to be around £100,000 in an attempt to bolster the squad for the run in to the end of that season. Reid left Morton at the end of season 97-98 and signed for Burnley on a free transfer.

Camara Deal Stalls

Today's Greenock Telegraph has an update on the situation regarding the Guinean goalkeeper who played in the bounce match against Dundee.

Chris Fitzgerald reports that Dundee United wanted to make a move for Camara to cover Szamotulski's suspension after his red card on Saturday. Thereafter United would have then loaned Camara to Morton. However the deal has stalled because the player would have needed international clearance to play which ruled him out of United's match on Saturday and this was no use to them.

McInally goes on to say that we might make a move for him ourselves but it wont be for over a week.

It would appear that the player isn't Hamidou Camara as today's Tele' calls him Kemoko Camara (pictured) - a different player.

Name: Kemoko Camara
Age: 32 (4.5.1975)
Position: Goalkeeper
Nationality: Guinea
International: 48 caps, 0 goals
Former Clubs: Amazulu (South Africa), Hafia FC (Guinea), Keloum Stars (Guinea), Bnei Sakhnin (Israel), KRC Zuid-West (Belgium)

Weatherson For SunSport's Golden Boot

In an almost identical article to the one that appeared in the Scottish Sun's Supergoals pull-out a fortnight ago Jim McInally tips Peter Weatherson to be in the running for the SunSport Golden Boot in this Monday's edition.

In the article by Andy Devlin McInally is quoted as saying: "Give him chances like the one he got on Saturday and most of the time the ball will end up in the back of the net because he's clinical. In and around the six yard box he can be really deadly."

Weatherson has six goals so far this season, one behind his strike partner Iain Russell who scored six of his seven goals for Brechin City. Montrose's John Baird leads the race for the Golden Boot with 11 goals.

To read the article click on the image.

The similar article from two weeks ago: http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2007/10/mcinally-tips-weatherson-for-golden.html


Dundee 1 - 4 Morton / Aussie Trialist

The Greenock Telegraph story about Morton's interest in Guinean goalkeeper Hamidou Camara says that he impressed as a trialist in a bounce match against Dundee. The match finished 4-1 to Morton. Brian Graham, Chris Millar and an Australian trialist (2) scored the goals.

Morton line up (courtesy of Alan Redman [Thornton]):Camara, Black, Walker, Keenan, McLeod, Loughran, Elvin, Millar, Gardyne, Graham, Templeman

coachayr50, a member of the http://www.greenockmorton.org/ messageboard, has posted stating that the trialist was Craig Elvin (pictured) of Melbourne Knights. Elvin has been a team mate of former Morton players Marco Maisano and Stuart Webster.

Name: Craig Elvin
Position: Midfield
Nationality: Australian
Former Clubs: Frankston Pines, Melbourne Knights


See post #7: http://www.greenockmorton.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=16969


*Updated* Morton In For Guinean Goalkeeper

According to Chris Fitzgerald in today's Greenock Telegraph Jim McInally is hoping to sign Guinean international goalkeeper Hamidou Camara after he impressed as a trialist against Dundee. The signing will be a short term solution as Camara is off to the African Nations Cup in January.

Camara played for Guinea as recently as the 13th of October. The match - a 2-1 loss away to Botswana - was a qualifier for the 2008 Olympic games. The Olympic games are played by players under 23 which would suggest his age and date of birth on the Guinea wikipedia page are wrong. The match report for the game (http://allafrica.com/stories/200710152093.html) describes Camara as 'well-built'.

Name: Hamidou Camara
Age: 26 (d.o.b - 4.10.81*)
Position: Goalkeeper
Nationality: Guinea
International: 39 caps*, o goals*
Former Clubs: AS Kaloum (Guinea), Ipswich Town*

* Information from the Guinea international team wikipedia page. I've no idea how correct it is.




Morton 3 - 3 Rangers - Youtube footage

For anyone who missed it floydpink26 posted a message on http://www.greenockmorton.org/ linking to a Morton video on Youtube.

The match is a 3-3 draw with Rangers in the third round of the Scottish Cup in season 84-85. The first match was played on the 26th January 1985. Rangers won the replay 3-1 the following Wednesday.


Goalkeeper Needed

In today's Greenock Telegraph Roger Graham has a small article stating that Morton need to sign a third goalkeeper more urgently than we thought as Lee Robinson's (pictured) finger injury looks set to keep him on the sidelines for longer than was initially expected.

