Two Days A Week

According to an article in yesterday's Greenock Telegraph Morton goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert (pictured, left) trains with his team mates two days a week. He spends Monday and Tuesday with Falkirk, has Wednesday off and then trains with David Wylie on a Thursday and Friday.

The former St. Johnstone 'keeper said: “I train at Falkirk on a Monday and Tuesday, because I’m from Perth. It’s only 25 minutes from my house. They have good facilities up there it’s run by Jim Preston. I’m in at Morton on Thursday and Friday, and I get on well with Davie [Wylie]. He is a legend at Morton, and it is good to learn from an ex-player."

I realise Cuthbert has been one of our best performers this season but I still don't think that it's acceptable for a full-time professional to be doing this. I could understand if he was a part-timer but he isn't. In my opinion Cuthbert should be making the effort to train with his clubmates everyday rather than go to Falkirk on a Monday and Tuesday because it's closer. I'm no expert on the training goalkeepers do but you'd think it would be better if he were around his team mates more often in an attempt to build a better understanding both on the pitch and off it.

If I were Davie Irons I would be 'encouraging' Kevin to either move closer to Greenock or make the extra effort to travel through to Quarriers Village on a Monday and Tuesday.

Greenock Telegraph - 'Nothing Tops Keeping Clean' (29.10.2008)

Kevin Cuthbert - profile


Fatties XI

On the 9th of October BBC's Off The Ball programme ran an online feature called 'Fatties XI'. As you may have guessed the article listed 15 of Scottish football's fattest players. Two ex-Morton players made the list - Andy Ritchie (pictured, left) and Joe Harper.

Each choice features a picture and a comment below. Ritchie's says: "Andy Ritchie, Morton's Idle Idol, the Bellshill Bull, played outside-right and left-back to save him changing ends at half-time." Harper's says: "As tall as he was broad, rumour has it that Aberdeen's Joe Harper gave Oxo the inspiration for their cubes."

Whoever compiled the list redeemed themselves by choosing ex-St. Mirren players Barry Lavety and Mark Yardley in the 15.

bbc.co.uk - 'Off The Ball's Fatties XI' - Ritchie is #6 and Harper is #12.


Unreleased Morton Top For Sale On ebay

An unreleased Morton shirt has been put up for auction on ebay. The shirt, manufactured by Avec (of Sports Connection top fame) is a home top from around 2000 - but was never worn by any Morton team at any level.

The mysterious shirt features the traditional blue and white hoops but with thin yellow lines running through some of the blue hoops. It also has a small badge sewn on that says: 'Greenock Morton 1874-1999, 125 years'.

A poster on the greenockmorton.org forum posted to say that it was a prototype home top that was never used. The seller who listed the item on ebay actually joined the messageboard to explain that he bought the item in a shop in Nottingham but has no idea how it got there.

The top has sparked a fair bit of interest and after 15 bids the current bid sits at £72.00.

ebay.co.uk - GREENOCK MORTON Football Shirt (Home) Large - Avec

greenockmorton.org - '125th Anniversary Top' thread

Morton 2 - 0 Dundee

Morton 2 - Weatherson (26), McGuffie (59 pen)
Dundee 0 -

Att: 1741

Morton made it two wins in two home matches with a comfortable victory over a managerless, injury ravaged Dundee side.

Davie Irons went with the same team that beat Clyde 1-0 last week with only one change enforced upon him; Allan Jenkins came in for Stevie Masterton who missed out because of a back injury. Irons seems to keep his cards close to his chest with regard to injured players. It is often the case that you turn up on a Saturday having read in Friday's previews that we have no injury problems only to find that on a Saturday one or more players have dropped out of the squad completely to then find out on Monday that they had some sort of injury.

This match appeared to be under threat due to the torrential rain and swirling winds and this freakish weather almost had a crucial impact on the game. Peter Weatherson's 26th minute opener looked as if the wind might carry it right over the bar into the Wee Dublin End. The Geordie striker used his left foot to lift the ball over a stranded Rab Douglas after the big keeper rushed out to save from a one-on-one with James Grady. Weatherson later admitted that his team mates thought he had missed as well but he was always confident it was going in. As it was the finish was good and Morton were one goal to the good.

Grady has shown with last week's winner against Clyde and his contribution to Peter's goal today that one of his main strengths is playing on the shoulder of the last defender and timing his runs so that he beats the off-side trap when chasing down a through ball. This feature of his earned him the chance to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute. He burst onto a Jim McAlister through ball but dragged his right foot shot horribly wide. This finish was in stark contrast to his clinical finish against Clyde a week ago.

