Morton 2 - 0 Airdrie United

Morton 2 - Wake (34), Jenkins (90)
Airdrie United 0 -

Att: 1642

Morton move up to 7th in the league and five points clear of Airdrie in bottom spot with a 2-0 win in this re-arranged match.

Stewart Greacen was restored to the side at Allan McManus's expense after missing Saturday's trip to Dunfermline as his partner was due to give birth. I heard rumours that McManus wasn't happy which is understandable considering he'd started in the wins at Queen Of The South and Dunfermline. Brian Wake replaced James Grady who picked up a couple of niggles at East End Park on Saturday.

This was a strange match. We weren't very good, we weren't very bad but managed to grind out the win. We started by pumping high balls up to Wake and Peter Weatherson and the strike force were dealing with them with varying levels of success. Wakey was causing problems with his physical style; he was bumping into defenders and making a general nuisance of himself while Peter was bringing them down and attempting to link up with the midfield.

We weren't getting much joy from the long balls but Wake's never-say-die attitude paid dividends in the 34th minute. The bushy haired striker charged down a clearance by Airdrie goalkeeper Stephen Robertson - who had taken too long with the ball at his feet - who then proceeded to smash said clearance straight off of Wake. The ball hit Morton's number 10 and kindly fell right infront of him. Wake seemed to take an eternity to get the ball under control and slot the ball into what was an empty net but had a defender racing back by the time he side footed home. However, Wake deserves huge credit for chasing down what was, in effect, a lost cause and thus earning his side the lead.

Wake had a great chance to make it 2-0 towards the end of the half but Robertson made up for his earlier error with a great save. Ryan McGuffie got to the bye-line and drilled the ball across the face of goal; Wake charged in at the back post and met the cross with the inside of his right foot in an attempt to place the ball with a bit of power. Robertson scrambled across goal to block what looked a certain goal. I know I said this was a great save, and it was, but I've always thought there are two ways to look at these sort of chances: is it a good save or a bad miss? In my humble opinion it was as much of a bad miss as it was a good save. Robertson's block was good but Wake shouldn't have given him the chance to make it.

The Wakester did put the ball in the back of the net for a second goal but it was ruled out for a handball in the build up. He did appear to handle the ball as he pushed past the last defender but the referee let play go on for a few seconds before blowing his whistle. From where I was sitting (in the seats at the front of the Cowshed) it was the correct decision so you can't really grumble.

After the interval Airdrie came out with a bullet up their collective arse. Joe Cardle on Airdrie's right hand side looked right up for it and started to run at Chris Smith. Cardle was giving Smith a torrid time with his direct style and exciting dribbling but for all his endeavour and skill he didn't produce much of a threat apart from a couple of decent crosses. He did, however, manage to end Jim McAlister's night with a shocking challenge after Jim had disposessed the Englishman with a superb sliding tackle. The foul earned him a booking and the attention of the Cowshed for the rest of the match.

Former Celtic youngster Simon Lynch had a great chance to equalise when he strode into the box unmarked but Kevin Cuthbert rushed from his line to close him down and made a crucial save by spreading his body using a Peter Schmeichel-esque star jump.

Jim McAlister passed up an excellent chance to make it 2-0 after good work from Weatherson. The left winger - Morton's only ever present this season - collected Weatherson's pass but only managed a weak side footed effort with his left foot. Robertson got down to save but only succeeded in pushing the ball out to Erik Paartalu. The big Aussie drilled his shot off the outside of the post and the ball rebounded to safety.

Airdrie didn't threaten much after this and we wrapped up the win when Allan Jenkins finished off a swift counter attack in the 90th minute. Kevin Finlayson - who replaced McGuffie in the 80th minute - picked the ball up in his own half and sprinted towards the Airdrie goal after riding a couple of challenges he slipped a great reverse pass into Jenkins' path. Jenks burst forward, knocked the ball round Robertson with ease and slotted home to put the icing on the cake.

So, another win, another clean sheet and another three points. We're now up to 7th in the league and move five points ahead of Airdrie who sit bottom of the table. It's good to be a Morton fan again.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. MacGregor - 6
3. Smith - 6
4. Shimmin - 7
5. Greacen - 7
6. McGuffie - 7 (16. Finlayson - 80 mins)
7. Jenkins - 8
8. Paartalu - 6
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Wake - 7
11. McAlister - 6 (15. Masterton - 89 mins)

Subs Not Used:

12. McManus
14. Russell
20. McWilliams

Booked: Shimmin, Smith, Wake

MacGregor Shimmin Greacen Smith
Jenkins Paartalu McGuffie McAlister
Wake Weatherson

Airdrie: Robertson, Smyth, Bobby Donnelly, Nixon, Hazley, Cardle, McDonald, McKenna, McLaughlin, Di Giacomo, Lynch (Noble 80).

Subs Not Used: Darren Smith, Brown, McDougall, Hollis.

Booked: Hazley, Di Giacomo, Cardle.

My man of the match: Allan Jenkins

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

The Scottish Sun match report

airdrieunitedfc.com - match report

Tontastic pictures

1 comment:

Holyrood Patter said...

We are a bit like Hearts at the minute. We have put results ahead of performances for the time being, with success. Despite coming back into the game, I never got the impression that Airdre were going to score.
The football will hopefully follow!