Jim McInally is looking at an unnamed player in a bounce game today.

Coakers Scores For Alloa

On Saturday Adam Coakley (pictured - in his days at Motherwell), the much maligned Morton striker, scored his first goal of his loan spell at Alloa Athletic.

The BBC sport match report says: "Alloa were the sharper side in the first half, with Adam Coakley missing good chances before he pounced to score from eight yards before the break.

Alloa went on to beat Peterhead 2-0 at home.


Andy Ritchie - Appeal

Yesterday I received an email from a journalist who writes for what I believe is an ex-pat newspaper in the Canary Isles. He is writing a series of articles on Andy Ritchie for his newspaper and was wondering what Andy is doing with himself now and how he could get in contact with him to interview him. Unfortunately I couldn't help him, if anyone reading this could help email me at the address in the header of this blog and I'll pass on the information.


Clyde 0 - 1 Morton

Clyde 0
Morton 1 - Weatherson (15)

Att - 1,231

Saturday's 1-0 win over Clyde saw Morton pick up where they left off before the international break.

In my match preview I predicted a 1-0 win ( and cashed in by doing like the new Ladbrokes adverts says and putting my money were my mouth is) as I expected a tight, hard fought match - and that's exactly how it turned out.

As revealed in Friday's Greenock Telegraph Jim McInally went with the same starting eleven that proved so successful against Partick Thistle and the decision to play Peter Weatherson up front paid off again as he scored the game's only goal.

Weatherson's 15th minute winner came from a Stewart Greacen knock down after a Ryan Harding free kick. The finish was quite similar to his second goal against Thistle as he arched back to hook an excellent volley past Hutton in the Clyde goal.

Clyde have a reputation as a physical team and this is something our team seem to be getting to grips with, none more so than Jamie Stevenson. Jamie wasn't at his creative best out on the left wing but he put in a solid shift. He was committed in every single tackle he went in for, more often than not emerging with the ball. His effort and work rate were 100% - typified by his mammoth effort to track back and cover a Clyde attack and eventually make a crucial interception / tackle in the box. Kieran McAnespie - playing as a makeshift left-back - would have been grateful for Stevenson's efforts.

Another notable performance came from Peter Weatherson, who worked hard up front and was unlucky not to score another goal when he arrived at the back post to connect with a great Kevin Finlayson cross only to see his left foot effort crash back off the post. Interestingly, Jim McInally was quoted as saying Peter is now playing up front because he is 'crap at the back'. It would have been quite helpful - and less worrying - if this had been identified as a problem by the management before now even though the comment was meant to be a bit of a joke.

Ryan Harding was a tower of strength at the back and seemed to concentrate for the full ninety minutes - something that looks to have been aided by David McGurn's return in goal. David was also impressive. He made a couple of important saves, particularly from a Michael McGowan effort in the second half.

My only criticism would be that for long spells we sat pretty deep and invited Clyde on to us rather than try to force the issue at the other end. However this is probably overly critical as it must be expected that a home team will dominate the possession in any game and especially one in which they are a goal down and need to get back into it. A clean sheet, an away win, 4th position in the league and a battling performance at a venue in which we were bullied around about a year previously are all cause for optimism.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 7
2. Weatherson - 8 (17. Graham - 90 mins)
3. McAnespie - 6
4. Harding - 8
5. Greacen - 7
6. Shields - 7
7. Finlayson - 6
8. Stevenson - 8 (12. Millar - 66 mins)
9. Russell - 6 (14. Gardyne - 75 mins)
10. McLaughlin - 7
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

15. Walker
16. Templeman

Booked: Finlayson

Clyde: Hutton, McGregor, Bestvina (McKeown 58), Higgins, Wilson, Masterton, David McGowan, Arbuckle (Smith 81), Cardle, Imrie, Michael McGowan (MacLennan 71). Subs Not Used: Valentin, Cherrie.

My man of the match: Jamie Stevenson

Sponsors man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)


Tartan Strips Sickening?

On page 95 of today's Scottish Sun Gareth Law has used Scotland's limited edition claret strip as an inspiration to compile a list of 6 other kits that made you sick. Number 1 are Morton's Tartan strips from the mid-90s - with the Red strip pictured in the article.

I thought the choice was a bit harsh considering the popularity of the strips at the time. I wouldn't argue with the current Tartan effort being included even though I actually own it as it's hideous but I also had the original blue one and loved it at the time. The red one I wasn't as fond of but I still wouldn't say it made me sick.

