Hibernian 3 - 4 Morton

Hibernian 3 - Keenan (80), Shiels (85), Pinau (91)
Morton 4 - Russell (29, 115 pen), Masterton (66), Harding (118)

Att: 14874

What a match! Morton progressed to the next round of the Co-Operative Insurance cup after coming out on top in this seven goal thriller at Easter Road.

Davie Irons went with a 3-5-2 formation for the first time this season. Peter Weatherson and Kevin Finlayson dropped out of the starting eleven that played against Dundee on Saturday. Stevie Masterton and Allan McManus came in. The team lined up as you would expect except Irons decided to put Shimmin in midfieldwhere he sat in front of the midfield in an attempt to stifle Dean Shiels.

The Morton support were in dreamland in the 29th minute when Iain Russell scored to put us one nil up (totally against the run of play; Kevin Cuthbert had been in inspiritional form pulling off numerous saves up to this point) when he rounded McNeil and, from what looked an impossible angle, hooked a shot that evaded Ian Murray on the line.

Stevie Masterton made it two with a Beckham-esque free-kick. A 30 yarder that sailed into the postage stamp top corner. He more than justified his tag as dead ball specialist with this screamer. 30 yard effort that

We looked to be holding our lead in the face of increasing Hibs pressure until, with ten minutes to go, former Chelsea kid Joe Keenan unleashed a thunderbolt from his left foot to make it 2-1. One of those shots you know is going in as soon as it leaves the player's foot.

It seemed inevitable that Hibs would score again. The inevitable came just five minutes later. Northern Ireland internationalist Dean Shiels waltzed past a couple of tired Morton challenges to slot past Cuthbert and send the game into extra time.

A Hibs win in extra time had more inevitability about it than their equaliser. Everyone around me was commenting on how knackered the boys looked after the shift they'd put in. More than one person thought we were looking at a repeat of Aberdeen's 7-3 win aet around ten years ago. Steven Pinau seemed to have confirmed our fears one minute into extra-time when he side footed high past Cuthbert to finish off a superb passing move by Hibs.

We were all wrong. An Allan Jenkins volley was blocked by a combination of Shiels' ribs and elbow and referee brines pointed to the spot to hand us an unlikely lifeline. Iain Russell looked the coolest man on the planet and he stepped and beat Hibs substitute keeper Grof high to his right. Excellent penalty.

Before we even had a chance to settle down in anticipation of the impending penalty shootout we scored a winner. Erik Paartalu looked to have fouled - assaulted if you're Mixu Paatelainen - Chris Hogg on the edge of the Hibs penalty area. Brines gave the decision our way - about time we benefited from a dodgy decision. Peter Weatherson stepped up and smashed the free-kick at goal, Grof cleared with his feet but the ball fell right into Ryan Harding's path and he slotted home from close range to send the Ton fans wild and his old club crashing out of the League Cup.

This will go down as on of the great nights in Morton's recent history. Well done lads! Let's take that performance into our league campaign and we'll soon be moving up the league.

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Cuthbert - 9
2. Shimmin - 8
3. Walker - 6 (15. Weatherson - 46 mins)
4. McManus - 7
5. Paartalu - 7
6. Harding - 7
7. McGuffie - 7
8. Masterton - 8 (12. Jenkins - 85 mins)
9. Wake - 8 (14. Newby - 110 mins)
10. Russell - 9
11. McAlister - 9

Subs Not Used:

16. McAnespie
20. Stewart

Booked: Paartalu, McManus

Harding McManus Walker
McGuffie Paartalu Masterton McAlister
Russell Wake

Hibernian: McNeil (Grof 43), van Zanten, Hogg, Murray, Stevenson, Shiels, Keenan, Rankin, Morais (Zemmama 46), Fletcher, Nish (Pinau 73).

Subs Not Used: Campbell, Canning.

