Morton 3 - 2 Buckie Thistle

Morton 3 - Russell (21), McLaughlin (23), Templeman (92)
Buckie Thistle 2 - MacRae (45), Stewart (68)

Att - 1,833

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 5
2. Finlayson - 7
3. Walker- 6
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 6
6. McLaughlin - 6
7. Finlayson - 6
8. Millar - 6 (12. Gardyne - 55 mins)
9. Russell - 7
10. Weatherson - 5 (14. Templeman - 70 mins)
11. McAlister - 8

Subs Not Used:

15. Graham
16. Keenan
20. Robinson

Booked: Russell

Buckie Thistle: Main, Shewan , Mackinnon, Matheson (Neil Davidson 81), Duncan, Small, Neill (Macdonald 74), Macrae, Graeme Stewart, Bruce (Andy Low 86), MacMillan. Subs Not Used: Edmond, Strong.

My man of the match: David MacRae

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Buckie website Match Report: http://www.buckiethistle.com/scottish-football/123/we-woz-robbed---morton-3-jags-2.html?PHPSESSID=4n1ppj4njc6kg3lgb7vho0ggn4

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_cups/7107965.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=1&id=17310

Tele' match reaction: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=1&id=17312 & http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=1&id=17311

The Northern Scot match report: http://www.northern-scot.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/3509/Templeman_foils_Thistle_prayers.html


Stevenson Out For 2 - 3 Weeks

According to a news story posted on Inverclyde Now today Jamie Stevenson is out for two to three weeks with a pulled hamstring.

Buckie Admission Prices Reduced

Gillian Donaldson has posted a message on the Club News section of http://www.gmfc.net/ to say that as a 'thank you for continued support' Morton have decided to reduce admission prices by £2 for Saturday's Scottish Cup tie against Buckie Thistle.
Season tickets are not valid for this match.

Prices are as follows:
Main Stand
Adults - £13
Concessions - £7
Parent & Child - £17

Adults - £11
Concessions - £6
Parent & Child - £15
Child - £4


St. Johnstone Rumour 'Absolute Nonsense'

Morton manager Jim McInally has labelled rumours linking him with the St. Johnstone job as absolute nonsense.

In today's Greenock Telegraph Chris Fitzgerald quotes McInally as saying: “It’s not even worth comment. Coyle’s (pictured) not even left yet, so it’s sheer speculation and absolute nonsense.”


McInally A Candidate To Replace Coyle

According to radio station Clyde 1 Jim McInally is one of the favourites to replace St. Johnstone manager Owen Coyle if he leaves the Saints to manage Burnley. According to the BBC website Burnley and St. Johnstone have agreed a compensation package. Clyde 1 also mentions former Clyde manager Joe Miller as another possible replacement.
See the third news item on this list: http://www.clyde1.com/Article.asp?id=15750

SFA Investigation Into Craig Thomson Blunder Continues

Morton fan Ernie Newall (aka Mortonjag) has posted on http://www.greenockmorton.org/ to say that he has received a reply (pictured) to the recorded delivery letter he sent to SFA chief executive Gordon Smith.

The unsatisfactory response comes from the SFA's head of disciplinary and referee department Drew Herbertson. Herbertson says:

This matter is currently being investigated by the SFA and, as such, it would be inappropriate to offer comment at this stage beyond saying the process which was gone through by the referee to disallow the goal is the focus of attention. From information available to the SFA, the correct decision was reached to disallow the goal but it needs to be established exactly what happened during the period after it was "scored".

I wonder how long this 'investigation' will go on and whether the 'information available to the SFA' will ever be made available to the public or even to officials at Cappielow.

To see Mortonjag's post and a full size copy of the SFA's letter click here: http://www.greenockmorton.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=17435

Shearer Looks To Chisholm And Coyle For Advice

In today's Greenock Telegraph Buckie Thistle manager Duncan Shearer (pictured) tells Chris Fitzgerald that he will be contacting some of Morton's 1st division rivals for the lowdown on Jim McInally's men before Saturday's Scottish Cup tie. St. Johnstone manager Owen Coyle and Queen Of The South manager Gordon Chisholm are the men Shearer hopes can help him cause a cup shock.

