Shimmin Surprised By 1st Division

When season 2007/08 came to a close for Morton I decided to use a couple of my free Saturdays to take in some lower league matches in England. I watched Carlisle United v Bournemouth and Darlington v Rochdale. I was distinctly underwhelmed by the quality of football played and discussed this with my pals. We came to the concluson that there were plenty of teams in the Scottish First Division who could cope in Coca Cola League 1. Carlisle were still in with a chance of promotion to the Coca Cola Championship on the day we watched them and ended up in the play-offs. However, they were no better than the Hamilton Accies or Dundee sides I'd watched play against Morton. In fact, I'd go as far as to say they weren't as good.

I've often read pundits and players suggesting that the Scottish First division is, in terms of the standard of play, the equivalent of the English Conference (now rebranded the Blue Square Premier). So it was refreshing to read Morton defender Dominic Shimmin (pictured, above left) suggest that this was not the case and, in doing so, support the assessment I made after watching the matches mentioned previously. In Saturday's Scottish Sun an article by Gareth Law (pictured, below) quotes Shimmin as saying: "I played at a few levels in England and I'd say the First Division isn't too different to League One or League Two - I didn't think it would be as high. But people don't give it as much credit as it's due. There is a lot of talent here - and it is only going to benefit me by playing in Scotland."

Dominic might be impressed with the Scottish First Division but I can't help but feeling that he won't be plying his trade at this level for too long.


Morton 1 - 1 Dunfermline Athletic

Morton 1 - Wake (60)
Dunfermline Athletic 1 - Campbell (89)

Att: 2156

A late equaliser, a shocking refereeing decision and some crucial misses cost Morton a much deserved three points.

Davie Irons set the team up in a 4-4-2 formation. Ryan McGuffie - who it later turned out had a hamstring injury - was left out of the squad and Peter Weatherson came in in his place. Peter moved up front to partner Brian Wake.

In recent weeks Morton have been something of a one dimensional team. We set up with one up front and proceed to hit him with all manner of long balls. This approach has been causing growing frustration and after Tuesday's extra-time defeat at the hands of Caley Thistle Trust board memeber Bryan Purdue posted a poll on the Morton unofficial messageboard asking when it was okay to use the long ball. Fellow user Nach0king posted this simple yet enlightened response: "When it works". I thought that against the Pars we made the long ball work. This, I believe, was all down to one man - Peter Weatherson. Much has been said about his attitude but one thing that has never been in doubt it his ability. Peter can do what Brian Wake can't. He can receive a long ball on his chest, his thigh or on his instep and cushion it perfectly. Then he quickly readjusts his body to move the ball on. He also has the vision and presence of mind to pick out team mates with a well weighted pass. For the first twenty to thirty minutes Weatherson made the long ball work and we looked a constant threat.

We had our chances and should have put this match beyond Dunfermline. The first of three guilt edged chances fell to Jim McAlister in the twentieth minute. Brian Wake played the ball into his path, Jim didn't even have to break his stride but slammed his shot high into the side netting. The whole of the Cowshed, believing the ball was rippling the net on the right side of the posts, jumped in unison only to realise their mistake when Jim held his head in his hands. This really should've been one-nil Morton.

Shortly afterwards Brian Wake missed another sitter. Jim McAlister skipped past a couple of challenges on the edge of the box and unleashed a shot that Paul Gallacher failed to grasp. The parry fell to Wake who, somehow, managed to hit Gallacher instead of putting the ball into the empty net.

Morton seemed to lose momentum towards the end of the half as Dunfermline came back into the game. However, the visitors failed to create anything of note and the teams went in level at half-time.

The first major incident in the second-half turned out to be the game's main talking point. Stevie Masterton sent in an inswinging corner from the left. It was unclear just who got a touch but the ball appeared to hit the crossbar and come down over the line. I was standing at the old away end of the Cowshed and even from that far away it looked a certain goal. A picture on the back page of today's Greenock Telegraph shows that the ball was, quite conclusively, over the line. Referee Steven Nicholls later explained that he didn't give the goal because Morton players didn't claim for it. I also found it strange that our players didn't seem too annoyed but that still shouldn't be the basis on which a referee makes a decision. My brother later informed me that Allan Jenkins was warming up behind the goal at the time and made a hand gesture to the Morton bench that suggested the ball was well over the line.

The players quickly shrugged off the disappointment and got back on the front foot. This refusal to feel sorry for themsleves was rewarded when we scored from a similar situation minutes later. It was the sixtieth minute that Masterton put over a corner from the opposite side, Dominic Shimmin flicked on and Wake strecthed to hook a shot into the top corner from close range.