Booked: Stevenson, Hogg, Pinau

My man of the match: Iain Russell

Sponsor's man of the match: Iain Russell

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

highlights and interview with Paatelainen from hibernianfc.tv

Tontastic Pictures

BBC match report

hibs.co.uk match report

hibs.co.uk match reaction


Under-19s Draw With Partick

Morton U-19s 2 - Greig (19), McKay (41)
Partick Thistle U-19s 2 - Begg, McDougall

Allan McManus' Morton under-19s team drew 2-2 with Partick Thistle on Sunday (24.08.08).

The team included first team squad members Darren McGeough (pictured), Liam Kerrigan and Lee Mitchell.

Full Line Up: McWilliams, McMahon, Shepard, Greig, Melville, Mitchell, Kerrigan (Stibbs 80 mins), McKerral, McKay, McGeough, Gordon (Smith 74 mins)

Unused Subs: Kane, Little, Cannon


Dundee 1 - 0 Morton

Dundee 1 - Paton (28)
Morton 0 -

Att: 4032

An Eric Paton header consigned Morton to the their second league defeat in a row.

Davie Irons went with a four-four-two formation in what must've been an attempt to shore up the defence for a trip to take on the league leaders on their home patch. Peter Weatherson was restored to the starting line-up at right-back and Alex Walker came in at left-back. Allan McManus was dropped to the bench; presumably as a result of some shambolic defending the week before. Kevin Finlayson came in at right midfield while Jon Newby and Stevie Masterton joined McManus on the bench.

None of the above worked.

This was a dire performance made all the more disappointing when you consider that Dundee are a shadow of the side they were last season. The match was so bad, in fact, that I can only pick out three incidents of note.

In the tenth minute Kevin Finlayson hobbled off injured to be replaced by Allan Jenkins.

The second incident was Dundee's goal which arrived in the 28th minute. Eric Paton darted along the six yard box to meet Freddy Daquin's cornner with a bullet header that flew past Kevin Cuthbert. This was a terrible goal that would never have been conceded if Paton's marker - I'm not sure who it was, that's how bad the marking actually was - had bothered to track his runner rather than let him go.

Finally, there was Jon Newby's miss. The Englishman latched on to Gary MacKenzie’s poor header back to Rab Douglas in the Dundee goal but his finish was poor and Douglas' save was comfortable. 'Ton manager Davie Irons felt that Newby should've scored. He told the Tele's Roger Graham: "Newby had to do better with it. Rab [Douglas] came out and made the decision for the player, but he has not executed it."

Two final points I'd make are that, one, I don't think Peter Weatherson should play at right-back again. He isn't a defender and has been found out playing there in the first division. David O'Brien gave him torrid time the last time we played at Dens Park and Peter couldn't handle him this time either. In fact, Spoonsy was booked for a foul on O'Brien.

And, two, I'd kill for a player like Paul McHale. The Dundee playmaker makes his team tick. He sprays passes all over the park and basically controls the game. It would be nice to see a guy like him drop off to collect the ball from our defenders rather than watch Ryan Harding fire aimless balls at Iain Russell all afternoon.

It's no wonder crowds are dipping. People just aren't going to pay the kind of admission prices first division teams are charging to watch football of this calibre.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 6
2. Weatherson - 5 (16. Newby - 78 mins)
3. Walker - 6
4. Shimmin - 7
5. Paartalu - 6 (15. Masterton - 78 mins)
6. Harding - 6
7. Finlayson (14. Jenkins - 10 mins - 6)
8. McGuffie - 6
9. Wake - 6
10. Russell - 6
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

12. McManus
20. Stewart

Booked: Weatherson

Weatherson Shimmin Harding Walker
Finlayson McGuffie Paartalu McAlister
Russell Wake

Dundee: Douglas, Paton, Malone, McHale, MacKenzie, Williams, Daquin (Gilhaney 63), Pozniak, McMenamin, Antoine-Curier (Deasley 81), O'Brien.