Morton 2 - 4 St. Johnstone

Morton warmed up for Saturday's Scottish Cup tie against Buckie Thistle with a closed doors game against St. Johnstone. The match, played yesterday, finished 4-2 to St Johnstone.

The information appeared in a news item on the St. Johnstone website dated 19th of November. The item lists Peter MacDonald, Dyron Daal and Stevie Milne as the Saints goalscorers. A post (#15) by Thornton on http://www.greenockmorton.org/ suggests that Chris Millar and Iain Russell (penalty) scored for Morton.


Buckie Thistle

In the papers at the weekend Jim McInally revealed that he wouldn't be going to the Scotland game but would be watching Buckie Thistle instead. Encouraging to see a Morton manager getting his priorities right.

On a related note my wee brother Brett watched Nairn County v Buckie Thistle last week. Buckie won 1-0 with a last minute winner scored by Tony Low. He said they didn't play that well and that Morton should have no trouble beating them. He also said that Buckie's three key players are Craig McMillan, Tony Low and David MacRae (who McInally would have seen score in their 1-1 with Keith at the weekend).


McInally Predicts 1-1 Draw

In today's Greenock Telegraph Roger Graham talks to Jim McInally about Scotland's chances against Italy tomorrow. McInally predicts a 1-1 draw saying: "I think it might be a 1-1 draw, but I truly hope I’m wrong. The longer it stays level the more Scotland have a chance of nicking something. But people should remember that, whatever happens, Scotland have done brilliantly."

The Morton manager also says that he would go with the 4-5-1 formation and that he would play James McFadden, not Kenny Miller, as the lone striker.

McInally gained 10 Scotland caps during his playing career. The last of which came in Scotland's 5-0 loss to Portugal in April 1993.

East Fife 1 - 2 Morton

East Fife 1 - Linn (5)
Morton 2 - Loughran (21), Gardyne (79)

Earlier tonight Bryan Purdue posted a message on http://www.greenockmorton.org/ revealing that Morton beat East Fife 2-1 in a friendly at New Bayview (on Thursday night). Bobby Linn - currently on loan at East Fife - scored against us. Gary Loughran and Michael Gardyne scored our goals.

In a strange move East Fife made this game open to the public. Admission prices were £4 adults , £2 children - maybe it wasn't such a strange move considering those prices.

Bryan also posted the line ups which were:

Morton: Trialist, Black, Shields, Walker, Keenan, McLaughlin, Loughran, Stevenson, Templeman, McAnespie, Gardyne

East Fife: Fox, Greenhill, Cameron, Smart, Fotheringham, Tweed, Walker, Stewart, McManus, Linn, Young

The thread on the game is here: http://www.greenockmorton.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=17397


Friendly v East Fife

According to a couple of posts on http://www.greenockmorton.org/ Morton play East Fife in a friendly at New Bayview tonight with kick-off at 7.30pm.

October Player Of The Month

Peter Weatherson (pictured) has been voted Morton's star man for October by readers of this blog.

Peter received 56% of the vote. Equating to 28 votes from a total of 50 which works out as over half the votes. His share of the poll is the most one sided so far but this was to be expected in a month in which he scored 4 goals in 3 games including a hat-trick against Partick Thistle.

His closest rival was the much improved Ryan Harding who got 12% of the votes (6/50).

The full results were:

1) Peter Weatherson - 56% (28/42)
2) Ryan Harding - 12% (6/50)
3) Kevin Finlayson - 8% (4/50)
4) David McGurn - 6% (3/50)
5) Lee Robinson / Scott McLaughlin - 4% (2/50)
6) Jay Shields / Chris Millar / Jim McAlister / Iain Russell / Chris Templeman - 2% (1/42)

A couple of results show the problem with these polls. The first is that Lee Robinson got 2 votes even though the only match he played in was the terrible Challenge Cup Semi-final defeat against St. Johnstone - another case of players and their mums voting. Chris Millar also got a vote when all he played was the second half against Hamilton Accies but because you have to run the poll when the month has ended it runs into the next month and people are influenced by performances then as well.