We really should have put the game to bed five minutes later but this time it was Iain Russell who turned sinner. Jim McAlister won possession and burst forward. The winger went to pass to Wake but his pass was woefully underweighted and this seemed to take the impetus from the move. However, Wake recovered the situation with an excellent pass that put Iain Russell one-on-one with Gallacher. The former Brechin man took some time to compose himself and then with the goal at his mercy he blazed his finish high and wide at the near post. Russell seemed to have a lot of time to pick his spot which made his decision to take his shot on his weaker left foot inexplicable. The angle begged for the Russell to curl a right-footed effort round Gallacher and into the far corner. Why he thrashed at the ball with his left I'll never know.

You just knew that those three sitters would come back to haunt us and they did with only one minute left on the clock. The goal is bit muddled in my head but what I remember is a Dunfermline player skinning Ryan Harding and unleashing a cross-cum-shot that Kevin Cuthbert somehow managed to push up onto the bar. Chris Smith came charging in to clear put flew over the top of the ball. This left Ryan Campbell - on loan at Dunfermline from Hibs - with a tap in at the back post.

Dunfermline had a couple of chances to win it at the end but the Morton defence held firm for a point.

It's easy to point at the referee in this sort of situation as his decision was shocking but you also have to look at the chances we missed. If McAlister, Wake or Russell put their chances away the disallowed goal wouldn't have mattered. These hard luck stories are exactly the sort of things you often hear coming from the manager and players whose team have played well but failed to win and whose teams often find themselves relegated at the end of the season.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. Walker - 7
3. Smith - 8
4. Shimmin - 8
5. Paartalu - 7
6. Harding (c) - 6
7. Russell - 6 (12. Jenkins - 84 mins)
8. Masterton - 7
9. Wake - 6
10. Weatherson - 7
11. McAlister - 8

Subs Not Used:

14. Finlayson
15. McManus
16. McAnespie
20. McWilliams

Booked: Paartalu

Walker Shimmin Harding Smith
Russell Masterton Paartalu McAlister
Wake Weatherson

Dunfermline: Gallacher, Scott Thomson, Wilson (Woods 21), Phinn (Campbell 74), Shields, McCann, Harper (Wiles 64), Glass, Bayne, Kirk, Burke.

Subs Not Used: Bell, Reidford.

Booked: Glass, Woods.

My man of the match: Jim McAlister

Sponsor's man of the match: Jim McAlister

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

Tontastic Pictures

dafc.co.uk match report

dafc.co.uk match reaction

Sunday Mail match report


McAlister Wants More Goals

Jim McAlister scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday night and now he wants to add to his tally. The midfielder told the Greenock Telegraph's Russell Steele: “I got six last season and hopefully I can go on now and get more goals. It’s easier when you have a bit more freedom to get forward like I did the other night.”

Going by the article McAlister seemed to relish the space he was given and expanded on this by saying: “It’s actually a bit easier [playing against an SPL side]. You get more time on the ball and can go and express yourself. It’s not 100 miles an hour, and it’s more enjoyable. You feel you have a point to prove in every game, but maybe even more so against an SPL side.”

Hopefully his goal on Tuesday is the first of many this season

Greenock Telegraph - McAlister sets his sights on Pars defence (25.09.2008)


Gowzer Frustrated At Parkhead

In an article in today's Scottish Sun Paul McGowan - the Celtic striker who spent a very successful year on loan at Morton during season 2006/07 - has told of his frustration at his lack of first team football at Parkhead.

McGowan told The Sun's Paul Hughes: “It’s frustrating because all I want to do is play first-team football. I thought I did well during the summer but now I’ve gone back to reserve football and I’ve got to just accept that. It’s hard though because a couple of years ago I was playing with Morton and I was scoring goals in the first team every week. All I can do is keep scoring goals and hope the manager notices me but I’ve got to be realistic."

I know his loan spell ended over a year ago but I still believe there's a chance he'll end up at Cappielow. Douglas Rae seemed determined to secure his signature and made a couple of substantial bids that were rejected by Celtic. In his programme notes the following week Rae said that he would wait until McGowan's contract expired and then bring him to Cappielow. I also spoke to McGowan at the supporter's title party in the Sports Centre after the last game of the season and he said he really hoped Celtic would let him join Morton.

One of the major stumbling blocks could be that his stock has risen in the time between his loan spell ending and the present day. It would be more than likely that we would face stiff opposition for his signature. However, I cling to the hope that the fact he enjoyed his time at Morton could swing it in our favour as he's exactly the type of player we need right now.

