Buchanan Nearly Signed For Morton

According to an Evening Times article by Bert Mitchell Morton almost signed Partick Thistle striker Liam Buchanan last summer.

In the article Jim McInally said: "Liam was keen to come in and train with us in the summer and he is a close friend of Ryan Harding's. It was almost nailed down when Thistle came in for him. To be fair to Liam, he has done a great job since going full-time with Thistle and that does not surprise me. We know all about him from his time at Cowdenbeath and he is one of those type of strikers who just keeps showing and is always liable to get on the scoresheet."

Buchanan is Thistle's top scorer this season with 11 goals so far. If the booing that greeted his substitution (pictured) against us a couple of weeks back is anything to go by he's already established himself as a fan's favourite at Firhill.

Cheers to Russell Steele for the link.

Minutes Applause For O'Donnell

Morton have announced that there will be a minutes applause for Phil O'Donnell before the Stirling Albion match on Wednesday.

Motherwell's home match against Celtic on 6 January has been postponed as has the Old Firm game, Motherwell's game with Hibernian and Gretna's match against St Mirren all on Wednesday the 2nd January.

Gretna Confirm McGuffie Transfer

Gretna have today confirmed that Ryan McGuffie will be signing for Morton tomorrow.The story has been confirmed by both the Greenock Telegraph and Gretna's official website.

The Gretna site states that McGuffie will sign a two and a half year deal at Cappielow.

Gretna manager Davie Irons said: “Ryan has been part of this club from day one. He has been a terrific player for us and will go down in history as one of our most recognised players. On behalf of everyone at Gretna, I’d like to wish him all the very best for his career.”

Barry Smith - A Possible Signing?

According to a snippet in today's News Of The World former Dundee defender Barry Smith has been training with Morton.

The story also revealed that he is looking for a short term deal until the end of the season.

He could well be worth a look considering our defensive problems at the moment. However you feel that if he was training with Morton and looking for a club Jim McInally would have already attempted to sign him if he was interested.

Click the image to enlarge.

Morton 1 Hamilton Academical 3

Morton 1 - Russell (18)
Hamilton Academical 3 -Offiong (12), Graham (31), Mensing (45)

Att - 2,632

Stewart Greacen and the Morton defence got into the festive spirit by gifting Hamilton a few late Christmas presents as the league leaders ran out convincing 3-1 winners.

Jim McInally went through with his hint that he would play three up front by starting with Chris Templeman through the centre with Iain Russell and Brian Graham playing as wide forwards. Peter Weatherson was deployed in an attacking midfield role behind the strikers. Kevin Finlayson was suspended and Kieran McAnespie dropped to the bench. For me, this formation change was a very strange move when you consider we were playing the league leaders at Cappielow. Hamilton are a team who are particularly strong in midfield (McCarthy, McArthur, Mensing, Neil) and McInally decides to reduce the numbers in the middle of the park and go with more up front. In fact I'd say it was a shocker of a decision rather than a strange move.

Accies opened the scoring in the 12th minute when some comical defending allowed a throw in to bounce across the six yard line for Richard Offiong to nip in ahead of Greacen to bundle home a header. This comical defending was a sign of things to come.

Morton equalised 6 minutes later when Iain Russell - our best player on the day - volleyed home an excellent finish after a Chris Templeman flick on.

The absence of a midfield and poor defending from Ryan Harding led to Hamilton regaining the lead. David Graham - on loan from Gretna - picked the ball up in midfield and ran through a non existent midfield to be faced with Ryan Harding. Instead of going to the player Harding backed off and backed off until around the edge of the box where Graham drilled home a low effort that beat McGurn with ease.

The game was over before half time as more shocking defending lead to Hamilton's third which was annoyingly scored by another loanee, this time Motherwell's Simon Mensing. Graham and Mensing were two players who I would have loved us to bring in on loan - especially Mensing who's solid no nonsense midfield style is exactly what we need. A long ball (possible a goal kick) was flighted forward both Greacen and MacGregor hesitated allowing Graham to nip in between and pick the ball up. He looked up to see an unmarked Mensing bursting into the box and laid it off perfectly for the former Wimbledon and Clyde man to steer the ball past McGurn at his near post.

Game over.

The second half was a non event really as Hamilton saw the game out to claim another precious three points in their promotion battle with Dundee. As Jim McInally said himself "the best team won by a mile."

Morton (4-3-3):

1. McGurn - 6
2. Shields - 6
3. MacGregor - 5
4. Harding - 5
5. Greacen - 4
6. McLaughlin - 6 (12. McAnespie - 71 mins)
7. Russell - 7
8. Templeman - 6
9. Weatherson - 6
10. Graham - 5 (15. Stevenson - 63 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

14. Gardyne
16. Millar
20. Robinson

Booked: Shields

Shields Harding Greacen MacGregor
McAlister McLaughlin
Russell Templeman Graham

Hamilton Accies: Halliwell, Parratt (Gilhaney 86), Elebert, McLaughlin, Easton, McCarthy, Mensing, McArthur, Neil, Offiong (Wake 81), Graham (Gibson 78). Subs Not Used: Winters, Cerny.

