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

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