Willy Wonka's XI

"Willy Wonka's factory team"- this is how we were described in an article on the 'Five Worst Strips Of All Time' (pictured - click image to read).

The article appeared in the Sunday Herald's fresh magazine and echoed - some would say ripped off - a similar article that appeared in The Scottish Sun a while back. Once again, Morton's Tartan Strips from the mid-nineties are ranked as the worst strip(s) of all time.

On the strips the article says: "Drenched in tartan and sponsored by a toffee company, the Tons [ eh?] looked like Willy Wonka's factory team."

Former Hugo Boss and Vivienne Westwood model Mark Hogarth was also interviewed for the article. The Glaswegian said: "One of the worst strips was a tartan Morton kit that was sponsored by a toffee company - they looked like they were playing in sweetie wrappers."

Spare a thought for Hull City though. Their tiger design from 1992 appears in these lists more often than our tartan strips - they are ranked 3rd.

The Sun's article: http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2007/10/tartan-strips-sickening.html


Cowan Added To Scotland's Hall Of Fame

Former Morton and Scotland goalkeeper Jimmy Cowan was inducted into the Scottish Football Museum's Hall Of Fame last night. He was one of nine new inductees, the others were: Willie Bauld, Eric Caldow, Alan Hansen, Ally McCoist, Rose Reilly, Walter Smith, Gordon Strachan and Eddie Turnbull. The Paisley born goalkeeper is the third ex-Morton player to be inducted; Joe Jordan and Billy Steel are the other two.

Cowan's most famous performance was for Scotland against England in a 3-1 win in 1949. His performance that day was so impressive that the game came to be known as 'Cowan's Match'.

Cowan is a Morton legend who holds the record for the most capped Morton player with 25 Scotland appearances - in each of which he wore his Morton top under his Scotland top. According to Graeme Ross' book Morton Greats he made 191 Morton appearances between 1946 and 1953 before signing for Sunderland for £9,000 in 1953. He gained a further two caps at Sunderland before joining Third Lanark and retiring in 1956.

In 2005 he finished third in a BBC poll for Morton's Cult Hero. Andy Ritchie and Allan McGraw were first and second respectively.





Queen Of The South 1 - 3 Morton

Queen Of The South 1 - Tosh (3)
Morton 3- Weatherson(24), Russell (77 pen), Millar (92)

Att - 2,110

In the Terrace Talk section of Tuesday's Greenock Telegraph D. Gallacher from Aberdeen said: "I have recently written into express concerns over Morton's tactics and formation so I feel it's right to congratulate the management and players for Saturday's great performance at Palmerston." That opening paragraph pretty much summed up how I feel. I haven't been Jim McInally's biggest critic but I did eventually resort to a 'Time To Go Jim' post on this blog after a shocking performance against St. Johnstone. However recent performances, and Saturday's win at Palmerston in particular, have been very impressive. The return of Scott McLaughlin to the team, Chris Millar's return to form and Peter Weatherson's move back up front have turned our fortunes around and we now look like a decent team who are more than a match for the rest of the teams in this division. I'd say we are a decent centre-half and central midfielder away from a title challenge.

They might've got their preparation and tactics for this match spot on but Jim McInally and Martin Clark weren't directly invloved in the match as they were in the stand after their protests at Hamilton earned them a two game ban. So they were powerless - in theory at least - to influence the match after it started. Pat Gardner took over duties in the dug-out for this fine victory.

