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

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