Subs Not Used: Cowan, Davidson, Roy

Booked: McMenamin.

My man of the match: Paul McHale (Dundee)

Sponsor's man of the match: Eric Paton (Dundee)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

Greenock Telegraph match reaction

Tontastic Pictures

BBC match report

dundeefc.co.uk match report


Brian Wake A-Z

Brian Wake is the latest Morton player to feature in Sunsport's weekly A-Z interview.

The introduction to the article says: Brian Wake helped Hamilton Accies to get to the SPL and would love to do the same with Morton. Here the English striker reveals how he was conned into posing in Speedos for a football hunks' calendar and he tells SunSport's Ronnie MacKay about his Planes, Trains and Automobiles bedroom experience with Ryan McGuffie.

You can read Brian's answers by clicking on the images below.


Challenge Cup Opponents Decided

Morton will face Queen Of The South at Palmerston in the quarter finals of the Alba Challenge Cup.

Our opponents were confirmed when Queens beat Dunfermline 2-0 at East End Park last night.

The tie will be played on Sunday the 7th of September.

Dunfermline Athletic 0 - 2 Queen Of The South

Director's Family Donate Scottish Cup Medal

The family of former Morton director Duncan Campbell (pictured, left) have donated his 1922 Scottish Cup winner's medal to the club.

The club now have the item on display at Cappielow according to a news item on http://www.gmfc.net/.

It's interesting to note that Campbell received a medal in his role as a director.

Campbell is standing second from left in the second from back row in this 1922 Scottish Cup winners team photograph (click to enlarge).

gmfc.net - 1922 Scottish Cup Winner's Medal on show at Cappielow


Alex Renfrew

On the 26th of July 2008 former Cappielow stadium manager and Morton fan Alex Renfrew passed away.

The news was met with great sadness - a thread posted on the greenockmorton.org unofficial messageboard to inform fans of his passing was flooded with moving tributes.

I didn't know Alex and never met him so I can't add anything to what's already been said but after reading an excellent obituary in the Morton programme for the St. Johnstone match (09/08/08) I thought I would post it so other fans who don't buy the programme or don't live locally could read it.

Click on the image below to enlarge

greenockmorton.org - 'Alex Renfrew' thread


Morton 1 - 2 Livingston

Morton 1 - Wake (31)
Livingston 2 - Davidson (10), Griffiths (12)

Att: 2502

Two goals in the first fifteen minutes ended Morton's unbeaten start to the season.

The first of Livi's quick fire double was scored by 19 year old midfielder Murray Davidson. Leigh Griffiths - who was a thorn in Morton's side all afternoon - collected a Dave Mackay free-kick and laid the ball into Davidson's path who shot home from the edge of the box.

It was two minutes later. A cross appeared to be sailing out at the back post but Allan McManus inexplicably decided to head the ball right into the middle of his own box were a grateful Griffiths was on hand to volley past Kevin Cuthbert. Inexcusable defending by anyone's standards, never mind from your captain and most experienced player.

Brain Wake gave us some hope on the half hour. He took the ball into feet from a thrown in, turned his man before slipping the ball through McPake's legs and curling a stunning effort round Martini and in off the post.

Tony McParland - who was with us on trial in the summer (why didnt we sign him Davie?) - put in an excellent performance on Livingston's right where he terrorised Jim McAlister all afternoon. This was further evidence, if it were needed, that McAlister is wasted as part of a four man midfield playing behind three strikers. He only came into the game after Jon Newby was substituted and this shows that, in a 3-4-3, he should either play as part of the front three or not at all.

Allan Jenkins introduction seemed to spark the team into life and and we proceeded to dominate for the last half an hour or so but the equaliser never came. Wake had a glorious chance to make it 2-2 in the 60th minute. Ryan McGuffie slipped a ball inside and with only the goalie to beat Wake shot straight at him - he really should've scored.