Booked: Easton.

My man of the match: Simon Mensing (Hamilton)

Sponsor's man of the match: Chris Templeman

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7162346.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=18233

Tele' match reaction: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=18234

Goals: http://www.gmfc.net/webcast-video-clips.asp


Saints Will Have To Pay If They Want Millar Now

Morton manager Jim McInally has confirmed that Chris Millar (pictured at Firhill where he was dropped for the game against Partick Thistle) will never play for Morton again but if St. Johnstone want him in January they will have to stump up.

In an article in the Evening Times Bert Mitchell quotes McInally as saying: "What I will say is that Chris has played his last game for Morton, but if St Johnstone want him they will have to pay money for him. He is under contract with Greenock Morton until the summer - if they want his services before then it will cost."

Morton 0 - 1 Dunfermline Athletic

Morton 0 -
Dunfermline Athletic 1 -Glass (15 pen)

Att - 2,560

"we can’t keep having hard luck stories” - a quote from Jim McInally after Saturday's defeat at home to Dunfermline. As has been the case with Morton in a lot of our games recently we seem to dominate and get the better chances but fail to win the game citing bad luck and missed chances. This begins to become a worry when it seems to be repeated after every match and especially when you are failing to take points at home to a team as bad as Dunfermline were on Saturday.

The Pars took the lead when Stephen Glass converted a penalty after Kevin Finlayson scythed down Burchill from behind. A stone waller for me and very similar to the penalty Stewart Greacen gave away at Firhill on Saturday. We need to cut out these rash challenges in the box.

After Dunfermline took the lead Morton dominated without ever actually looking that good even though we were creating chances.

Morton's best chances fell to Peter Weatherson. In the first half he who turned sharply to slide and fire a rocket off the under side of the bar and out to safety then he passed up a sitter in injury time as he drilled a low shot wide when it looked a certainty he would score - cue Morton players crumpling to the ground all over the place. In between he clipped an effort towards the top corner but former Scottish international goalkeeper Paul Gallacher saved well.

There were a series of chances in between these two efforts. Jim McAlister shot straight down Gallacher's throat, Kieran McAnespie floated a right foot shot onto the top of the bar and over while kneeling down (it was the only thing he done, well except for taking corners and free kicks - some good, some woeful). Ryan Harding connected with a couple of corners first heading wide, then over.

It's strange watching Morton at the moment. We seem to have a lot of the ball and create chances without looking any good. I feel bored and frustrated watching the team. We cant seem to put the ball in the net and even though we dominate games on paper (chances created, possession) we aren't attractive to watch. As McInally said, we can't keep on having hard luck stories and saying you can't fault the players for effort.

Our home record is now 9 points out of 27. Our last home win (in the league) was against Partick Thistle on the 6th of October. Alarm bells should be ringing around Cappielow if you ask me, especially as we are now 1point off the play-off place. Roll on January when Ryan McGuffie and another SPL midfielder take their place in the team - despite the recent downward spiral I'm confident we will stay up especially when the new signings come on board.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 7
2. Shields - 5
3. MacGregor - 7
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 7
6. McLaughlin - 5 (12. Templeman - 82 mins)
7. McAnespie - 5 (14. Graham - 71 mins)
8. Finlayson - 5
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Russell - 6 (15. Gardyne - 88 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. McKellar
20. Robinson

Dunfermline: Gallacher, Woods, Harris, Scott Thomson, Murphy, Simmons, Ryan, Glass, McGlinchey (Crawford 74), Burchill, Hamilton.
Subs Not Used: Phinn, McIntyre, McManus, Murdoch.

Booked: Glass, Harris, Burchill.

My man of the match: Peter Weatherson

Sponsor's man of the match: David MacGregor

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7159290.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=18165

Tele' match reaction: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=18168


Morton Gifts

Merry Christmas!

Over the years when friends or family wanted to get me a Christmas present the first thing they would think of would be a Morton related gift. Be that a strip, a scarf, a tankard, a book etc. In recent years Smiths expanded their range with some Glenmuir jumpers, a whole new range of jackets, jumpers, hats and scarves but anything I like I already have and I'm sure most others would as well. To get to the point, the only Morton related gift I received this Christmas was Andy McLaren's autobiography Tormented and obviously the the club didn't receive any money from this.

What I'd like to know is where is the DVD of the 2006/07 2nd Division title campaign that was rumoured to be finished and ready for release? There was the 'A "Premier" Step Forward' video (pictured - below) for the 3rd division title win. You would think that the club would want to maximise profits firstly by getting the DVD out as soon as possible to cash in on the good feeling. If that wasn't feasible they could have waited until a wee while before Christmas to release it then and cash in on with people wanting to buy the DVD for the Morton supporter in their family. But the DVD is nowhere to be seen.