We started this match very poorly. Stevie Tosh opened the scoring with a left footed half volley from the edge of the box after only 3 minutes. I might be being over critical but I thought McGurn was slow to react and especially slow to reposition his feet and make a dive to save (after watching a video of the goal on the www.qosfc.com website I definitely think McGurn should've saved it). Queens continued to dominate for the first 15 minutes until Chris Millar started to take control in the midfield, an impressive feat when facing up to Neil MacFarlane and Tosh. Jim McAlister was also impressing back out in the left and it was from there that a chance was worked for Iain Russell - who blazed over from close range.

Morton's dominance was rewarded with an equaliser in the 24th minute and it seemed inevitable that it would be former Queen of the South player Peter Weatherson. Peter was right up for this match - as is usually the case when players come up against former clubs. Again McAlister worked his magic down the left before playing the ball inside for Weatherson to stride on to. He seemed to have taken the ball to too tight an angle but the Geordie then proceeded to unleash a left foot rocket into the roof of the net - 1-1.

Morton continued to dominate for the rest of the first half but frustratingly failed to capitalise on their possession and score a second goal. This almost proved to be the case when Morton seemed to lose their way in the first half of the second half but the game turned on a contentious refereeing decision which this time went in our favour. Chris Millar attempted to cut cross from the by-line but the ball was blocked by an opposition hand. The player was inches away from Millar and so couldn't have got his hand out of the way if he tried but no one in at Morton was caring when Iain Russell stroked his penalty into Jamie McDonald's bottom right hand corner.

Iain Russell's penalty:

Russell had a chance to put the game beyond doubt a few minutes later when he rounded MacDonald but he only managed to shoot into the side netting with an open goal at his mercy. Russell's only excuse could be that he hit the shot with his left foot but in my opinion any professional footballer should be adequate enough with both feet that they could roll the ball into an empty goal.

A Ryan Harding header cleared off the line shortly afterwards:

Cheers to Harry Thompson for the videos.

Chris Millar - who continued his recent excellent form - wrapped the game up in injury time. Weatherson split the defence with a through ball and Millar was coolness personified as he placed the ball past the Queens' keeper to secure an excellent three points.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 6
2. Shields - 6 (17. Keenan - 50 mins)
3. Walker- 7
4. Harding - 7
5. Greacen - 7
6. McLaughlin - 7 (12. McAnespie - 73 mins)
7. Finlayson - 6
8. Millar - 8
9. Russell - 7 (14. Stevenson - 89 mins)
10. Weatherson - 8
11. McAlister - 8

Subs Not Used:

15. Gardyne
16. Graham

Booked: Finlayson

QotS: MacDonald, Scally, McQuilken, Thomson, Harris, Robertson (O'Neill 69), MacFarlane, Mole (Gilmour 38), Tosh, O'Connor, Bingham (Dobbie 61). Subs Not Used: Grindlay, Paton.

My man of the match: Chris Millar

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Team Sheet

QotS match report & Tosh's goal: http://www.qosfc.com/07report.htm

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7086665.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=16912

Peter Weatherson's after match reaction (Tele'): http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=16915


Millar Puts Good Form Down To Time Out

In today's Greenock Telegraph Chris Millar has told Roger Graham that he believes that his recent good form is down to his spell out of the team. Millar said that it gave him the chance to take a step back and look at what he hadn't been doing.


Did You Know...

... that in May 1961 Morton attempted to poach then part-time Scotland manager Ian McColl. Morton offered McColl - who was still registered as a Rangers player - £3000 a year to be manager but he said no.

This Question and Answer (pictured) appeared in the On The Record section of the Daily Record's The Winner pull-out. D. Rankine from Greenock posed the question.

Trust Donate £2000 To Morton Youth Set Up

Stuart Duncan has written a news item on the Greenock Morton Supporters Trust website telling how the trust have donated £2000 to help with the running of Morton's youth set up.

The money donated was raised through the fans game organised by trust member Bryan Purdue (pictured presenting Jim McInally with the cheque). According to the trust website Bryan is also the spokesperson for the Greenock Morton Disabled Supporters Club and writes a regular article for the Morton match day programme.

Well done to Bryan, the Trust and everyone who played in the fans game.