We had a few chances towards the end but didn't deserve to get anything out of the game so there can be no complaints on that front. However, there can be complaints about the performance and the worrying tendency for the defence to miss out the midfield and punt aimless balls forward.

The doubts are well and truly creeping in after this one.

Morton (3-4-3):

1. Cuthbert - 6
2. Shimmin - 7
3. Harding - 6
4. McManus (c) - 5
5. Paartalu - 5
6. Masterton - 5 (14. Jenkins - 77 mins)
7. McGuffie - 6 (15. Weatherson - 83 mins)
8. Russell - 6
9. Wake - 7
10. Newby - 6 (12. Finlayson - 62 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. McGeough
20. Stewart
Booked: Masterton

Shimmin McManus Harding
McGuffie Paartalu Masterton McAlister
Russell Wake Newby

Livingston: Martini, MacKay, Talbot, McPake, Fox, Innes, McPartland, Davidson (Millar 82), Quinn, Griffiths, Hamill.

Subs Not Used: Cave, MacDonald, Smith, Jamieson

Booked: Fox, McPake

My man of the match: Anthony McParland (Livingston)

Sponsor's man of the match: Ryan Harding

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

Greenock Telegraph match reaction

Tontastic Pictures

BBC match report

livingstonfc.co.uk match report


More Fans Please

Morton chairman Douglas Rae is worried by last week's attendance of only 2648 for the opening game of the season against St. Johnstone.

As a result he has made a plea for more fans to come along to games in today's Greenock Telegraph.

Russell Steele's article on the Tele' website is not a full link but appears as a snippet of the article that appeared in the actual newspaper.

You can read the full article by clicking on the images below.

Greenock Telegraph 16/08/08 - Morton chief's plea to fans


Ritchie Book Signing Cancelled

A book signing with Morton legend Andy Ritchie has been cancelled according to staff at Smiths Sports when I phoned to ask what time Andy would be there.

Ritchie was scheduled to sign copies of John Riddle's biography 'The King Of Cappielow' at the Greenock Sports shop tomorrow but phoned to cancel earlier today. An alternative date is yet to be agreed.

Ritchie was pictured at a previous book signing in yesterday's Greenock Telegraph.

Apex Publishing

New (And Improved) Web Site

Morton have tonight launched a new look website which can be viewed at the same address as before: http://www.gmfc.net/

The new look - created by Glasgow based web design company NS Design - is a big improvement, aesthetically speaking. Hopefully the club take advantage of the site and keep it well maintained with up to date information.


Alba Challenge Cup Quarter Final Draw

The draw for the quarter finals of the Alba Challenge Cup was made at Hampden today and has given us an away trip to either Dunfermline Athletic or Queen Of The South.

The tie will be played on Sunday 7th September - the day after Scotland travel to Macedonia for their first World Cup Qualifier.

Dunfermline and Queen Of The South play their 2nd round match next Wednesday (20th August).

The full draw was as follows:

Livingston -v- Partick Thistle
Cowdenbeath -v- Airdrie United
Clyde -v- Ross County
Dunfermline Athletic or Queen of the South -v- Morton

Alba Challenge Cup Quarter Final Draw


East Stirling 0 - 3 Morton

East Stirlingshire 0 -
Morton 3 - Masterton (23), McGuffie (33, 54)

Att: 753

Three long range strikes sent Morton into the third round of the Alba Challenge Cup at the expense of Jim McInally's East Stirling.

Davie Irons returned to the 3-4-3 formation that has served him well so far this season. Allan McManus, Ryan Harding and Brian Wake replaced Stewart Greacen, Alex Walker and Peter Weatherson from Saturday's line-up. As you'd expect Wake was back up front meaning that Harding and McManus joined Dominic Shimmin in a back three.