The club don't have the marketing side right at all and it's really frustrating as a fan who has family and friends who would be waiting to spend some cash on Morton merchandise (the DVD would have been ideal) only to find there isn't that much available unless you buy from Tontastic (and I have a few of his DVDs which I'd recommend) but again Morton don't benefit from this. The way it is my relatives are giving their hard earned cash to Aston Villa and the S.F.A. but I'd rather it was going to Morton.

If anyone knows if there's a reason why it has not been released feel free to post a comment or email me.

For Morton related gifts to spend your Christmas money on check out:


Ryan McGuffie Revealed To Be SPL Midfielder

In today's Christmas Eve edition of the Greenock Telegraph Roger Graham says that according to 'the Telegraph's information' Gretna midfielder Ryan McGuffie (pictured) is the unnamed SPL midfielder mentioned by Douglas Rae last week.

As a youngster McGuffie - along with Colin McMenamin (currently on loan at Livingston from Gretna) - left East Of Scotland league side Annan Athletic to join Newcastle United in the English Premiership. McGuffie never made the break through at St. James Park and joined Gretna in 2002. He made is debut in the first game of the 2002/03 season - in a 1-1 draw with Morton.

Name: Ryan McGuffie
Age: 27 (d.o.b. - 22/07/1980)
Position: Midfield
Nationality: Scottish
Height: 6' 2"
Previous Clubs: Annan Athletic,Newcastle United, Gretna.

Jim McInally refused to confirm this information and is quoted in the article as saying: "We are not prepared to comment as the player concerned is still with his club."

However Jim did give us some good news by revealing that he will be attempting to sign another SPL midfielder to replace the departing Chris Millar.

Tele' article: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=18116

McGuffie profile Soccerbase: http://www.soccerbase.com/players_details.sd?playerid=16393

McGuffie profile Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryan_McGuffie


Partick Thistle 1 - 1 Morton

Partick Thistle 1 - Di Giacomo (74), Chaplain missed pen (68)
Morton 1 - McAlister (52)

Att - 3,611

Match report to follow...

Alex Walker lies injured during the pre-match warm up.

Scott Chaplain's penalty miss.

Morton (4-4-2):

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

Subs Not Used:

14. Gardyne
15. Graham
16. McKellar
20. Robinson

Booked: Harding

Partick Thistle: Tuffey, Robertson, Twaddle, McKinlay (Storey 55), Kinniburgh, Archibald, Chaplain, Rowson, Buchanan (Di Giacomo 63), Roberts, Harkins (Murray 82). Subs Not Used: Hinchcliffe, Donnelly.

Booked: Harkins, Twaddle, Murray

My man of the match: Jim McAlister

Sponsor's man of the match: David Rowson

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7155890.stm

Tele' match report:

Tele' match reaction:


Midfield Moves - McAlister To Motherwell?

Today we have had concrete news that Chris Millar will be joining St. Johnstone, Dean Keenan has joined Ayr United on loan and that we will be signing an unnamed SPL player in January.

However there was one other piece of news regarding Morton and midfield comings and goings and that was a snippet that appeared in today's Scottish Star. According to my brother - who saw the story - Motherwell are set to bid £70,000 plus players for Jim McAlister. Obviously the Star isn't exactly a bastion of accurate journalism but this is a story that refuses to die. At the start of the season there were rumours that Motherwell had offered £50,000 and / or Martyn Corrigan. I'm also sure I read that Mark McGhee said he was an admirer of Jim's.

The only confirmation of the Motherwell interest in McAlister I could find was in the 9th paragraph of this Greenock Telegraph match report for Morton's 2-1 defeat at Dens Park earlier in the season, it says: "At the heart of the revival was the impressive Jim McAlister in centre midfield, driving his side on and showing just why Motherwell had enquired about him earlier in the season". http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=15745


Millar To Sign For St. Johnstone

A breaking story on the chairman's section of the www.gmfc.net website has confirmed rumours on www.greenockmorton.org that Chris Millar is expected to sign a pre-contract agreement with St. Johnstone .

The chairman also states that Morton will be signing an unnamed SPL midfielder in the January transfer window. Rae describes the player as a: "tall, strong, goal scoring mid-fielder."


Thread which started the rumour last night: http://www.greenockmorton.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=17935&st=0

Keenan Joins Ayr On Loan

According to a news report on the Inverclye Now website Dean Keenan will be joining Ayr United on loan and could feature for them as early as tomorrow (at home to Airdrie).

Today's Greenock Telegraph also carries the story and states that the loan is an emergency loan for an indefinite period of time.

Inverclyde Council Hold Civic Reception For Morton

Morton's 2nd Division Championship has been recognised by Inverclyde Council when they held a Civic Reception in Greenock Town Hall last week.

The story appeared in today's Greenock Telegraph and includes quotes from Provost Michael McCormick (pictured) in which he paid glowing tribute to the club and the achievement of winning the league and our cup win against Kilmarnock.

Unfortunately the story doesn't appear on the Tele' website and I didn't buy the paper today so cant even take a photograph on my mobile phone.


McAnespie's Pelvis Problems Finally Sorted

Kieran McAnespie looks to be over his injury problems according to an article in today's Greenock Telegraph.