Linn Wont Stay In Methil

Bobby Linn scored the second goal of his loan spell at East Fife in a home match against Elgin City on Saturday. However in today's Greenock Telegraph Linn tells Chris Fitzgerald that although he's enjoying his time at New Bayview he is intent on returning to Morton and making an impression at Cappielow.


Coakley On Loan To Stranraer

Adam Coakley has joined Third Division Stranraer on loan for a month.

Coakers had just returned from a month at Alloa where he scored 1 goal and set up another. An Alloa fan posted on the Morton messageboard to say that he was okay but wasn't any better than what they had and according to the poster - called Waspie - "that tells it's own story."



Michael Gardyne A - Z

Michael Gardyne is grilled in this week's Supergoals A - Z in today's Scottish Sun.

You can read it by clicking on the images below.


Morton 1 - 1 Stirling Albion

Morton 1 - Russell (8), Stevenson missed pen (84)
Stirling Albion 1- Ellis(61)

Att - 2,802

Jamie Stevenson squandered a golden chance to take all three points - and could've caused a traffic incident on the main road - when he blazed a late penalty over the bar at the Sinclair Street end.

Morton took the lead when rejuvenated right winger Kevin Finlayson burst down the right hand side to clip a superb ball to Iain Russell who was lurking at the edge of the six yard box towards the back post. The ball was slightly behind Russell who did well to crane his neck back and get enough power to guide the ball into the net past Christie.

After the goal Morton dominated without overly impressing. In these periods of domination we have to kill off teams like Stirling at home. Our failure to turn our possession into chances and, ultimately, goals turned out to be our downfall. Our best effort apart from the goal was a strong Greacen header that Christie did well to touch over.

Whatever Allan Moore said at half time worked. Stirling came out and took the game to Morton. When their goal arrived it was the culmination of 15 minutes of play where an equaliser for the visitors seemed inevitable. Ex-St. Mirren defender Laurie Ellis ghosted in at the front post to head a near post corner past McGurn.

David McKenna - another ex-St. Mirren player - was sent off in the 69th minute for a second bookable offence. This second offence was a shirt pull on Kevin Finlayson as he broke by him in the Morton half. Moore must've been furious in the away team dug out but as usual he blames the referee for 'soft bookings' when the second was a clear shirt pull that definitely merited a yellow - the first booking I can't remember.

It could be argued that the opposition going down to 10 men was more of a hindrance than a help as they camped in their own half allowing Morton's centre-backs to pass the ball along the back line looking for angles and gaps ahead of them. Ryan Harding took it upon himself to break them down when he played a superb one two with Kevin Finlayson and strode into the box only to be felled by former Morton trialist John Paul McBride for a stone wall penalty. Regular penalty taker Jamie Stevenson - on as a second half substitute - strode forward confidently only to balloon the ball over the bar. For me, skying a penalty is criminal. I know it's all cliche stuff but you have at least hit the target and make the keeper work from that range. Going by the reports in the media that suggested Jamie was distraught by the miss I suspect we'll see someone else taking the responsibility the next time.

Morton went from a glorious chance of three points to a few inches away from losing it shortly afterwards. Stirling burst forward and Derek Lilley (my Morton hero in his first spell, definitely not in his second) guided the ball narrowly wide from a right wing cross.

Chris Millar impressed again after last week's performance earned him a starting place. Michael Gardyne was another new starter this week but didn't see much of the ball and failed to impress when he did have it.

A draw was just about a fair result but Jamie Stevenson must be kicking himself for his penalty miss that cost his team the three points.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 6
2. Weatherson - 6
3. McAnespie - 6 (12. Stevenson - 64 mins)
4. Harding - 7
5. Greacen - 7
6. Shields - 6 (14. Templeman - 75 mins)
7. Finlayson - 7
8. Millar - 8
9. Russell - 7
10. Gardyne - 6 (15. Walker - 58 mins)
11. McAlister - 5

Subs Not Used:

15. Graham
17. Keenan

Stirling: Christie, Nugent, Forsyth, Ellis, Reid, Aitken, Harris, McBride, Cramb (Lilley 79), McKenna, Taggart (Devine 85). Subs Not Used: Tomana, Graham, Hogarth.

