Durham City 0 - 3 Morton

Durham City 0 -
Morton 3 - Wake (18), Paartalu (24), Newby (46)

Att - 200 (at a guess)

This match was played on an articifial surface which would come as a welcome relief to the players after the previous night's game on Tow Law's pitch. Morton started with a full strength side; Chris Smith being the only trialist on show.

Durham looked to be a better side than Tow Law but not that good as Morton won this one fairly comfortably.

The goal-machine Brian Wake opened the scoring in the 18th minute. Stevie Masterton slotted a ball into his path and the Wakester turned and hooked a shot - that may or may not have been deflected - past the Durham goalkeeper.

Erik Paartalu doubled the lead when he strode forward and fired a powerful shot home from about 25 yards - a great goal from a great player. Paartalu looks to me like the player we have been looking for for years. He is good on the ball, rarely wastes possession - passing simply and effectively, he is tall and good in the air with it, he is strong in the tackle and has an excellent long range shot. Erik will be a key man for Morton next season.

A player I have been less impressed with is Jon Newby. Don't get me wrong he hasn't done much wrong and scored our third goal last night when he lobbed the Durham keeper after chasing down a long ball but I haven't seen much to suggest he is as good as some of the comments I've read from Morecambe fans. Although at risk of contradicting myself I think he looks as if he has excellent movement and gets into the right positions at the right time. On that basis I think he will turn out to be a great success or a big disappointment.

The second half had no pattern as Davie Irons threw on substitute after substitute - 10 in total. I'm no football manager but I just can't see how a manager can learn anything from this. Players don't get a chance to get to know how a team mate plays as his team mates are constantly changing and I can't imagine how a trialist can hope to impress in that sort of situation. This also meant that the second half was a non-event with little further incidents. The three black trialists (No one seemed to be sure of their names) and Lee Nicholl appeared as second-half substitutes. Rashid Kamara - the small attacking midfielder - is the only one of the four who I think has any chance of getting a contract. He is skillful and can beat a man with ease. I'd like to see him get a run out against Ayr United tomorrow and see how he shapes up in that sort of match but from what I heard we wont be taking any of the trialists on.

The decision to play Tow Law on their shocking pitch must go down as a mistake but all in all the tour - like most early pre-season tours - was good from a fitness building point of view. MY only concern is that we could've maybe done with playing a better calibre of opposition.

My player of the tour: Erik Paartalu

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Stewart - 6 (20. Bradley - 62 mins)
2. Weatherson - 6
3. Smith - 7
4. Paartalu - 7 (J. Kamara [Def Mid] - 52 mins)
5. McManus (c) - 7 (23. A. Kamara [Def] - 56 mins)
6. Masterton - 7 (17. Nicholl - 46 mins - 5)
7. Finlayson - 6 (22. Mitchell - 67 mins)
8. McGuffie - 5 (R. Kamara [Att Mid] - 58 mins)
9. Newby - 6 (15. Graham - 48 mins) (12. Kerrigan - 65 mins)
10. Wake - 7 (16. Russell - 48 mins)
11. McAlister - 6 (14. Stevenson - 60 mins)

Subs Not Used:

1st Half

Weatherson McManus Smith
Finlayson Masterton Paartalu McAlister
Newby Wake

2nd Half

A. Kamara Weatherson Smith
Mitchell Nicholl J. Kamara Stevenson
Graham/Kerrigan Russell

Durham City:

My man of the match: Erik Paartalu

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

None on sale.

Greenock Telegraph match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/articles/2/26180

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