Morton 0 - 0 Celtic XI

Morton 0 -
Celtic XI 0 -


by Russell Gordon

Celtic came to Cappielow for this low key friendly minus the star names, but with a few well known players that have been on the fringes of their first team, such as Paul Caddis, Jean-Joel Perrier Doumbe, Koki Mizuno, Ben Hutchinson and most significantly from the point of view of the home support, former Cappielow loan star Paul McGowan - whose return to Cappielow was unfortunately not how we had hoped and envisaged it.

Morton started brightly and it was Peter Weatherson who had the first chance in the fifth minute, but he screwed his chance high and wide from just outside the box. Three minutes later it was Iain Russell who was to be denied from point blank range. Celtic's Cervi reacted well to send Russell's effort wide having parried McAlister's original effort.

Whilst Morton had most of the play early on, Celtic gradually came more into the game and McGowan was given his chance of a scoring return to Cappielow in 24 minutes after latching onto a poor clearance from Stewart - who had raced out his goal - only to blaze over. However, Stewart atoned just three minutes later when he confidently held Hutchison's effort.

Kevin Finlayson was having a great deal of joy down the left hand side against Doumbe before he was hooked at half-time. He provided Weatherson with a couple of chances which came to nothing. In truth, if Doumbe is the best Celtic have got in that position, especially going by the time of it I hear Lee Naylor's having, it's clear why they're after the lad Sylvinho.

Half-time came and Morton replaced Allan McManus with Ryan Harding. It was to be an eventful second half for the centre-half as he gifted Hutchison a chance from 6 yards out minutes after the restart only for the Celtic striker to spare his blushes by smashing the ball high and wide when he really should have scored.

Morton's best chance of the night came from a defensive mix up reminiscent of the one that gifted Iain Russell the opener at Easter Road earlier this season, but unfortunately Weatherson failed to take advantage of the Celtic defence's generosity. McAlister could also have scored when Russell's acrobatic effort landed at his feet only for him to shoot tamely into the keepers hands from 12 yards.

Then Celtic had faint claims for a penalty as McGowan went down under a challenge from Harding inside the box. From where I was sitting I was pretty sure the claims were merited but the referee waved play on with little complaint. Harding was now having a torrid time as Mizuno forced him into conceding a free kick on the edge of the box which eventually came to nothing. However, with 15 minutes remaining, Stewart had Harding to thank after his goal line clearance denied Hutchison following the keeper's slip on the wet surface.

The game then fizzled out, with only a late Masterton effort which was deflected wide for a corner worthy of note, before, to the relief of the crowd, the final whistle was blown bang on cue.

One irony that was spotted was the lovely Irish tricolour unfurled in the car park during the game with the word "Port Glasgow" emblazoned across it (I'm assuming this belonged to the Celtic support as I've never seen it at Cappielow before). I had a wee chuckle to myself about how the 'Greatest Fans In The World' couldn't be bothered paying a fiver into a game on their own back yard.

Aah, the Old Firm. Haste ye back.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Stewart - 5
2. MacGregor - 6 (15. Trialist [Colin Marshall]- 80 mins)
3. Smith - 7 (14.McAnespie - 57 mins)
4. McManus - 5 (12. Harding - 46 mins - 5)
5. Greacen (c) - 6
6. Masterton - 7
7. Finlayson - 7 (16. Trialist [Gerard Brown] - 86 mins)
8. Walker - 6
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Russell - 7
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

20. McWilliams


MacGregor Greacen McManus Smith
Finlayson Walker Masterton McAlister
Weatherson Russell

Celtic XI: Cervi, Caddis, Doumbe, Cawley, Marr, O'Dea, Mizuno, Millar, Hutchison, McGowan, Conroy

Subs: Gaughan, Carey, Lafferty, Tidser, Tonell, Graham, Giordano


Russell's man of the match: Kevin Finlayson

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

None for sale.

Greenock Telegraph - match report

gmfc.net - result and team lines

celticfc.net - match preview

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