However, the former Dundee man continued to terrorise his old club and his nippy style was causing havoc in the opposition box and eventually led to the second goal. He took possession on the outside right corner of the Dundee box and tried to lift the ball between Darren Williams and Craig McKeown to carve as quick a route to goal as possible. The ball struck Williams' hand and referee Craig Thomson - yes, that Craig Thomson - pointed to the spot. A harsh decision in my opinion - perhaps Thomson was subconsciously atoning for his decision to disallow Chirs Templeman's goal at Hamilton Accies last season. Whatever the reason Ryan McGuffie - who was having a poor match up until this point - used the inside of his right foot to expertly place his penalty into the top right hand corner of Douglas' net.

The match finished 2-0. So that's two wins in a row and two clean sheets in a row. This has been in no small part to the return from injury of both Stewart Greacen and David MacGregor. Both players were excellent on Saturday but one man stood head and shoulders above the rest, as usual: Dominic Shimmin. The Dominator was, quite simply, awesome. Calm, composed, strong, quick - the boy has it all. The big question has to be: how long can we keep a hold of him? Not long I'd suggest although the increasing attention he's receiving has led Davie Irons to, in a Tony Fitzpatrick-esque moment ( he claimed Ricky Gillies would walk into the AC Milan team), slap a £5 million price tag on Shimmin's head and claim he'd only sell to Real Madrid. In a tongue-in-cheek moment Irons said: “The chairman’s put a £5million price tag on him already. Dom knows what he’s got to do. He’s come up here to develop his career. He’s had a good schooling at Arsenal, you can see he’s played. He’s totally dedicated, he loves the club, his team-mates; he’s committed to us. Unless Real Madrid come in for him I don’t think he’ll want to leave.”

I think it's far to early to say we've turned the corner but a win at Livingston next week would be a big step in convincing me otherwise.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. MacGregor - 7
3. Smith - 7
4. Shimmin - 9
5. Greacen (c) - 8
6. Jenkins - 7
7. Finlayson - 6
8. McGuffie - 5 (14. Wake - 89 mins)
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Grady - 7
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

12. Paartalu
15. Russell
16. McManus
20. Stewart


MacGregor Shimmin Greacen Smith
Finlayson McGuffie Jenkins McAlister
Weatherson Grady

Dundee: Douglas, Paton, Malone, Dodds, McKeown, Williams, Daquin (Gilhaney 70), Posniak, Davidson, Antoine-Curier, O'Brien (Mearns 86).

Subs Not Used: Roy, Deasley, Benedictus

Booked: McKeown.

My man of the match: Dominic Shimmin

Sponsor's man of the match: Dominic Shimmin

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

Greenock Telegraph - match reaction

BBC match report

Daily Record match report

dundee.co.uk - match report

Tontastic pictures


Peterhead Away

The draw for the 3rd round of the Homecoming Scottish Cup has paired Morton with Peterhead. The match will be played at Balmoor Stadium on Saturday 29th of Novemeber.

SFA - The Homecoming Scottish Cup 3rd Round Draw

greenockmorton.org - fans' reaction


Airdrie Match Rescheduled

Due to Airdrie United reaching the Alba Challenge Cup final our league fixture against them on Saturday 15th November has been cancelled. The match will now be played at Cappielow on Tuesday 25th November with a 7.45pm kick-off.

gmfc.net - Morton -v- Airdrie Utd


Tele' Backs Rae's Criticism Of Fans' Behaviour

The Greenock Telegraph has backed Douglas Rae's criticism of the Morton fans who were involved in an incident at Dingwall last week.

The Telegraph Comment piece says that Rae is right to speak out against unruly fans who hurl personal insults at players. It goes on to say that hopefully Rae's programme notes have been heeded by those who 'carried on despicably'.

On the opposite page Eric Baxter has written a follow up article on Rae's programme notes. He asks Rae if he would like to see troublesome fans banned to which Rae replied: "I am perfectly happy to see the police lift them for their objectionable behaviour.

"I haven't thought of banning the trouble-makers, but we could look at it if the police arrested them and made an example of them."

I'm not entirely sure just who has been criticised here - in some reports it appears to be the fans shouting abuse, in others everyone involved in the scrum - but as someone who was there and witnessed the whole incident this is my take on it. It all started with a couple of fans (possibly one fan) giving pretty strong abuse to Ryan Harding. Another fan across the other side of the terrace shouted at him/them to get behind the team and this turned in to a bit of a heated debate. Both fans walked towards each other and friends on either side came forward and there was a bit of posturing and grabbing but as far as I could see there were no punches thrown or anything like that. Most people there were trying to stop the incident and I would say there was around ten people involved (not the twenty Douglas Rae estimated in the Tele').

