Peterhead 2 - 1 Morton

Peterhead 2 - Ross (74), Bavidge (90)
Morton 1 - Masterton (24)

Att: 817

peterheadfc.co.uk - video highlights

Two late Peterhead goals sent Morton crashing out of the Scottish cup at the first hurdle. Morton were 1-0 up and looked to be cruising to victory against their second division opponents until Peter Weatherson's sending off turned the game on its head.

There was only one change to the team that beat Airdrie 2-0 on Tuesday - Stevie Masterton started in place of Erik Paartalu who had underperformed in the previous match. Brian Wake kept his place as James Grady failed to recover from injury while Jim McAlister was deemed fit enough to start despite hobbling from the field after Joe Cardle's challenge in midweek.

We started in a very similar manner to how we did against Airdrie; the defence appeared to be under instruction to get the ball up to the attack quickly where Peter Weatherson and Wake would attempt to bring the onrushing midfield into play by winning holding the ball up and winning flick ons. It isn't pretty but was quite effective. Peter was doing especially well. He started a move by taking in a Ryan McGuffie flick-on and hooking it round the corner for Wake to run onto. Wake charged down the line and squared to Allan Jenkins who flicked the ball into McGuffie's -who'd burst a gut to join the attack he'd started - path but he put his shot wide under pressure from Peterhead's David Donald.

Peter was instrumental in the opening goal. Davie MacGregor clipped a long ball in the Geordie's direction. He showed great awareness by stooping little to nod a great ball into Wake who was behind him. Wakey tried but failed to skin Martin Skinner, who was the last man, but the defender's block fell straight into the path of the onrushing Masterton. He took a couple of touches to compose himself before slotting a left footed shot past Michal Kula in the Peterhead goal.

Peterhead almost levelled through Graeme Sharp but the winger fired over after David Ross knocked down a Martin Bavidge cross.

This chance aside Morton seemed to be in complete control and we came close to doubling our lead towards the end of the half. Weatherson headed another MacGregor long ball into McGuffie's path but Kula got down low to turn his volley round the post.

I thought Weatherson was having a decent match so it was doubly frustrating when he was sent off in the 66th minute. I didn't see the incident and, going by the reaction of most people around me, no one else did either. There were no shouts of anger either at the referee or at Weatherson. But someone who did see the incident tells me that Weatherson deliberately threw the ball off of a Peterhead player's face; for what reason I do not know.

What I do know is that the sending off changed the game. Before He was sent off we were in complete control. After Weatherson went off we only had Iain Russell up front. Before that we had Wake and Weatherson who were causing problems with their physical strength. They were holding the ball up, flicking it on and linking with the midfield. Russell isn't really cut out for that so anything getting hit up to him was coming straight back at us. Most crucially the sending off changed both team's mentalities. Peterhead took confidence from it while Morton looked visibly rattled. The defence started to look shaky and then defend deeper which invited Peterhead onto us and this would ultimately cost us the match.

We did have a couple of chances to put the match beyond doubt before the sending off in the second half. However, McGuffie's long range effort flew wide of goal and a powerful Masterton free-kick was well saved by Kula.

Peterhead equalised eight minutes after Weatherson was sent off. MacGregor sent a throw in down the line but the ball was headed straight back. Sharp picked the ball up on the left and easily skipped past MacGregor (too easily if you ask me) to get to the bye line from where he sent over a delighful cross that Ross met with a bullet header than left Cuthbert with no chance.

This was a goal Weatherson witnessed. Instead of going straight into the dressing room he stood in the tunnel watching the match (If you click on the image below you can just about make him out standing in the tunnel with his white shorts on). Only after they scored their equaliser did he trudge down the tunnel. I know he will take serious criticism for his sending off, and deservedly so, but I thought by actually standing in the tunnel he showed he does care about the team and probably knew what he did was wrong the second after he did it.

Strangely, instead of shutting up shop and settling for a replay because we had ten men, we actually started to pile the pressure on the home team after they equalised and had two excellent chances to win the match towards the end. Iain Russell's cross from wide on the right was headed back into the penalty area by McAlister. McGuffie chested to Jenkins 8 yards from goal but he swiped at the ball wildly with his left foot and the ball skited wide.

Minutes later Stewart Greacen headed Chris Smith's free kick into the danger area but McGuffie's hooked shot from just six yards out was pushed to safety by Kula. Peterhead broke straight up the field on a counter attack that eventually resulted in the winning goal. Craig Gunn - on loan from Ross County - avoided Smith's desparate attempt to scythe him down and halt the attack (something Smith should've really been able to do) which left him, Bavidge and Sharp all bearing down on Dominic Shimmin. Shimmin wouldn't commit himself so Gunn continuted to run at him until he got to the edge of the box and only then did he slip the ball left to Bavidge and the big striker rammed his shot under Cuthbert to score his 9th goal of the season and the one that would put his side into the draw for the 4th round of the Scottish cup.

Weatherson's sending off wasn't the actual factor that caused us to concede two goals but it changed the whole balance of the match. Davie Irons admitted as much in the News Of The World. He simply said: "I don't think we would've been beaten had Weatherson stayed on the park."

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. MacGregor - 6
3. Smith - 6
4. Shimmin - 6
5. Greacen - 6
6. Masterton - 7 (16. Finlayson - 80 mins)
7. McGuffie - 6
8. Jenkins - 6
9. Weatherson - 7
10. Wake - 6 (15. Russell - 63 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

12. McManus
14. Paartalu
20. McWilliams

Booked: Greacen

Sent Off: Weatherson (66)

MacGregor Shimmin Greacen Smith
Jenkins Masterton McGuffie McAlister
Wake Weatherson

Peterhead: Kula, Donald, Smith, Skinner, MacDonald, McVitie (Cowie 43), Sharp, Anderson, Gunn, Ross, Bavidge.

Subs Not Used: McKay, Kozminski, Bagshaw, Jarvie.

Booked: Sharp, Skinner.

My man of the match: Stevie Masterton

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Official Teamsheet

Greenock Telegraph match report

Greenock Telegraph - match reaction

BBC match report

The Sunday Mail match report

The Scottish Sun - match report

peterheadfc.com - match report

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