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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I thought that on saturday morton were a bit unlucky although dundee were the better team they didnt play that well and i thought they looked shaky at the back.Peter weatherson was very poor on saturday he didnt create enough chances for a player of his ability and i felt near the end of the game when they brought on gardyne he should have tried to put the ball in the middle instead of trying to chest it down.And as for greacen he was a nightmare at the back and we dont sign a solid centre back in the transfer window we will continue to leak goals.