The £11,750 summer signing from Alloa told Chris Fitzgerald: "My injury problems have been very frustrating. The problem was my pelvis — it was all over the place! It was a wear and tear thing and it affected my left leg and calf. It should be sorted now. I’ve been working hard in training and my aim is to get back into the team."

Read the full article here: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=17978


Morton On YouTube

Thought I'd do a post with all the best Morton videos on YouTube on it so they are easy to view. I will update this whenever I find a new video and will keep a link to this post in the sidebar of the blog.

Morton 1 Rangers 0 (1922) - Silent footage of Morton's one and only Scottish Cup win in 1922.

Morton 1 Rangers 1 (1948) - Footage of the first game of the 1948 Scottsh Cup Final. (Rangers won the replay 1-0).

Morton 1 Rangers 4 (1953) - Footage of a Scottish cup tie at Cappielow. Rangers won 4-1 against a Morton team including Jimmy Cowan and Bert Gourlay. Bert Gourlay was the nephew of Jimmy Gourlay who scored the winning goal in the 1922 Scottish Cup final).

Morton 3 Rangers 3 (1985) - 1984/85 Scottish Cup Tie taken from Sportscene highlights. Commentary by Archie McPherson.

Aberdeen 2 Morton 1 (1990) - 1989/90 Scottish Cup 4th round tie taken from Sportscene highlights.

Morton 2 Kilmarnock 5 (1997) - 1996/97 Scottish Cup 5th round tie taken from Sky Sports highlights.

St. Mirren 1 Morton 5 (1999) - Morton's goals

Scott Bannerman's goal v Peterhead- Mobile phone footage of the goal that won us the Third Division Championship in 2002/03

2006/07 - 2nd Division Champions- Celebrations after the title was secured at Starks Park.

2006/07 - 2nd Division Champions- Trophy Presentations and Celebrations at Cappielow.

Greenock Morton Goal of the Season 06/07- A collection of the 15 best Morton goals from season 2006/07 taken from the videoclips on gmfc.net

Lots of Morton Goals From 06/07- More goals from 2006/07 taken from gmfc.net videoclips

Morton 3 Kilmarnock 1 - 2006/07 Scottish Cup Tie taken from BBC highlights Parts 1 & 2

Motherwell 2 Morton 0 - 2006/07 Scottish Cup Tie taken from BBC highlights Parts 1 & 2

Partick Thistle 0 Morton 3 - 2007/08 Final League game. The celebrations after Morton avoided the relegation play-offs on the final day of the season.

'Numbskulls' Vandalise Cappielow Toilets

IDIOTS vandalised the Cowshed and Hospitality toilets at Cappielow sometime on Saturday according to a story in the news section of today's Greenock Telegraph.

The article by Russell Steele has pictures of Susan Gregory and Mark Farrell inspecting the damage. Stadium director Crawford Rae - son of chairman Douglas Rae - is quoted as saying that 99.99% of fans take pride in the stadium and that those who carried out the scummy behaviour were numbskulls.

Rae also said that if caught those responsible will be banned from Cappielow for life - lets hope they do get caught.


Thomson Given Old Firm Game

Craig Thomson - the referee whos holocaust of a decision to rule out Chris Templeman's equaliser at New Douglas Park cost Morton a valuable away point - has been handed control of the Old Firm clash on the 2nd of January. It would seem rather than punish Thomson for his monumental error of judgement the SFA have decided to reward him with the chance to referee the biggest, high pressure match in the country.

Whatever happened to the SFA's inquiry that was still ongoing the last we heard?

Linn Wants To Stay At East Fife Until The End Of The Season

Morton striker Bobby Linn - currently on loan at East Fife - was interviewed by Graham McColl for an article that appeared on The Times website last Friday (14/12/07).

In the interview Linn (pictured scoring for East Fife against Forfar[above] and Elgin City [below]) says that he would like to extend his loan with East Fife from January until the end of the season: “I’ve not heard anything from Morton but I would like the chance to see this task through and help East Fife to win the third division. The chance of winning a medal makes me want to stay here and finish the job. Then I could go back to Morton extra-confident and ready to start the new season feeling sure of myself and ready for a fresh start. It will be as if they’re getting themselves a different player when I go back to Cappielow.”

The former Dundee and Peterhead man talks about his time at East Fife for the most part but towards the end of the article he makes it clear that his future lies with Morton when he says: “I’m still really excited about getting the move to Morton – it’s great to be at a big, ambitious, full-time club with a good support.”


Arthur Montford Retires

In Douglas Rae's column in Saturday's programme he reveals that former Scotsport presenter Arthur Montford has retired as a director at Cappielow but has been appointed Honorary Vice President.

Iain Brown C.A. has, like Montford, retired from the board and has also been appointed honorary vice president.

Morton 0 - 2 Dundee

Morton 0
Dundee 2 - McDonald (13), Lyle (89)

Att - 2,526

In all the time I've supported Morton there's only been a few occasions when I've looked at an opposition player and thought this guy shouldn't be playing at this level. In the past I can think of three players: Kenny Miller, Russell Latapy and Franck Sauzee - all at Hibs and all at the same time. On Saturday I saw another; 19 year old Dundee midfielder Kevin McDonald.