If I were to pick a Morton strip that did make me sick it would have to be the 'James Watt College' strip made by the Cappielow Connection / Premier Marketing. That was a sickeningly cheap effort that even makes Vandanel look decent... okay, too far.

Click the image to read the article.

Clyde v Morton Preview

According to the Greenock Telegraph's Roger Graham Jim McInally will start with the same side that beat Partick Thistle against Clyde tomorrow. This means the team will line up as follows:


Shields ....... Greacen ......... Harding ...... McAnespie

Finlayson ... McAlister ....... McLaughlin ...... Stevenson

................ Russell ....... Weatherson .....................

The Tele' match preview also reveals that Chris Millar, Michael Gardyne and Alex Walker are all available and will start the match on the bench.

I expected that Jim would remain loyal to the players and formation that won against Partick Thistle. The personnel and their positioning added a balance that has been missing so far this season and the return of McLaughlin in midfield is a big plus. My only doubts are over Jamie Stevenson playing on the left and Kevin Finlayson. Finners has been playing really well of late and deserves his place but I'm not sure he can sustain that form. My preferred midfield would be McAlister on the right, Stevenson and McLaughlin in the centre and Gardyne on the left. In saying that I think McInally is right to stick with the team that was so impressive against Thistle and I fancy us to get the three points tomorrow.

My Predicition: Clyde 0 - 1 Morton


Imrie Thinks Morton Can Stay Out Of Trouble

With the international break and the hysteria surrounding Scotland's Euro 2008 Qualifying campaign the only source of Morton news at the moment is the Greenock Telegraph. Like the rest of this week's posts today's is basically a re-hash of Chris Fitzgerald's Tele article.

Today Dougie Imrie told the Tele' that he likes Morton as a team and that from what he's seen of us he doesn't think we will be in any relegation trouble come the end of the season.

The Bully Wee striker also said that he never had a chance to talk to Morton about their bid because it wasn't accepted. He also states that he has ambitions to play at a higher level than the 1st division which suggests that he would've probably knocked us back even if Clyde had accepted our bid.

Morton 8 - 1 Strathclyde Police F.C.

On Tuesday night Morton defeated Strathclyde Police F.C. 8-1 in a bounce match arranged to maintain match sharpness over the International break.

The result appeared in the Greenock Telegraph and according to Chris Fitzgerald Morton's goalscorers were Chris Templeman (4), Brian Graham (3) and Kieran McAnespie. Michael Gardyne and Chris Millar played an hour of the match.

Jim McInally is quoted as saying the Police team has some Junior players in their ranks. I've also been told that there's a few ex-senior players involved in the Strathclyde Police team so they aren't exactly cannon fodder but as Jim McInally says in the Tele' "the results aren't important." What's important is the match practice these games will be giving players returning from injury problems in preparation for Saturday's match against Clyde.



Gardyne Feels Like He Belongs At Cappielow

In today's Greenock Telegraph Michael Gardyne has told Chris Fitzgerald that he feels like he belongs at Morton and that the fans, players and management are all fantastic.

Read the article here: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=16129


International Break Benefits Morton

Morton have positive injury news according to Chris Fitzgerald in today's Greenock Telegraph.

The back-page story reveals that Michael Gardyne, Chris Millar (pictured), Scott McLaughlin and Kieran McAnespie are all approaching full fitness after playing most of the bounce match against Gretna. While Alex Walker has recovered from a virus.

However Dean Keenan, David MacGregor and Lee Robinson are all a while away from returning to first team action.


Best Signing Poll

In between player of the month polls I recently asked: Who Will Be Morton's Best Signing This Season? and the poll results were topped by £40,000 deadline-day signing Iain Russell.

Russell received 20 votes from a total of 52 which works out as 38% of the total votes. Jay Shields and Michael Gardyne (Michael got my vote) came joint second with 11 votes each (21%).

Interestingly Adam Coakley received two votes which proves that players read this blog, as do their Mums.

The results in full were:

20 votes (38%) - Iain Russell
11 votes (21%) - Michael Gardyne
11 votes (21%) - Jay Shields
3 votes(5%) - Kieran McAnespie
3 votes(5%) - Lee Robinson
2 votes (3%) - Darren McGeough
2 votes (3%) - Adam Coakley


Finlayson Full Of Confidence

In an article in today's Greenock Telegraph Kevin Finlayson has told Roger Graham that his run in the team has boosted his confidence and he thinks that this is the reason he's done so well recently.