We took the lead in the 23rd minute. Stevie Masterton collected a thrown in from out on Morton's left hand side around 25 yards from goal, he turned and smashed a stunning shot past former 'Ton goalkeeper John Hillcoat. Masteron is renowned as a dead ball specialist and this goal is a reminder that his ability to strike a ball is not just rumour.

Ryan McGuffie continued the scoring with another fine strike in the 33rd minute. Jon Newby layed the ball into McGuffie's path and the former Gretna man leant back and hooked a fine strike into the top corner from the edge of the box.

McGuffie made it three - his second - ten minutes into the second half. A corner was headed out to the edge of the box where he was waiting to send a low shot through a ruck of players and under the unsighted Hillcoat. This was McGuffie's fourth goal in four games - very encouraging considering he has been criticised for failing to make an impact on games.

One man who has been making an impact at Cappielow is new signing Dominic Shimmin. The big defender limped off injured to be replaced by Peter Weatherson in the 54th minute. Lets hope his injury isn't serious as we could do with his composure at the back.

We were comfortable winners and the winning margin could've been wider. Ryan Harding had a header cleared off the line and Hillcoat made an excellent save from a Peter Weatherson strike - a chance that was reminiscent of Ryan McGuffie's second goal.

East Stirling didn't offer much of a threat apart from a Colin Cramb free-kick that crashed off the post in the first half.

The cherry on the icing on the cake was provided when Allan Jenkins replaced Erik Paartalu in the 89th minute. *Cliche alert* - Jenkins could prove to be as good as a new signing in the weeks to come.

All in all a successful night's work all achieved without much mention of a certain ex-manager who might've expected more abuse than he received.

Morton (3-4-3):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. Shimmin - 7 (12. Weatherson - 53 mins)
3. Harding - 6
4. McManus - 7
5. Paartalu - 7 (14. Jenkins - 89 mins)
6. Masterton - 8 (15. Finlayson - 78 mins)
7. McGuffie - 8
8. Russell - 7
9. Wake - 6
10. Newby - 7
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. Mitchell
20. Stewart

Booked: Russell, Wake, Masterton

Shimmin McManus Harding
McGuffie Paartalu Masterton McAlister
Russell Wake Newby

East Stirling: Hillcoat, Hay (Moffat 61), Richardson, Anderson, Tully, Forrest, McKenzie, Gibson (Donaldson 46), Cramb (Dunn 80), Kelly, Ure

Subs Not Used: Mitchell

Booked: Hay, Forrest

My man of the match: Ryan McGuffie

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

eaststirlingfc.co.uk match report

The Scottish Sun match report

McInally Expects Hostile Reception

Jim McInally (pictured) expects a hostile reception when his East Stirling side meet former club Morton in tonight's Alba Challenge Cup tie.

The former Dundee United midfielder told the Shire's official website: "I don't think they will be friendly, however I have been in football long enough to know that is what to expect sometimes."

East Stirling are without David King and Stephen Oates. While Craig Tully, Andy Rodgers and Michael Bolochoweckyj are doubtful. It has also been confirmed that Brian Graham - who is on loan with East Stirling from Morton - will not be allowed to play.

Tonight's match kicks off at 7.30pm and admission prices are as follows:

£10 adults
£5 concessions
£1 under-16's and students.


Walker Hoping To Train Today

Morton defender Alex Walker is hoping to return to training today after he was stretchered off and substituted in the 42nd minute of Saturday's match against St.Johnstone.

In today's Greenock Telegraph he tells Roger Graham that, after a collision with Martin Hardie, he was unconcsious for about 15 seconds and a visit to the hospital revealed that he had badly bruised ribs.

Davie Irons said “He [Walker] will want to play [against East Stirling], but we’ll have to see. We don’t want to rush him. We have to make sure he’s fully recovered.”

Greenock Telegraph - 12/08/08


Capital Trip For Morton

Morton will play Hibs at Easter Road (pictured) in the second round of the Co-opertaive Insurance Cup. The tie will be played on either Tuesday 26th or Wednesday 27th August.