McDonald scored the opening goal after holding off several Morton defenders and calmly slotting the ball low past David McGurn. He cruised through the game looking calm in possession of the ball while picking simple yet effective passes. There was one incident in front of the Cowshed when he seemed to have messed up a pass but he immediately took it back dribbling past one player and then taking all manner of kicks as he used his strength to hold off a couple of Morton players without ever looking flustered, in fact I could have swore he was laughing. The phrase a man against boys popped into my head. This was no one off, he has been impressing all season - he was outstanding in the televised CIS cup match between Dundee and Celtic a month or two ago. His ability coupled with his height and strength - both essential ingredients in modern day football at the top level - suggests to me that we wont see him at this level much longer. You'd have to think that The Premiership or Old Firm beckons.

Morton started brightly and probably should've scored in the first ten minutes. Iain Russell missed a decent chance that Samson did well to save. He also wasted another decent chance in the second half and had he been more clinical we could've won this game. I think Russell is in the McCoist, Boyd, Inzaghi mould of striker (although clearly no where near as good before you start laughing) in that he will miss a lot of decent chances but still pop up with a lot of goals because he has the knack of getting into the right positions at the right time.

In the second half the Cowshed thought Morton had equalised when substitute Chris Templeman powered a header into the bottom corner only to see it cleared off the line.

Derek Lyle wrapped up the win when he slotted home in the last minute after poor defending.

Personally, I didn't think that we deserved anything from the game. Dundee where well organised and through Robertson, McDonald and McHale they controlled the midfield. Chris Millar battled gamely and was our best player on Saturday but he was outclassed at the end of the day. On chances created we might've deserved a draw but on general play I thought Dundee more than merited the three points. We missed a few guilt edge chances but I thought we lacked a bit of creativity and quality in the final third.

One player who does have that quality in the final third is Peter Weatherson but his effort has been minimal in every game since we won down at Palmerston and for that reason I'd drop him next week. Jim McInally made the wrong decision to sub Iain Russell instead of Weatherson on Saturday. Russell looked to be our only goal threat while Peter plodded about doing nothing much. The Cowshed met the substitution with a pretty loud chorus of boos and some shouts of 'get Peter aff'.

Every Morton fan must have felt a pang of Deja Vu as Jim McInally was quoted as saying: "I certainly can't fault the boys for their effort and we'll just pick ourselves up." Fair enough Jim but effort is the minimum requirement I'd ask from my players, we also need a bit of quality and that could be added in the January transfer window. It's probably unfair to level that at the manager as I believe it's the chairman who has decided there will be no activity in January.

Getting beat by Dundee is no reason for hysterical over reaction. From what I've seen they are the best team in the league and should go on to win the title. However I just feel that our squad is lacking and as the season progresses we are starting to look over our shoulder at the teams behind us. I don't know about anyone else but I'm getting slightly concerned by a home record that boasts 9 points out of 24. I agree that this season is about consolidation but a couple of new signings in January would ensure we stay in this league and at the same time build for a title challenge next season.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 6
2. Shields - 6
3. Walker- 5 (16. Graham - 81 mins)
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 6
6. McLaughlin - 6 (15. Gardyne - 55 mins)
7. Millar - 7
8. Finlayson - 6
9. Weatherson - 5
10. Russell - 6 (14. Templeman - 60 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

12. McAnespie
20. Robinson

Booked: McLaughlin, Finlayson, Russell, Greacen.

Dundee: Samson, Worrell, MacKenzie, Palenik, Malone, McDonald, McHale, Robertson, Swankie (Dixon 73), Lyle, Sturm (Davidson 73). Subs Not Used: Zemlik, Daquin, Roy

Booked: McDonald, Samson

My man of the match: Kevin McDonald (Dundee)

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7143506.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=17945

Tele' match reaction: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=17947

The Courier match report: http://www.thecourier.co.uk/output/2007/12/17/sportstory10698132t0.asp


Star Man For November

Chris Millar (pictured) has been voted Morton's star man for November by readers of this blog.

Chris received 34% of the vote. Equating to 15 votes from a total of 44. For me Millar was the November player of the month by a considerable margin but voters didn't necessarily agree as Iain Russell ran him very close - only losing out by two votes (13/44 - 29%).

The full results were:

1) Chris Millar - 34% (15/44)
2) Iain Russell - 29% (13/44)
3) Jim McAlister / David McGurn - 11% (5/44)
4) Scott McLaughlin - 4% (2/44)
5) Jay Shields / Alex Walker / Kevin Finlayson / Peter Weatherson - 2% (1/44)

Reggio Emilia Ton Army

Around about six months ago I posted a message on http://www.greenockmorton.org/ linking to a hilarious youtube video of a group of Italian fans who have adopted Morton as their second team - in Italy they are Reggiana fans - singing 'The Whole Of Paisleys Illegitimate'. Today LargsTon posted a link to another video of them singing 'If You Want To Go To Heaven When You Die...'.