I'd imagine that the incident looked worse from a distance - hence Rae's reaction - but I think the Chairman's threat to walk away from the club, and the subsequent hysteria, has all been a bit of an overreaction.

Read both items by clicking on the images below.

Greenock Telegraph - Rae praises fans after row [Rae in fans fury] (21.10.2008)

Millar Surprised At Morton's League Position

Former Morton midfielder Chris Millar has told of his surprise at his former club's poor start to the season. He told the Greenock Telegraph's Roger Graham: “I thought they would be mid-table, maybe chasing third or fourth, but sometimes when you start losing it can become a habit. Hopefully their win on Saturday will be the start of better things.”

The rest of the article focuses on how Millar is enjoying life at St. Johnstone.

Greenock Telegraph - Midge enjoys being a Saint (21.10.2008)

Chris Millar - profile


Leckie Backs Irons

The Scottish Sun's Bill Leckie (pictured, left) has used his 'The Voice Of Sunsport' column on the back of his paper's Supergoals pull-out to defend Morton boss Davie Irons.

The St. Mirren supporting journalist believes that Irons is the man to turn Morton's fortunes around if he is given time and the support of everyone at the club.

Click on the image below to read what Leckie said.

Morton 1 - 0 Clyde

Morton 1 - Grady (37)
Clyde 0 -

Att: 2041

Match report to follow...

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 6
2. MacGregor - 7
3. Smith - 6
4. Shimmin - 7
5. Greacen (c) - 8
6. Masterton - 7
7. Finlayson - 6
8. McGuffie - 7 (15. Paartalu - 80 mins)
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Grady - 8
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

12. Russell
14. Wake
16. McManus
20. Stewart

Booked: Finlayson, Greacen, Masterton.

MacGregor Shimmin Greacen Smith
Finlayson McGuffie Masterton McAlister
Weatherson Grady

Clyde: Hutton, Lowing (McSwegan 67), Higgins, McGregor, Gibson, Wilson (Trouten 62), McKay, Emslie, Clarke, Gemmill (Waddell 46), Ruari MacLennan.

Subs Not Used: Brown, Cherrie.

Booked: MacLennan, Gemmill, Wilson, Waddell, McSwegan, Trouten.

My man of the match: Stewart Greacen

Sponsor's man of the match: James Grady

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

Rae Threatens To Walk Away

Morton chairman Douglas Rae has threatened to walk away from the club because of the behaviour of a small group of fans at last Sunday's Challenge Cup semi-final against Ross County at Victoria Park, Dingwall.

In his From The Chairman's Desk column in Saturday's matchday programme Rae blasted the fans who were involved in a minor scuffle at Dingwall last week suggesting that if this were to happen again he would consider walking away.

He said: "I certainly do not want to be associated with a Club which has 'supporters' behaving in the manner that some did on Sunday. If Sunday's let down by some sections of our support is ever repeated then I will certainly consider walking away as I have no desire to be associated with the type of behaviour that was witnessed by so many people."

Click on the images below to read Rae's column.


Grady In On Emergency Loan

Morton have today signed Hamilton Accies' James Grady on an emergency loan. The 37 year old striker will be with the club until the end of December.

Grady told the club's official website "I am delighted to be coming to Cappielow, and I am looking forward to helping push the team up the League table."

gmfc.net - James Grady

James Grady - profile


Ross County 4 - 1 Morton

Ross County 4 - Craig (6), Daal (42, 62),Dowie (84)
Morton 1 - Weatherson (77)

Att: 1396

Another trip to Dingwall - another hammering.

Davie Irons continued to drop any striker who misses a chance by bringing in Iain Russell for last week's villian Peter Weatherson (it's interesting to note that Brian Wake doesn't seem to be dropped often - he's so far away from scoring a goal he doesn't even get chances to miss them). Alex Walker disappeared from the squad, Ryan Harding moved to right-back (?!?)and Allan McManus started at centre-half.

County took only six minutes to get the ball rolling. Steven Craig collected a Martin Scott pass then was allowed to turn and hook a shot across Cuthbert into the far corner.

Morton had two excellent opportunities to level but Ryan McGuffie headed both straight at Tony Bullock.

Dyron Daal - Craig's partner in Ross County's crap strikeforce - made it two in the 42nd minute when he headed a Marc McCulloch cross past Cuthbert.

It was evident that Morton were in for another pasting by this point and frustrations started to boil over on the terraces. One group of fans rounded on Ryan Harding - I heard one shout of "fuck off Hard-on". Another group of fans responded by telling them to get behind the team and this turned into a bit of a scuffle. If the team showed half as much fight or passion as the fans then we wouldn't be in this mess.