On our last visit to Easter Road in April 1999 we lost 2-1 to a Hibs team including Derek Collins, Franck Sauzee, Paul Hartley, Russell Latapy, Kenny Miller and current manager Mixu Paatelainen.

The full draw was as follows:


Co-Op Cup 2nd Round Draw

Hibs 2 - 1 Morton

Hibs Fans' Opinions


Morton 2-2 St. Johnstone

Morton 2 - McGuffie (5), Paartalu (82)
St. Johnstone 2 - Milne (3), Swankie (41)

Att: 2649

A late Erik Paartalu goal earned Morton a well deserved point against title favourites St. Johnstone.

For the first time this season Davie Irons decided to go with a 4-4-2 rather than the 4-3-3 formation he had used up until this match - probably as a result of Brian Wake' suspension. Stewart Greacen replaced Wake and his inclusion meant that Peter Weatherson and Alex Walker moved out from centre-back to right-back and left-back respectively.

A thrilling opening five minutes saw both teams score. Steven Milne was fortunate to get his name on the scoresheet when a Weatherson clearance smacked against him and flew past Kevin Cuthbert in the third minute. Morton equalised through Ryan McGuffie two minutes later. Jon Newby seemed to take the wrong option when his touch took him away from goal in the six yard box but he quickly turned and put an excllent ball across goal. Iain Russell swiped at the ball and missed but Ryan McGuffie made no mistake placing the ball into the net from close range.

Kevin Cuthbert was having a dodgy first half and, from where I was standing, looking suspect for the Perth sides second goalin the 41st minute. Morton were temporarily down to ten men with Alex Walker stretchered off injured and Allan McManus taking an eternity to get ready to come on. The reshuffle of players left us in disarray and in my opinon played no small part in this goal. A ball in behind Ryan McGuffie put Gavin Swankie in on goal. Kevin Cuthbert rushed out and looked to have his angles covered but seemed to hesitate at the final moment and give Swankie just enough room to dink the ball over him and into the net.

When McManus eventually came on we re-organised again; Dominic Shimmin moved to right-back, Weatherson moved to left-back and McManus came into the centre.

Morton dominated the second half and should've scored in the 68th minute. Iain Russell and Jon Newby broke forward and with just one defender between them and the goal they managed to mess it up between them. Firstly Russell should have held into the ball longer by running at the defender and leaving Newby the space to run into and then play him in but Russell released the ball far too early pushing Newby too far wide and giving the opposition defence the chance to get back in position. This is exactly what happened and Newby's attempt at a return pass was cut out by former Morton defender Kevin James.

Morton were piling on the pressure now and went close when a powerful Ryan Harding header was tipped over by Scotland Under-21 goalkeeper Euan McLean.

The equaliser eventaually arrived in the 82nd minute. A scramble in the St.Johnstone box eventually led to the ball being cleared out towards the stand side corner flag - Morton's right - where Stevie Masterton picked it up. In this situation everyone shouts to drill it low and hard across the six yard box and that's exactly what the former Clyde man did. Erik Paartalu read it, got in front of his marker and stuk out a foot to guide the ball into the net for his second goal in the three games.

This was a well deserved point. and shows that there wont be many teams that will come to Cappielow and beat us this season.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 6
2. Weatherson - 6
3. Walker - 7 (15. McManus - 42 mins)
4. Greacen - 7 (14. Harding - 52 mins)
5. Paartalu - 7
6. Shimmin - 8
7. McGuffie - 6 (15. Finlayson - 74 mins)
8. Masterton - 8
9. Newby - 8
10. Russell - 7
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. McGeough

20. Stewart

Booked: Russell

Weatherson Greacen Shimmin Walker
McGuffie Paartalu Masterton McAlister
Russell Newby

St. Johnstone: McLean, Irvine, Rutkiewicz, James, A Trialist, Swankie (Jackson 74), Hardie, Millar, Sheerin (MacDonald 87), Holmes, Milne (Weatherston 80).