A thread about the Reggio Emilia Ton Army on which I posted the link to the original video: http://www.greenockmorton.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=12895&hl=Reggio+Emilia

Watch the videos below.

Reggiana: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.C._Reggiana_1919

Make Me A Model

Over the last couple of seasons I've often heard an accusation that Morton players are more interested in their hair cuts and how they look than getting stuck in and winning matches. While reading the Greenock Telegraph the other day this immediately came to mind when I saw Morton reserve player Scott McKellar's picture in the Tele's 'Make Me A Model' competition. I suspect this might be the doing of one of his pals or a team mate at Cappielow - if not I hope he gets the slagging he deserves at training.


Step Forward Douglas Rae

I had to laugh while reading a column in last Sunday's Sunday Herald sport pull out. Columnist Michael Grant focused on Scottish teams in Europe for the most of his column but at the end he poked fun at new Celtic chairman John Reid.

Grant said of Reid:

For a supposed attack dog, John Reid has been laying the syrup on pretty thickly since he took over as Celtic chairman. Reid is going to provide rich material once he gets his feet under the table and feels able to start lobbing a few verbal grenades, but for the time being he's a big pussycat.

His charm offensive has involved tickling the Celtic support on the tummy.

"Every single board of directors at other clubs expresses a wish that they had fans with the commitment, passion and sportmanship of our support," he gushed last week.

Really, John? Perhaps those rival directors would like to come out and publicly share their views on why Celtic fans are better than their own. Come on chaps, who wants to go first...?

Well Michael, look no further than Morton chairman Douglas Rae's programme notes for the home match against Livingston on Saturday the 1st of December. Click on the picture below to enlarge and read Douglas Rae's comments and the picture above to do enlarge and read Michael Grant's column.

"Unlikely" There Will Be Signings In January

At Monday night's AGM Morton chairman Douglas Rae hinted that there may be no new signings in January. The story appeared in Tuesday's Greenock Telegraph in response to a thread on http://www.greenockmorton.org/ .

Rae is quoted as saying: “I didn’t say it was definite there would be no new players coming, I said it was unlikely."

In a post on the aforementioned thread on the unoffical messageboard regular tontastic said: "I spoke to Jim McInally on Saturday after the match at the press interview, and his feeling was that the December window was not a time to be buying players. I don't think I am mistaking the intent of what he was saying when I say that these are quite often panic buys, of players that clubs want or have to get rid of. Jim was saying that he has faith in our young team, and that people should give them time to develop."

I find it astonishing that McInally should make a comment along the lines that January is for panic buys. That is only the case if you are a poor manager. A good manager would have weighed up his squad and identified areas of the team that need strengthened. He would have also watched various players throughout the season ( and his career so far) and should have an idea of who he could bring in to bolster his squad for the end of the season run in. If the right players aren't available fair enough but to rule it out because December is not the time to be buying players is just ridiculous. You only have the summer and December / January window to sign players and even then we waited until the last minute to sign players in the summer. Adam Coakley and Jay Shields are two players I'd look on as last minute panic signings - January could have been the time to make up for the lack of decent signings in the summer but it appears that is not going to be the case.

For me this can only be seen as disappointing news which will ensure crowds will stay as they are or, more likely, go down. Maybe some of Celtic's 'huge army of fans' will decide to go to Cappielow instead of the 'negativity boys' and lend Morton some of their great support.


See Post #35: http://www.greenockmorton.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=17788&st=25

St. Johnstone 2 - 2 Morton

St. Johnstone 2 - Sheerin (55 pen), Milne (58)
Morton 2 - Anderson O.G. (3), Weatherson (82)

Att - 2,517

A point away to St. Johnstone is always a good result however I can't help but feel this was two points dropped especially after going one nil up and then Saints going down to 10 men after Kevin Rutkiewicz's dismissal for two bookable offences.

The opening goal was a bizarre own goal by Steven Anderson. Main gave the ball to Stanic, who passed to Anderson. Anderson rolled the ball back to Main who failed to react as the ball triclked into the net. I missed most of the incident at the game as I was too busy watching two Morton fans getting ejected for standing up. I turned around just in time to see the ball roll into the net. From the highlights on http://www.gmfc.net/ it seemed to me that Main should have still got to the back pass. The only explanation I could think of was that he turned away from play.

Iain Russell worked hard but as seems to becoming the norm he missed a couple of great chances. One a header straight at Main, the other a shot dragged across the face of goal.

At half-time former Morton player and new Saints gaffer Derek McInnes subbed himself in what I can only assume was to allow him take a step back from the game and analyze what was going wrong for his team. It seemed to work as Saints came out and quickly turned the deficit into a lead.

David McGurn almost saved penalty Paul Sheerin's penalty after Harding appeared to pull back Steven 'Savo' Milne who had ghosted behind him on his blind side. Some fans thought the penalty was a poor decision but I thought it was a penalty. Harding's attempt to deal with the long diagonal ball was woeful and from where I was sitting it looked like he pulled Milne back knocking him off balance.

