Morton 1 - 2 Hartlepool United

Morton 1 - Masterton (45)
Hartlepool United 2 - Brown (28), Sweeney (90+1)

Att -

Coca Cola League 1 side Hartlepool United won this pre-season friendly with an injury time winner by Anthony Sweeney.

Morton started with a back four composed entirely of trialists (pictured, below). Former Morton player Alan Reid was at right-back with Chris Smith at left-back. I am led to believe that the mixed race trialist who wore the number four shirt was ex-Qpr and Arsenal defender Dominic Shimmin. I thought Chris Smith was quite good and I suspect Davie Irons will sign him up and I also thought the number four was definitely worth another look.

Hartlepool took the lead in the 28th minute. Unfortunately I missed the goal but I'm reliably informed that a shot fropm outside the box was deflected into the top corner and that Colin Stewart was slightly suspect. He got his hands to the ball but only succeeded in pushing the ball into the top corner. The criticisms I've heard were that with stronger hands he could have kept it out. Stewart concerns me. His kicking was suspect all night and there was an incident in the first half when he appeared hesitant in confronting a striker who managed to knock the shot through Stewart's legs but wide of goal.

Morton equalised on the half-fime whistle. Stevie Masterton broke from midfield and had options both sides as Morton looked to take advantage of a 3 on 1 situation. Wake was in acres of space to Materton's left but he ignored him strode on and rifled a shot across Lee-Barrett and into the far corner.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was given to Morton legend Andy Ritchie when he made the 50-50 draw at half-time (pictured, below). Everyone in the stadium got a good view of this as we were all crammed into the main stand with the rest of Cappielow closed off.

Two further trialists appeared after the break. Rashid Kamara - who was with the club down in England - came on and played firstly on the right of midfield and then behind the strikers. He showed some nice skill but, as I said in another match report, he doesn't seem to have any end product. I believe the number 18 was former Clyde striker Gary Arbuckle. He moved to right-midfield when he came on and didn't look any better than what we already have.

Hartlepool won the game in injury time. Peter Weatherson -who came on to play as a right-sided centr-half at half time - missed his clearance and Anthony Sweeney nipped in behind and curled an excellent finish by Stewart to claim the victory. I don't think Peter is cut out for a defensive role in the first division. Hopefully this mistake will put Irons off playing him there next season although it may turn out to be a necessity as regular defender Stewart Greacen and Ryan Harding are set to miss the start of the season.

I wouldn't read too much into this result but I have to say I'm not very encouraged by what I've seen this pre-season.

Morton (4-4-2 / 3-5-2):

1. Stewart - 5
2. Reid [Trialist] - 6
3. Smith [Trialist] - 7 (17. Weatherson - 46 mins - 5)
4. Shimmin [Trialist] - 7
5. Meynell [Trialist] - 6
6. Masterton - 6 (18. Arbuckle [Trialist] - 58 mins)
7. Finlayson - 6 (19. R. Kamara [Trialist] - 46 mins - 7)
8. Paartalu (c) - 6 (14. McGuffie - 46 mins - 7)
9. Newby - 5 (15. Russell - 58 mins)
10. Wake - 5 (16. Graham - 78 mins)
11. McAlister - 5

Subs Not Used:

20. Bradley [Trialist]

1st Half

Reid No.4 No. 5 Smith
Finlayson Masterton Paartalu McAlister
Newby Wake

2nd Half

Weatherson No. 4 No. 5
Arbuckle Reid McGuffie McAlister
R. Kamara
Russell Graham

Hartlepool United: Lee-Barrett (Soutar 46), McCunnie, Clark (Nelson 46), Collins, Robson, Foley (Barker 46), Boland (Sweeney 46), Jones, Monkhouse (Boland 46),Porter (Mackay 53), Brown.

My man of the match: Morton's Trialist wearing No.4

Sponsor's man of the match: n/a

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/articles/1/26274

Hartlepool official website match report: http://www.hartlepoolunited.premiumtv.co.uk/page/NewsDetail/0,,10326~1344751,00.html

Tontastic pictures: http://www.tontastic.com/index.cgi?dir=2008-07-15-Friendly-H-Hartlepool

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