Subs Not Used: McCaffrey, Main.

Booked: Hardie

My man of the match: Jon Newby

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Match highlights

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

perthstjohnstonefc.co.uk match report


Morton Commended

Morton were recently commended by the SFA Disciplinary Committee for our disciplinary record during season 2007/08. We joined Aberdeen, Falkirk, Brechin City, Raith Rovers, East Fife, Wick Academy, Edinburgh University, Civil Service Strollers, Wigtown and Bladnoch, Dalbeattie Star and Halkirk United in reaching a 'satisfactory standard'.

The 2008/09 season is two games old and we have already received one red card (pictured, Brian Wake being given his marching orders) and nine yellow cards. Somehow I don't think we will be given the same commendation next season. We might even end up one of the teams who are fined.



Taxi For Newby

Every pre-season FourFourTwo gives away a free supplement previewing the season ahead (for England and the SPL only). I was interested to read the responses of the Morecambe fan who was asked a series of questions on how he thought his club would get on this season:

Terrace favourite?

Jon Newby, if he can stay fit.

Player you'd happily drive to his next club?

Jon Newby if he doesn't get fit.

As it happened Newby (pictured, above left) was released by Morecambe and we snapped him up. He scored on his debut against Clyde last week - lets hope he can keep fit, keep scoring and maybe he'll become a terrace favourite at Cappielow.

Click To Enlarge


Contract Details

Former Arsenal defender Dominic Shimmin (pictured) has been handed a two year deal while goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert has signed on for one year.

The information was included in Roger Graham's article in today's Greenock Telegraph.

The article also explained that Stewart Greacen was absent on Tuesday night because he was having a toenail removed. He should be fine to take part on Saturday.

Players Must Leave Before More Come In

Davie Irons has confirmed that although he is still interested in Chris Smith (pictured) and Alan Reid he wont be able to sign them until he moves some players out.

Irons told the Greenock Telegraph's Roger Graham: “That [signing Reid and Smith] would depend on moving out players to maintain the right squad numbers. At the moment the ones we are prepared to let go are not top of anyone else’s wish list.”


Stranraer 3 - 6 Morton

Stranraer 3 - Frizzel (37), McColm (72), Gibson (84)
Morton 6 - McGuffie (5), Wake (12, 85), Russell (23, 32), Paartalu (40)

Att: 317

Morton eased into the second round of the Co-Operative Insurance cup after a clinical first half performance put the match beyond Stranraer.

Colin Stewart and Stewart Greacen made way for new signings Dominic Shimmin and Kevin Cuthbert. Ryan McGuffie replaced Kevin Finlayson at right midfield and Stevie Masterton filled the gap in central midfield.

The goalscoring started in the 5th minute when McGuffie drifted in from his position on the right of midfield to collect Brian Wake's lay off and send a left footed shot skidding into Scott Black's bottom left hand corner.

Wake doubled the lead five minutes later when he collected a clever through ball from Iain Russell and neatly lifted the ball over Black - who came rushing out and seemed to go down too early.

The third and fourth goals were both scored by Iain Russell. The lively striker has the knack of finding himself in the right place at the right time and did so to slot home a square ball from Erik Paartalu and then a cut-back from Masterton. Masterton's assist was particularly impressive. He worked hard to muscle his oppenent off the ball, then knocked it round him to the byline and still had enough composure to look up and cut back for Russell to score.

Craig Frizzell pulled one back when his deflected shot looped up and over Cuthbert in the 37th minute.

Erik Paartalu completed the first half scoring with a well taken volley after a defensive header dropped to him inside the box.

As always seems to happen in these situations the dominant team takes their foot off the gas and this allows the other team to claw their way back into the match. Stranraer took advantage of Morton's lacklustre second half performance by scoring two goals but they already knew that the match was beyond them.