Shortly afterwards Saints took the lead when Milne slotted home an angled finish after poor defending allowed him time and space in the box.

The game turned in the 65th minute when former Aberdeen defender Kevin Rutkeiwicz was dismissed after a second booking. It didn't turn immediately however as St. Johnstone rallied and swept forward on numerous occasions forcing a series of corners.

Morton's equaliser arrived in the 82nd minute. Chris Millar - Morton's oustanding player for weeks now and again on Saturday - drove an angled cross to the back post where the largely anonymous Peter Weatherson arrived to cushion a header high across goal and over Alan Main into the far corner. The celebrations are pictured below.

After taking the lead and playing against 10 men for half an hour you should probably expect to win a match but at the end of the day a point away to St. Johnstone is, as I said at the beginning a good result.

Morton (4-5-1):

1. McGurn - 6
2. Shields - 6 (14. Templeman - 63 mins)
3. Walker- 6 (15. Gardyne - 81 mins)
4. Harding - 5
5. Greacen - 6
6. McLaughlin - 6 (12. McAnespie - 75 mins)
7. Millar - 8
8. Finlayson - 6
9. Russell - 7
10. Weatherson - 6
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. Graham
20. Robinson

Booked: Shields, Finlayson, McAlister

St. Johnstone: Main, Irvine, Stanic, Rutkiewicz, McManus, Anderson, McInnes (Jackson 46), Quinn, Sheerin, Milne (Stewart 86), MacDonald (Lawrie 65) Subs not used: Weatherston, Cuthbert.

Booked: Irvine, Rutkiewicz, Sheerin
Sent off: Rutkiewicz (65)

My man of the match: Chris Millar

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7133857.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=17731

Tele' match reaction: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=17732


Same Team For St. Johnstone Match

In Roger Graham's match preview in today's Tele' he reveals that Jim McInally will start with the same side that drew 2-2 with Livingston last week at St. Johnstone tomorrow. McInally confirms that Jay Shields has recovered from a knee injury that threatened to rule him out as a recently as a couple of days ago.

To get any sort of result at St. Johnstone - who are now managed by ex-Morton favourite Derek McInnes - we will have to learn to defend better than we did last week and we'll also need key players like Peter Weatherson to up his game. This will be my first ever trip to McDiarmid Park thereby meaning that I've watched a football match at every senior ground in the country however I can't see it being happy first visit.

My Predicition: St. Johnstone 2 - 1 Morton

Hamilton Accies 1 - 1 Morton (Bounce Match)

According to yesterday's Greenock Telegraph Morton drew 1-1 with Hamilton in a bounce match played at New Douglas Park on Wednesday. Chris Templeman got the Morton goal.


Andy Ritchie Book To Be Completed Next Year

Regular readers of this blog - if they even exist - might remember that I posted an appeal for information on Andy Ritchie's whereabouts and what he was doing. The request was from John Riddle - an English journalist who wanted to interview the Cappielow legend for an article he was writing for a Tenerife newspaper.

John has sent me a few updates via email. Firstly, telling me that he had got in contact with Ritchie and then that he had interviewed him and that the Cappielow legend had agreed to Riddle writing a book about him.

In today's Greenock Telegraph Tele' journalist and Morton fan Russell Steele has written an article on the English sportswriter's fascination with Ritchie (and Morton) and his intention to write a book about him.

According to the article the book is entitled 'The King Of Cappielow' and is expected to be completed next year.

My posts on John Riddle's book (article at the time): http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2007/10/andy-ritchie-appeal.html

The Tenerife newspaper John writes for: http://www.thepaper.net/


McInnes Would Like To Come Back To Morton In Future

In todays Greenock Telegraph Chris Fitzgerald talks to recently appointed St. Johnstone player manager Derek McInnes (pictured playing for Scotland) about trying to plot the downfall of the club where he began his career in only his second game in management.

In the interview McInnes talks about how Morton are 'close to his heart', how he takes his son to watch Morton whenever he can and that he would like to return to Morton “One day, in some capacity, of course.”

MacGregor Back In Full Training

In today's Greenock Telegraph Morton manager Jim McInally tells Chris Fitzgerald that David MacGregor has returned to full training following his groin injury and that "we'll [McInally and Martin Clark] be having a good look at him in training this week."

Alex Walker hurt his knee but will be okay for the St. Johnstone match.

This leaves Jamie Stevenson as the only player who will not be fit for Saturday's trip to McDiarmid Park - at the moment.

Russell Is The Latest Morton Striker Tipped For Sunsport's Golden Boot

Towards the back of the Scottish Sun's Supergoals pull out there is a small article on a player who is scoring goals and looks likely to be a contender for the Sunsport's Golden Boot award for the top goalscorer in Scotland.

Peter Weatherson has already featured twice this season but this week it was the turn of his strike partner Iain Russell to be touted for the award. Russell has 11 goals so far this season, 4 behind leader Scott McDonald. However 6 of those were scored at Brechin and the article focuses on this with Russell suggesting Peter Weatherson will be calling a steward's inquiry if they are both challenging come the end of the season.

