Morton 0 - 1 Ayr United

Morton 0 -
Ayr United 1 - Williams (57)

Att -

Today Morton lost their first home pre-season friendly of 2008/09 to a very familiar Ayr United team.

The Honest men are managed by former Cappielow favourite Brian Reid and have ex-Ton players Dean Keenan, Alex Williams, Chris Aitken and Andy McLaren in their ranks and, as seemed inevitable, one of those players scored a goal and the winning goal at that. It also seemed inevitable that Alex Williams would be the scorer and it proved to be the case.

Morton started with a full strength side (injuries aside) except that former Hibs, St.Mirren and Ton loanee Alan Reid was in at right-sided centre-half for Peter Weatherson. Former Rangers youngster Chris Smith retained his place at the left side of the back three. As expected Irons has decided not to pursue the three black trialists who played down south.

The match was typical pre-season fayre - an unexciting match, without much incident played at walking pace. This was particularly the case in the first half. In the second half the match picked up a bit. Morton came close to opening the scoring in the 53rd minute when trialist Chris Smith flung himself at a Stevie Masterton cross only to see his header well saved by former Morton target Stephen Grindlay in the Ayr goal. Smith looks like he could be a big aerial threat in the opposition box next season - should we sign him.

Ayr opened the scoring in the 56th minute. Williams showed his striking instinct by anticipating a short back pass. After latching onto it he had all the time in the world to steady himself and smash the ball under Colin Stewart. Alex was treated to boos and shouts of abuse throughout the match but still refused to celebrate his goal and clapped the Morton fans who applauded him (of which I was one and, interestingly, Morton chairman Douglas Rae another) as he was substituted shortly after his goal.

Other Morton chances of note were when Jon Newby rounded Grindlay only to see his shot cleared off the line and Iain Russell fired over the bar from close range.

This was the type of match that explains why so many fans who go to competitive games every week refuse to go and watch pre-season friendlies.

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Stewart - 7
2. Reid [Trialist] - 6
3. Smith - 6
4. McManus (c) - 7
5. Masterton - 7
6. Paartalu - 6 (17. Weatherson - 54 mins)
7. Finlayson - 6
8. McGuffie - 6
9. Wake - 6 (16. Russell - 58 mins)
10. Newby - 6
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:
12. Nicholl
14. Stevenson
15. Graham
18. Mitchell
19. Kerrigan
20. Bradley

Reid McManus Smith
Finlayson Masterton Paartalu McAlister
Newby Wake

Ayr United: Grindlay, Dempsie, Easton, Walker, Campbell, Stevenson, Borris, Aitken, Prunty, Williams, Keenan.
Subs: McGowan, Weaver, Kinnaird, Woodburn, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist

My man of the match: Colin Stewart

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report:

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