If it wasn't for Kevin Cuthbert and Dominic Shimmin then this would've been a cricket score. This was particularly evident in the 55th minute when Cuthbert saved a Steven Craig penalty after Allan McManus had received his marching orders for a deliberate handball on the line.

The penalty miss only delayed the inevitable as Daal made it three with another header seven minutes later. The fact Dyron Daal managed to put two by us shows how bad we are. He is, in my opinion, a big donkey of a striker. So much of a donkey that Alisdair Fraser's Scottish Sun match report was hooked on Daal ending his goal drought: "DYRON DAAL marked his 25th birthday with a dream double as he ended his goal drought to steer County to the Challenge Cup final.Daal has been the butt of jokes in the Dingwall dressing room having fired blanks apart from two goals early in the season."

We managed to pull one back in the 77th minute but even that was more about luck than skill or ability. Peter Weatherson, who came on as a substitute, took a free-kick 20 yards from goal. The ball smashed into the wall and this wrong footed Bullock as the deflection put the ball into the opposite corner. 3-1 and some optimistic fans started to sing of how we'd win 4-3.

Seven minutes later they were singing about winning 5-4 as Andy Dowie headed home an Adam Strachan corner to make it 4-1

4-1 is how it finished and this rodgering meant that Morton had now lost in four successive Challenge Cup Semi-Finals.

As the fans filtered out of Victoria Park there were shouts and chants against the manager and players. One shout was louder than most - 'Time to go Davie'.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. Harding - 4 (12. Paartalu - 61 mins)
3. Smith - 5
4. Shimmin - 7
5. McManus (c) - 6
6. Masterton - 5 (15. Weatherson - 48 mins)
7. McGuffie - 5
8. Jenkins - 5
9. Wake - 5 (14. Finlayson - 56 mins)
10. Russell - 6
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

16. MacGregor
20. Stewart

Booked: Cuthbert, Smith

Sent Off: McManus (55)

Harding Shimmin McManus Smith
McGuffie Masterton Jenkins McAlister
Wake Russell

Ross County: Bullock, McCulloch, Keddie, Dowie, Boyd (Watt 76), Strachan, Hart (Gardyne 71), Brittain, Daal (Higgins 83), Craig, Scott

Subs Not Used: Lawson, Soutar.


My man of the match: Kevin Cuthbert

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

The Scottish Sun match report


Shafted II

Alan Reid wasn't the only player to be shafted by a club this season. It would also appear that Morton's Dominic Shimmin was let down by our closest rivals.

In Saturday's Scottish Sun Shimmin talked about his time at Arsenal and supporting Manchester United. At the end of the article he reveals that he still doesn't know what happened with St. Mirren.

He said: “I’m still in the dark about what happened at St Mirren. I played two games and the manager said I’d done well. He wanted to see me in one final game. I faced Blackpool in a friendly. But there were only two weeks to go until the new season and I needed to get a club. Morton had already offered me something and I thought that was a better proposition.”

According to an article in the Paisley Daily Express Gus MacPherson dropped his interest but the story doesn't give any reasons.

St. Mirren's loss was Morton's gain.

The Scottish Sun - I Was Red Devil In Disguise (04.10.2008)

Paisley Daily Express - Shimmin won't be a Buddie (05.08.2008)



Former St.Mirren and Hibs defender Alan Reid has accused Davie Irons of shafting him after the under fire Morton manager promised him a contract but failed to deliver.

Reid - who spent a month on loan at Morton in the 2001-02 season and who has made two appearances as a trialist this season - told The Scottish Sun's Paul Hughes that Irons told him that there was a deal there for him as soon as he moved a couple of players on. As it happened Irons managed to send Jon Newby out on loan but signed Dominic Shimmin and Chris Smith leaving Reid in limbo.

Reid said: "My agent and I met with the club and Davie Irons assured me a deal was there for me. All he had to do was get a couple of players out the door, which I believe he did. Once that happened though, the club just seemed to be ignoring my calls. I was left hanging on. Eventually they signed the boy Dominic Shimmin.

"I turned up for training everyday trying to be professional, but two weeks ago I decided enough was enough. I was shafted over the whole thing. There's really no better term for it.

"I turned down a few offers during the summer because I knew Morton were interested. Unfortunately it dragged on so long it meant I missed the boat with other clubs."

To read the full article (which appeared on Saturday 04.10.2008) click on the images below.

Alan Reid profile


Players To Blame?