To read the article click on the image to enlarge and then go to the bottom right of the article and click on the arrows to expand the image to full size - otherwise the image will be blurry. To read similar articles on Weatherson click on the links below.




Morton 2 - 2 Livingston

Morton 2 - Millar (7), Russell (38)
Livingston 2 - Dorrans (10), Kennedy (42)

Att - 2,132

Morton have David McGurn to thank for this draw after Livingston did everything but score in a terrible second half for the Cappielow side.

Morton started brightly and took the lead when on form midfielder Chris Millar burst onto a Peter Weatherson pass, pushed the ball round the outside of a defender and placed the ball across Stewart in the Livi goal.

The equaliser was quick in coming, 3 minutes later to be precise. A Livingston free kick out on the left deflected off the Morton wall and broke to Scotland U-21 internationalist Graham Dorrans ( who you might remember terrorised our team in a match at Firhill while on loan at Partick Thistle a couple of years back) who struck a sweet effort from about 25 yards that flew past McGurn. Some might be critical of the keeper here but I think that the power of the shot and the fact McGurn probably didn't see it until it was too late meant that he couldn't really be faulted.

Morton regained the lead in the 38th minute when Jim McAlister jinked past a couple of men and knocked the ball inside to Iain Russell who used the outside of his right boot to send a dipping shot over Stewart and in off the back post. At the time I thought Russell had meant it and after seeing the replay I'm more convinced that he did.

As was the case with the first goal Livingston's equaliser followed soon after - although this time we actually managed to hold out for an extra minute. Absolutely shocking defending allowed livingston to sweep the ball from left to right and then slip a diagonal pass into the six yard box for the inexplicably unmarked Jason Kennedy to ghost in and round McGurn with ease.

This shocking defending seemed to occur throught with Stewart Greacen being the main culprit time and time again. There was one particularly shocking example I noticed from a corner in the second half. Greacen lined up to mark his opponents who stood a few yards off him to get a run at the ball. The Morton captain then proceeded to let the man run right off him into the back post area where - luckily for us - he knocked the ball wide when it looked easier to score. Cue Stewart Greacen' sheepish hunched shoulders and raised hand conceeding that it was his fault. Something that is a bit too much of a regular sight for my liking. For me, a centre-back should be a priority in the January transfer window.

Livingston absolutely dominated the second half. They struck the crossbar twice and forced David McGurn to pull off a couple of wonder saves to get us a draw. One of those saves is probably the best save I've ever seen at Cappielow (pictured). An unswinging cross was whipped in from the right and Kennedy (I think) looped a header towards the back post for what looked like a certain goal - in fact, on the http://www.gmfc.net/ highlights a fan in the stand can be heard saying 'There it is' - only for McGurn to acrobatically fly into the top corner and then use his fingertips to flick the ball wide.

On the second half showing we have to be happy to walk away with a point but at the same time be unhappy about the performance of the team. I have grave concerns about the defence. He seems like a nice, genuine guy but for me Greacen wont do. We need a new centre-half (and Captain) a.s.a.p. Also it's about time Peter Weatherson got a grip of his effort and fitness. He has loads of talent but too often he can't be bothered and just trudges about aimlessly. I'd say this is as much down to lazyness as it is poor fitness. It's time Peter got his finger out shaped up and started putting in the sort of effort that was evident down at Palmerston when it was obvious he was motivated playing against a former team. It should be like that every week Peter.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. McGurn - 9
2. Shields - 6
3. Walker- 6 (15. Gardyne - 85 mins)
4. Harding - 6
5. Greacen - 4
6. McLaughlin - 6
7. Millar - 7
8. Finlayson - 5
9. Russell - 8 (14. Templeman - 65 mins)
10. Weatherson - 5 (16. Graham - 89 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

12. McAnespie
20. Robinson

Booked: Templeman

Livingston: Stewart, MacKay, McCaffrey, Raliukonis, James, Dorrans, Makel, Kennedy, Jacobs (Snodgrass 73), McMenamin, Pesir (Craig 90). Subs Not Used: Fox, Weir, Liberda.

My man of the match: David McGurn

Sponsor's man of the match: Iain Russell

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

GMFC match highlights: http://www.gmfc.net/webcast-video-clips.asp

BBC Match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_div_1/7120215.stm

Tele' match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/article.php?sec=2&id=17530



In my few days away from the PC (hence the lack of updates) Morton were drawn to play Gretna at home in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup - a rubbish draw if you ask me. The tie will be played on Saturday the 12th of January 2008.


Partick Thistle announced that "all kids (16 and under) will be admitted to Firhill free of charge for that match [22/12/07 - Partick Thistle v Morton] and yes, we’ll even extend the privilege to Morton supporters."


The Tele' revealed that Jay Shields was dropped for Saturday's game against Buckie Thistle after turning up late for training.


Finally, ex-Morton midfielder Derek McInnes was appointed St. Johnstone manager in place of the recently departed Owen Coyle - who took over at Burnley.