Another interesting - if unsurprising - revelation in the article is that Finalyson says he is the second fittest player at Morton behind Jim McAlister. Finlayson explained that in regular bleep tests at Dundee University Jim McAlister always comes first and it's usually between Kevin and Chris Millar for second place.


Gretna 7 - 0 Morton

In Tuesday's Greenock Telegraph Jim McInally said that we would be playing Gretna in a bounce game on Thursday (today).
Apparently we were beaten 7-0 in a match where everything Gretna hit seemed to go in. David McGurn played in goal for the first half (conceding three goals) and Aussie Ben Cheyne came on as a substitute at half-time (conceding four goals).

The Tele' article also said that Scott McLaughlin, Dean Keenan and Kieran McAnespie would all get run-outs as they need games.

*Update* - Today's (Monday 15th Oct) Greenock Telegraph confirms that we were beaten 7-0 by a full strength Gretna team. Michael Gardyne, Chris Millar, Scott McLaughlin and Kieran McAnespie all played for Morton. The rest of the team was made up of young players and, as revealed in this blog story, goalkeepers David McGurn and Ben Cheyne. McInally insists that he wont be signing Cheyne.


September Player Of The Month

Jim McAlister (pictured) has been voted Morton's star man for September by readers of this blog.

Jim received 32% of the vote. That works out as 14 votes from a total of 42 votes - an improvement on the number of votes in the last player of the month poll. His share of the poll is slighty less than Dean Keenan's share of the August poll (43%).

His closest rival was last month's winner Deean Keenan with 16% of the votes (7/42).

The full results were:

1) Jim McAlister - 32% (14/42)
2) Dean Keenan - 16% (7/42)
3) Brian Graham - 13% (6/42)
4) Jay Shields - 11% (5/42)
5) Lee Robinson - 6% (3/42)
6) Jamie Stevenson / Chris Templeman / Michael Gardyne - 4% (2/42)
7) Peter Weatherson / Iain Russell - 2% (1 /42)


Linn Aiming To Impress Morton

For anyone who missed it the East Fife match report in the Scottish Sun's football pull-out Supergoals was almost all about Morton loanee Bobby Linn.
Linn came on as a sub and scored East Fife's third goal - a cracker from 18 yards - in a 4-0 win over Albion Rovers.

In Jeff Holmes' match report Linn says that he wants to score goals at East Fife to get his confidence up and prove to everyone at Morton he has a future at Cappielow. Linn said: "I had high hopes when I joined Morton but it has gone a little stale, although I am still desperate to succeed at the club. I'm at East Fife to score goals, get the confidence back and help my new team-mates stay top of the league."

The loan deal was initially reported to last until the end of the season but it turns out it expires in January. Until then Linn will train with Morton all week and join up with East Fife for an extra session on a Wednesday.

To read the section of the match report that focuses on Bobby click on the image below:

Cheyne Only Training With Morton

In today's Greenock Telegraph Chris Fitzgerald reveals that Morton wont be signing Australian goalkeeper Ben Cheyne.

In the article Jim McInally confirms that Cheyne had been training with the club but that it was only to help the player out as he was based in Giffnock and the training facilities were handy for him.

Cheyne's agent also emailed me again today and pretty much said the same thing as Jim McInally.

The Tele' article also says that Lee Robinson will be out for two to three weeks which means that Dean Keenan should have at least one more outing as substitute goalkeeper.



*Updated* Aussie Keeper Training With Morton

*Update* Earlier today I received an email from Cheyne's agent who sent me a copy of the player's CV. I've updated the profile details below with some of information on the CV.

Yesterday's Scotland On Sunday (and today's Daily Record according to a couple of posts on http://www.greenockmortonfc.net/) carried a small football snippet that revealed that Morton have Ben Cheyne, an Australian goalkeeper, training with the club.

The article also reveals that Clyde and Motherwell are in the hunt for the player who is a free agent.

Name: Ben Cheyne
Age: 19 (D.O.B - 27.05.1988)
Position: Goalkeeper
Nationality: Australian (with a British passport)
Internationalist: Former Australian u-17, u-19 (captain)
Former clubs: Belconnen Blue Devils (ACT Premier League, Australia)
Other Information: Cheyne attended the Australian Institute of Sport in 2006 and had a trial with A-League side Central Coast Mariners.