Stuart McColm took advantage of slack defending and a bit of luck to slot a loose ball past Cuthbert after he found himself all alone on the left of the six yard box.

With six minutes remaining Andy Gibson curled a shot over Cuthbert - who's positioning looked slightly suspect from where I was standing - and into the top corner to make it 5-3. However, Brian Wake quickly extinguished any hope of a courageous Stranraer fight back when he collected Kevin Finlayson's cut back, turned and smashed one under Black a minute later.

The second half was a disappointment but an excellent first half performance means that we are in the draw for the next round and that's the most important thing.

Morton (3-4-3):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. Weatherson - 7
3. Walker - 7 (15. McManus - 55 mins)
4. Shimmin - 7
5. Paartalu - 8
6. McGuffie - 7 (12. Finlayson - 73 mins)
7. McAlister - 6
8. Masterton - 7
9. Wake - 8
10. Newby - 6
11. Russell - 7 (14. Harding - 62 mins)

Subs Not Used:

16. Kerrigan
20. Stewart

Booked: Wake, Shimmin, Masterton, Walker

Weatherson Shimmin Walker
McGuffie Masterton Paartalu McAlister
Russell Wake Newby

Stranraer: Black, Kane, Creaney, Dobbins, Nicoll (McColm 46), Mitchell, Gibson, McBride, Osbourne, Noble (Murdoch 46), Frizzel (Paisley 68)

Subs Not Used: McKinstry, Budinaukas.

Booked: Kane, Creaney

My man of the match: Brian Wake

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/articles/2/26982

Tontastic pictures: http://www.tontastic.com/index.cgi?dir=2008-08-05-CIS1-A-Stranraer

BBC match report: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/scot_cups/7541536.stm

stranraerfc.org match report: http://stranraerfc.org//index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=720&Itemid=35


Shimmin To Sign

Morton look set to pull off an unexpected signing in former Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers central defender Dominic Shimmin (pictured, left - in action for QPR and below - lining up as part of the back four against Hartlepool).

Shimmin played two trial matches for us in July. He played the full 90 minutes when we lost 2-1 against Hartlepool and is supposed to have played the first half of the closed door match against Celtic. He looked really good in the game against Hartlepool.

Click to enlarge

Davie Irons said he was impressed by him but that he was out of our price range. He then joined St. Mirren on trial and looked set to sign but Gus MacPherson dropped his interest.

Then in today's Greenock Telegraph Roger Graham revealed that Shimmin could be signed in time to play in tonight's League Cup match against Stranraer.

We also hope to have Kevin Cuthbert signed up before tonight's match.

Shimmin: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/articles/2/26961

Cuthbert: http://www.greenocktelegraph.co.uk/articles/2/26959

Profile: http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2008/07/dominic-shimmin.html

Hartlepool friendly: http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2008/07/morton-1-2-hartlepool-united.html

Celtic closed doors match: http://greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com/2008/07/morton-v-celtic-update.html

St. Mirren drop interest: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/teams/s/st_mirren/7522616.stm


East Stirling Cup Date

A post on the SFL website has confirmed that we will be playing our Challenge Cup second round tie against East Stirlingshire on Wednesday the 13th of August. The match will kick off 7.30pm.

I was also interested to read Jim McInally's (pictured) thoughts on the draw on East Stirling's official website. He said:

It's a good draw which should make a bit of money for the club and test us against one of the best teams in the competition. But from a personal point of view it's the draw I could have done without. I have friends at the club still and there's no sense of me wanting to win this game simply to prove a point or anything like that. I just want to do well for East Stirlingshire. It would be great if we could win the game but Morton are a top First Division side and we have to be mindful of that.

Date confirmed: http://www.scottishfootballleague.com/news.cfm?curpageid=944&newsid=2436

McInally's View: http://www.eaststirlingfc.co.uk/news_articles/mortoncup.html