In his season with Morton Paul's record in all competitions was: 43 starts, 1 substitute appearance, 16 goals. He was nominated for the 2006/07 SPFA 2nd Division Player of the Year.

The Scottish Sun - Mac hates being held in reserve (24.09.2008)

Paul McGowan profile


Morton 1 - 2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle

Morton 1 - McAlister (34)
Inverness Caledonian Thistle 2 - Hastings (79), Imrie (111)

Att: 2023

Richard Hasting's equaliser ten minutes from time and Dougie Imrie's extra-time volley sent Morton crashing out of the Co-Op cup.

Davie Irons decided to revert back to the 4-5-1 formation he's used in recent weeks. This meant that Iain Russell moved to the right wing and Kevin Finlayson was back on the bench.

So far this season Morton have been something of a cup team. We can't win in the league but always seem to rise to the occasion in the cup - the performance and result in the previous round seemed to epitomise this. We matched Hibs throughout and showed tremendous resilience to come back from 3-2 down to win 4-3 in extra-time. On Tuesday night we matched another SPL team but this team the main reason for that is that they weren't up to much either.

Our opening goal semed to take everyone by surprise. Not because it was against an SPL team or against the run of play or scored by a defender who never scores but because it came from one of Erik Paartalu's long throws. These throws looked like they could become a potent attacking weapon for us but over time it became evident that we weren't taking advantage of them - until Tuesday. Erik hurled the ball in from out on the right, Brian Wake flicked it on and Jim McAlister arrived just in time to stick out a knee to knock the ball past Ryan Esson.

After we took the lead I expected Caley to come right at us looking for a quick equaliser but the expected pressure didn't materialise. The Morton box belonged to Dominic Shimmin; the former Arsenal defender had everything under control.

Instead of capitalising on our lead we reverted to type and started aiming hopeless long balls at Brian Wake; who for all his hard work just doesn't have the ability to make the ball stick and allow people to get up in support. In saying that the problem isn't Wake, the long balls are the problem and that's where the manager comes in. Does he actually send his team out with instructions to hit Wakey as early as possible no matter where they are? After the Queen Of The South game Irons asked the fans to be patient but I think it's getting to the stage that patience is running out. Mine's certainly is but I'm not the kind of guy they need to worry about - I'll be there regardless - what they have to worry about are the floating fans who aren't going to waste their hard earned cash watching a team humping long balls to a lone striker.

Caley showed up our defensive frailties with an equaliser ten minutes from time. Ross Tokely advanced down Morton's left and easily evaded Ryan McGuffie's half hearted attempt at a block earning him the bit of space he needed to cross to fellow full-back Richard Hastings to nod home. The goal was a carbon copy of Partick Thistle's opener on Saturday and like that goal the defending at the back post was woeful.

The Canadian international's goal sent the game to extra-time. This was as uneventful as the regulation 90 minutes and the game appeared to be heading to a penalty shoot out until one time Morton target Dougie Imrie volleyed Adam Rooney's neat knock down past Kevin Cuthbert. Game, set and match.

My match report might be a little harsh as we were only ten minutes away from another cup win against another SPL team but the style of football we play would, in the words of friend of mine, get football stopped. Add the shocking football to a lack of results and I think it's easy to understand the negativity. However, I'll end on a positive note by saying well done to Jim McAlister, Dominic Shimmin and Kevin Cuthbert who are three players who can really hold their heads up high after their performances on Tuesday.

Morton (4-5-1):

1. Cuthbert - 8
2. Walker - 6
3. Smith - 7
4. Shimmin - 8
5. Paartalu - 6
6. Harding (c) - 6
7. McGuffie - 6 (16. Finlayson - 81 mins)
8. Masterton - 7 (12. Jenkins - 75 mins)
9. Wake - 6
10. Russell - 6 (14. Weatherson - 85 mins)
11. McAlister - 8

Subs Not Used:

15. McManus
20. McWilliams

Booked: Paartalu

Walker Shimmin Harding Smith
Russell Masterton Paartalu McGuffie McAlister

Inverness C.T.: Esson, Tokely, Munro, Cowie (Vigurs 70), Richard Hastings, Duncan, Duff, Black (Rooney 90), Imrie, Wood, McAllister (Wilson 45).

Subs Not Used: Djebi-Zadi, Fraser.

Booked: Tokely, Wood.