In an excellent article in yesterday's Greenock Telegraph Davie Irons (pictured, left) lays the blame for our poor season at the door of the players, in particular the more experienced members of the squad. He refers to his disappointment with the players at various points in the article, all of which are listed below:

"Jenkins and McGuffie have come from the SPL. With bigger money comes expectation and they haven’t lived up to that. Certainly, Jenkins has been very disappointing. I’ve told them that.

“Obviously Saturday was a big game. The boys let us down and I am very disappointed and angry.”

“If the players don’t take responsibility and don’t take chances where does that leave you?"

“The older, senior players have to stand up and be counted.”

He did, however, praise the contributions of Dominic Shimmin, Chris Smith, Kevin Cuthbert and Jim McAlister.

The fact that Irons has focused on Jenkins and McGuffie suggests to me that the rumours of a personal vendetta stretching backing to their days at Gretna are true. Ryan Harding, Alex Walker, Allan McManus, Erik Paartalu and Peter Weatherson have been just as bad as McGuffie and Jenkins, maybe worse, but aren't mentioned by name.

In another article on the back page Douglas Rae basically admits that Irons has the next two home games to turn our season around. The chairman said: “I have had belief he [manager Davie Irons] will turn things round. Obviously, results have been pulling me the other way. But we have two home games coming up. I think they are critical. We have got to start the fightback then. I am not saying we have to be off the bottom of the table after these games, but the fightback has to have started.

"I would not be telling the truth if I did not say I was very concerned."


Ross County 3 - 0 Morton

Ross County 3 - Hart (75), Craig (76), Higgins (84)
Morton 0 -

Att: 2290

Match report to follow...

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 6
2. Walker - 5 (12. Finlayson - 83 mins)
3. Smith - 6
4. Shimmin - 7
5. Paartalu - 6 (14. Russell - 53 mins)
6. Harding (c) - 6
7. McGuffie - 6
8. Masterton - 6 (15. Jenkins - 73 mins)
9. Wake - 5
10. Weatherson - 6
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

16. McManus
20. Stewart

Booked: Shimmin

Walker Shimmin Harding Smith
McGuffie Masterton Paartalu McAlister
Wake Weatherson

Ross County: Bullock, McCulloch, Keddie, Dowie, Boyd, Gardyne, Lawson (Hart 56), Brittain, Daal (Higgins 72), Craig, Scott (Strachan 56).

Subs Not Used: Watt, Soutar.

Booked: McCulloch.

My man of the match: Dominic Shimmin

Sponsor's man of the match: Scott Boyd (Ross County)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

The Scottish Sun match report


Patience Is Wearing Thin

Today's Inverclyde's postbag - the letters page in the Greenock Telegraph - features two letters from disgruntled Morton fans. The first letter criticises the club in general; suggesting that it is neither professionally run or fan-orientated. The second letter is more specific focusing on Douglas Rae (pictured, left) and his reluctance to answer questions. The letter asks the chairman to outline his plans and visions for Morton's future.

You can read both letters by clicking on the image below.


Did You Know...

...that Andy Ritchie applied for the Morton manager's job at the same time as Jim McInally but his application wasn't even acknowledged by the club?

Ritchie made this revelation in Andy Ritchie: The King Of Cappielow - the recently released biography by John Riddle.

The book's final chapter is an exclusive interview that is presented as a series of questions and answers. On page 133 Riddle asks: "After your spell as player /manager of Albion Rovers, did you ever dream of managing Morton?". Ritchie replied, "Oh, I didn't only dream about becoming manager of Morton, I actually applied for the manager's job before Jim McInally was installed. Not only did I not get the job, my application didn't even warrant an acknowledgment."

That's no way to treat one of the club's greatest ever players.


Thank You Very Much For First Team Football

The latest rumour doing the rounds is that Davie Irons has, to use a cliche, 'lost the dressing room'. Apparently his man management leaves a lot to be desired and, as a result, there aren't many amongst the playing squad who like, or rate him.

However, there is at least one player who has time for the manager - Brian Wake (pictured, left). In the Supergoals pull-out in Monday's Scottish Sun Wake is featured in the article reserved for players who are in the running for the SunSport Golden Boot award (Wake has five goals - four behind Celtic's Georgios Samaras and Livingston's Leigh Griffiths, who are joint leaders). The shaggy haired striker says that he would give up all his goals for three points and wants to repay Irons for the faith he's showed in him: "It's nice to get some goals but the main thing is to get a win. I'd give all my goals away to get our first three points.

"The boss has been brilliant and he's given me a good opportunity. I don't think about awards. I just want to do the best I can for the team."

Click to enlarge