Sent Off: McKenna (69).

My man of the match: Chris Millar

Sponsor's man of the match: Iain Russell

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7074141.stm


Morton v Stirling Albion Preview

By Friday night the events from the previous Saturday's match have usually paled into insignificance but this week this is certainly not the case. The events surrounding Chris Templeman's disallowed goal continue to cast a shadow over tomorrows game.

Morton have threatened to appeal Jim McInally's and Martin Clark's touch line bans and then decided not to due to the £1000 cost. According to InverclydeNow this means that Morton's dugout will be empty for the two matches following Stirling's visit to Cappielow. Some may see this as an advantage tomorrow and a disadvantage in the Queen Of The South and Buckie Thistle matches; personally I don't. In my opinion any manager worth his salt has already used a weeks training to prepare his players for Saturday's fixture. Last week I watched a documentary about Jose Mourinho in which he was so confident that he had adequately prepared his team for a Saturday that he would give no team talk before the game. Instead he would allow one of his players to say a few words. Don't get me wrong Jim McInally is no Jose Mourinho but I don't buy into this garbage about managers not being animated enough on the touchlines. For me a manager's work is done on the training field and in the minds of his players, shouting and bawling has no other affect on players other than to worry and unsettle them. So, for me, the management team's touchline ban is irrelevant. I'm sure lots of you will disagree, although maybe not in this case as Jim is usually reserved on the sidelines anyway.

I hope that the players use last week's injustice to spur them on against Stirling Albion - who we know very well from last season - rather than dwell on the point lost away to the league leaders. The Binos will put up a good fight but I think the players will use the Hamilton match positively and because of that I can't see anything other than a home win.

Team News:

Morton: David MacGregor and Lee Robinson are both still out. Kieran McAnespie will play with strapping on his thumb. Morton's only doubt is over Scott McLaughlin who was injured in training. *Update* according to www.gmfc.net Scott is definitely out.

Stirling: Sean Roycroft is out but Stewart Devine and Paul Murphy are close to full fitness and could return.

My Prediction: Morton 2 - 0 Stirling Albion






Things On Your Mind?

Morton were mentioned in Ken Smith's 'The Diary' section of The Herald today.

The entry says:

Help is on hand

GREENOCK Morton fan Jim Watson was searching for the Morton
fans' unofficial website, which carries the best gossip and innuendo about the club. So he typed in "Morton unofficial" into the Google search engine. The first website that came up was for the Samaritans.

Surely things are not that bad down Cappielow way? wonders Jim.

The reason for this 'amusing' error was that with Tontastic's take over of the forum he recently decided to move from www.greenockmorton.net to www.greenockmorton.org. The dot net domain name is still owned by St. Mirren supporter Div who must have thought it would be hilarious to direct any Morton fans who didn't know of the move to the Samaritans website.


Try it: http://www.greenockmorton.net/

McAnespie Could Be Fit For Saturday

Chris Fitzgerald has updated us on the Kieran McAnespie situation in today's Greenock Telegraph.
Apparently his hand injury is not as bad as first feared and he should be okay to play on Saturday.

Weatherson's Best At...

... centre-forward according to Morton fans who voted on my poll asking where they would play Peter.

The vast majority of voters - 80% or 28 out of 35 votes - believe that Jim Mcinally and Martin Clark have made the right decision to move the Englishman back up front.

11% of you (4 votes) would like to see him play in central-midfield where he finished last season and impressed in home and away games against Forfar Athletic.

8% (3 votes) thought he should play 'somewhere else' rather than the positions listed. I can only assume this would be as an attacking midfielder in behind a front two.

In my opinion the most interesting result is that not one person voted to play Peter in defence; be that as a right-back or centre-back - the positions that he has played most frequently in the last two or three seasons.