My man of the match: Kevin Cuthbert

Sponsor's man of the match: Jim McAlister

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC Highlights (From 0:33 onwards)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

Tontastic Pictures

ictfc.premiumtv.co.uk match report

ictfc.premiumtv.co.uk match reaction


I'm On Setanta Sports

Last night I watched Kettering Town play Burton Albion in the Blue Square Premier. The match was live on Setanta Sports and featured Jon Newby - who is currently on loan at Burton from Morton.

Newby started the match - his second start in a row - but didn't offer much. He was substituted in the 62nd minute shortly after putting a header wide of the post.

Since joining Burton Jon has made three substitute appearances (versus Wrexham, Stevenage and Weymouth) and two starts(versus Rushden & Diamonds and Kettering), he is yet to score.

His loan deal expires in January.

Jon Newby profile

Jon Newby - Burton Albion profile


Partick Thistle 2 - 1 Morton

Partick Thistle 2 - Harkins (37), Maxwell (66)
Morton 1 - Russell (44)

Att: 3368

Played seven, won none, drew three, lost four - unacceptable Davie.

Morton attempted to build on recent results against Queen Of The South by lining up with a 4-4-1-1. The difference from the recent 4-5-1 was that Iain Russell played in behind Brian Wake, in a slightly withdrawn role, rather than on the right of midfield. Kevin Finlayson took Russell's place on the right and Allan Jenkins' place in the starting line-up.

As you will have read elsewhere we were okay in the first-half. We didn't look any better or worse than Thistle but that isn't saying much. The Jags might be up challenging but they were a poor outfit which makes the defeat all the more depressing. Week in, week out we are treated to appalling football. The sum of which seems to be long balls up to Brian Wake or even more annoyingly to no one. There's no creativity, no ideas, no pace, no one prepared to take responsibility and nothing that could be described as good football.

In the last two matches we have kept two cleansheets and the manager seemed convinced that if we remained solid at the back we could take confidence from it and start getting it right at the other end. However, if we defend like we did at the first goal we could have Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Fernando Torres up front and we'd still lose matches. Mark Roberts picked the ball up on the left where Alex Walker should have been but he was posted missing - as he was most of the match - as a result Dominic Shimmin came across to cover but couldn't get close enough to Roberts. This gave the former Kilmarnock and Airdrie man enough time and space to clip a ball to the back post where Greenock boy Gary Harkins arrived unmarked to nod home an easy header.

As I said we probably didn't deserve to go in behind so Iain Russell's equaliser in the 44th minute made sure the half-time score was a fair reflection of the game. Alex Walker clipped the ball in from the right and it landed perfectly for Iain Russell to take a touch and smash the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

The second half was worse. It was one of the most disjointed and disorganised Morton performances I've seen in... well I was going to say a long time but the Airdrie game was only a couple of weeks ago. The midfield was non-existent - Erik Paartalu might as well have been on the bench - and the only reason we weren't treated to another Airdrie fiasco was thanks to a great performance from Dominic 'The Dominator' Shimmin. The big Englishman was outstanding and must be asking himself what he's doing playing at this level.

Ex-St. Mirren defender Ian Maxwell headed home what turned out to be the winner in the 66th minute. Maxwell arrived unmarked at the back post to head a Stephen McKeown corner past Cuthbert. In his post match analysis Davie Irons said: “One of our players has been allocated to pick up their scorer Maxwell. He gives me excuse that he’s dragged to the ball. I say, that’s not your job; your job is to ensure Maxwell does not get a head to it. He’s not done it." I don't like the way Irons passes the buck, often blaming his players publicly, but his assessment appears to be correct. Looking at Tontastic's pictures (see picture below, click to enlarge) it looks as if Erik Paartalu has let Maxwell go and Iain Russell has had to come off the post to try and stop him from scoring. Whoever it was it was criminal defending.

Iain Russell had a chance to equalise shortly afterwards but dragged his shot wide when the ball fell to him six yards from goal. He really should have scored but I don't like to criticise him too much because he was one of our only decent performers on the day and over the season so far.

For me, one specific moment encapsulated the drastic situation we find ourselves in at the moment. We were given a free-kick right on the edge of the box and Davie Irons almost had a heart attack trying to get the linesman's attention so he could get Stevie Masterton on to take the free-kick. It was also sad to note that Masterton taking a free-kick on the edge of the box was about the only thing that created a buzz in the Morton end all afternoon such was the lack of excitement generated by our general performance in open play. We are a boring, stuffy long ball team and the football we are serving up explains the fact that crowds at Cappielow are dropping significantly. People will point to the credit crunch but no other first division team's crowds have droppped quite like Morton's.

This simply isn't good enough and if we don't begin to show a drastic improvement very soon Davie Irons will start to come under some heavy pressure from the fans and the Chairman - if he isn't already.