Scotland On Sunday (Scroll down the stories): http://sport.scotsman.com/football.cfm?id=1601902007

A match report taken from the Canberra Times newspaper in which Cheyne is praised as a star after a performance against A-league side Central Coast Mariners: http://canberra.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=sport&subclass=soccer&story_id=1014633&category=soccer

McInally Tips Weatherson For Golden Boot

In today's Scottish Sun pull-out Supergoals Paul Hughes has a small article towards the back in which Jim McInally tips Peter Weatherson to win the Supergoals Golden Boot now he is back up front. The article points out that he scored the majority of his 18 goals from defence last season.

McInally is quoted a few times but for me the most important thing he said was "From now on he'll be judged as a striker and I think he'll get us plenty of goals." It will be good to see Peter get an extended run as a striker as I think he is the best striker at the club and that it is his natural position.

Also enouraging are the rumours I've heard that Peter has been spotted out running regularly in an attempt to improve his fitness.

You can read the article by clicking on the picture to enlarge.


Morton 4 - 2 Partick Thistle

Morton 4 - Weatherson (8, 11, 49), McAnespie (47)
Partick Thistle 2 - Storey (74), Twaddle (89)

Att - 3,338

Martin Clark was the inspiration for this victory after Jim McInally revealed that it was his assistant manager who suggested moving Peter Weatherson back up front from where he grabbed a superb hat-trick.

In my opinion Saturday was the first time this season I've looked at our line up and thought it appeared to be well balanced and just about the team I would have played given the opportunity to manage the team. The only change I would have made would have been to swap Jim McAister in the centre with Jamie Stevenson on the left. The changes from Wednesday were: McGurn in goal for the injured Lee Robinson, Harding back in in the centre of defence, McAnespie in at left back for Scott McLaughlin who was in his preferred holding role in midfield. Jay Shields replaced Peter Weatherson at right-back and as aforementioned Weatherson was up front, Iain Russell returned after missing out by being cup-tied. As a pal said, we actually looked like a team for a change.

We took the lead in the 8th minute when Peter Weatherson glanced in a header from a wicked Jamie Stevenson free-kick for the first of his hat-trick. Doubt has been cast over this goal with some sources suggesting this goal was an own goal but in the News Of The World match report Peter is quoted as saying "There's a bit of doubt about the first one from the lads in the dressing room but it touched me before the defender so it's definitely mine!"

The second arrived three minutes later. This time the source was Kevin Finlayson on the right hand side. Finners turned his opponent inside out and wriggled past him to float a cross to Weatherson who was lurking around the penalty spot, the former right-back adjusted his body expertly to lean back and connect with a stunning volley that flew past Hinchcliffe in the Thistle goal. Peter is pictured celebrating this goal.

Morton were well on top in this period but returning keeper Davie McGurn did pull off a few vital stops from Thistle left back Marc Twaddle first a header than a back post volley he somehow saved with his feet. From a personal point of view I thought Lee Robinson was a great signing in the summer but after some of his recent performances and McGurn's showing on Saturday I think David should now be number one for the forseeable future.

Our start to the second half was as equally blistering as the first with goals on 47 and 49 minutes. Apparently Kieran McAnespie floated in a stunning free-kick to make it 3-0. I say apparently because I annoyingly missed this goal and looked up in time to see the ball hit the back of the net. Peter Weatherson arrived at the back post with real strikers timing to slam home a left footed effort that had been missed by at least two Morton players on it's way across the six yard box.

After we went 4-0 up we took our foot off the accelerator and allowed Thistle to score twice. Storey cut on from the right to curl a magnificent left footed effort past McGurn's despairing dive and Twaddle rifled home from close range after some particularly poor Morton defending. This concerning end to the match aside we were well worth the 3 points. It was very encouraging to see the team look so balanced. Players were playing in what appeared to be their natural positions and the return of Scott McLaughlin added a much needed presence in the centre of midfield. Hopefully the team that took the field today is the same one that takes on Clyde in a fortnights time.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 8
2. Weatherson - 9 (14. Graham - 84 mins)
3. McAnespie - 7
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 6
6. Shields - 6
7. Finlayson - 8
8. Stevenson - 7
9. Russell - 6 (12. Templeman - 74 mins)
10. McLaughlin - 7
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

15. Gardyne
16. Millar
17. Keenan

Partick Thistle: Partick: Hinchcliffe, Robertson, Harkins, Archibald, Twaddle, Storey, Rowson, Gibson, Murray (McStay 46), Buchanan (Keegan 46), Roberts (Di Giacomo 72). Subs Not Used: McKinlay, Tuffey.

