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

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