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

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