My man of the match: Peter Weatherson

Sponsors man of the match: Peter Weatherson

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

View the goals here: http://ptfc.co.uk/pressbox/video_highlights.asp

Greenock Telegraph match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=15938

Linn Joins East Fife On Loan

Bobby Linn has signed for East Fife on loan for the rest of this season according to http://www.eastfife.org/. East Fife currently sit top of Irn Bru League 3.

The official Morton site adds that Linn requested the chance to go out on loan to get more first team football and to allow him to be closer to his family.

This is a strange decision from Morton's perspective. We paid around £10,000 for Linn yet the manager has never really given him a proper run in the first team. Also, with our current injury crisis letting players go out on loan is the last thing we should be doing.
***UPDATE*** - It has emerged that the loan deal is only until January 2008 not the end of the season as was originally stated.


Hal Stewart Tried To Sign Jim Leighton

I'm currently reading the autobiography of former Manchester United, Hibs, Aberdeen and Scotland goalkeeper Jim Leighton.

To be honest it's not the best but Morton have already have a few mentions I thought I'd post about.

The first was that Leighton's father was a Morton fan who went to all the games in the 60's but Leighton preferred Rangers and persuaded his Dad to take him to Ibrox on a Saturday instead.

The second was that former Morton goalkeeper Erik Sorenson was the man who 'discovered' Leighton taking him from amateurs Glasgow United to Dalry Thistle in the Juniors at 17 years old. On Sorenson Leighton says: "Be that as it may [Leighton was previously talking about Sorenson's 'fearsome' training sessions'], there is no doubt I am indebted to this man. He set standards for me, as well as preparing me for the rigours of Junior football. His dilligence and patience were commendable."

Finally Leighton reveals that in 1976 Hal Stewart made an attempt to sign Leighton from under Aberdeen's noses:

"I had played a trial for Dumbarton, who did not fancy me, long before I signed a provoisonal form for Aberdeen in 1976. Celtic, who turned up on my doorstep a week later, were disappointed when they heard they were too late. There was, however, renewed speculation about my future when Morton supremo Hal Stewart was tipped off that the form I signed had not been registered. Hal, a magnificent showman and ever the opportunist whose passing robbed the Scottish football scence of one of its most colourful characters, turned up at my Kinning Park office to see what was what. He also did his best to impress me by arriving in a huge pink car. It got him nowhere, but I have to admit I liked his style."


Morton 1 - 3 St. Johnstone

Morton 1 - Graham (12)
St. Johnstone 3 - Jackson (10), MacDonald (65), Quinn (87)

Att - 1,831

Sorry to anyone who wanted to read a match report for this cup tie but it annoyed me so much I couldn't bring myself to write a report and thanks to my terrible memory by now I've forgotten most of the incidents.

The only things I would like to point out were that young striker Brian Graham scored a magnificent goal by cooly clipping the ball over Cuthbert in the St. Johnstone goal when more experienced player might have bottled it and hammered it at goal. Graham's start to the season has been very encouraging. Secondly, our performance was shocking and the team selection was farcical with Scott McLaughlin at left-back and Alex Walker at centre-half. Ryan Harding who was supposedly injured managed to come off the bench.

For a good match report read Chris Fitzgerald's report that appeared in the Greenock Telegraph: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=15784

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Robinson - 4
2. Weatherson - 5
3. Walker - 6
4. McLaughlin - 5 (15. McAnespie - 62 mins)
5. Greacen - 4
6. Shields - 6
7. Finlayson - 6
8. Stevenson - 6
9. Templeman - 6 (12. Linn - 62 mins)
10. Graham - 7 (14. Harding - 80 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. McKellar
20. McGurn

Booked: Stevenson, Graham.

St Johnstone: Cuthbert, Irvine, McManus, Anderson, Stanic, Quinn, McInnes, Sheerin, McLaren (Moon 89), Deuchar (Stewart 82), Jackson (MacDonald 31). Subs Not Used: Lawrie, Main.

My man of the match: Brian Graham

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)


Time To Go Jim?

I've held off and held off joining in with the calls for Jim McInally to be sacked but after the joke that was tonight's Challenge Cup Semi-Final I think it might be time to go Jim.

As more and more fans are starting to think the same way as those who have been critical of McInally for a good while a defeat at home to Partick Thistle on Saturday could see the voices calling for the managers head grow ever louder.