Morton (4-4-1-1):

1. Cuthbert - 6
2. Walker - 4 (12. Jenkins - 75 mins)
3. Smith - 6
4. Shimmin - 8
5. Paartalu - 5 (16. Masterton - 75 mins)
6. Harding (c) - 6
7. Finlayson - 6 (14. Weatherson - 66 mins)
8. McGuffie - 6
9. Wake - 6
10. Russell - 7
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

15. McManus
20. McWilliams [Trialist]

Booked: Walker, Harding

Walker Shimmin Harding Smith
Finlayson McGuffie Paartalu McAlister

Partick Thistle: Tuffey, John Robertson, Twaddle, Storey, Kinniburgh, Maxwell, McKeown, Rowson, Gray (Donnelly 46), Roberts (McKinlay 75), Harkins (Chaplain 64). Subs Not Used: Hinchcliffe, Turner.

Subs Not Used: Hinchcliffe, Turner.

Booked: Rowson.

My man of the match: Dominic Shimmin

Sponsor's man of the match: Ian Maxwell (Partick Thistle)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

Greenock Telegraph match reaction

BBC match report

Tontastic Pictures

ptfc.co.uk match report


Live Match Announced

BBC Alba have announced that they have chosen the Partick Thistle versus Airdrie United semi-final as their live match.

Ross County manager Derek Adams had said that he thought the Ross County versus Morton semi-final had a good chance of being the live match because the Gaelic language is strong in Dingwall and the Black Isle. Those in charge at the channel must've decided that the other semi-final would draw a larger viewing audience.

SFL - Alba Challenge Cup


Supporters' Trust Donate £2500 To Youth Development Fund

The Greenock Morton Supporters' Trust recently donated £2500 towards the Morton Youth Development fund. The money was raised by the fans' game played on the 17th of May.

The presentation was made prior to Saturday's match versus Queen Of The South. Trust board member Bryan Purdue is pictured handing the cheque to under-19s manager, and current player, Allan McManus. The report pictured appeared on the back page of Monday's Greenock Telegraph.

For more information on our youth teams check the links in the side bar of this site.


Shimmin Voted August Player Of The Month

Dominic Shimmin (pictured) has been voted Morton's star man for August by readers of this website.

The English defender's impressive start to the season earned him 28% of the vote - 12 votes out of 42 - to take what I feel will be one of many player of the month awards this season.

Iain Russell wasn't far behind in second place with 21% of the vote (9 out of 42). Ryan McGuffie was third with 14% (6 out of 42).

The full results were as follows:

Kevin Cuthbert - 0 (0%)
Colin Stewart - 0 (0%)
Alex Walker - 0 (0%)
Dominic Shimmin - 12 (28%)
Stewart Greacen - 0 (0%)
Allan McManus - 1 (2%)
Ryan Harding - 1 (2%)
Alan Reid - 1 (2%)
Kevin Finlayson - 0 (0%)
Ryan McGuffie - 6 (14%)
Erik Paartalu - 3 (7%)
Steven Masterton - 1 (2%)
Allan Jenkins - 0 (0%)
Jim McAlister - 2 (4%)
Brian Wake - 5 (11%)
Iain Russell - 9 (21%)
Jon Newby - 0 (0%)
Peter Weatherson - 1 (2%)

Total Votes: 42


Morton 0 - 0 Queen Of The South

Morton 0 -
Queen Of The South 0 -

Att: 2235

Look on the bright side - two successive clean sheets against one of the best teams in the league after a 5-0 mauling against Airdrie is progress. However, this type of performance is hardly going to halt the steady decline in attendances at Cappielow.

Davie Irons stuck with the 4-5-1 that was so successful at Palmerston last week. There were only two changes from the previous week: Allan Jenkins replaced Stevie Masterton in the starting line up and Troy McKerrell - an Under-19 player - took Jenkins' place on the bench.

Morton didn't offer much in the first forty-five as we spent it camped in our own half with ten men behind the ball. The defence were defending so deep they were practically on top of Kevin Cuthbert whereas the Queens defensive line was so high they were passing the ball about on the half-way line. It was boring to watch and depressing to witness a Morton team playing such a cautious game at home to a team in the same division.

Queen Of The South's best effort on goal came from Stevie Tosh. The former Gretna man hit the post with a great effort and the Morton defence scrambled clear. Stephen Dobbie had a couple of long range shots at goal but they weren't good enough to beat Cuthbert. For all their possession the Dumfries men were finding it hard to get behind the deep lying 'Ton defence.

The second half began the same way the first half had ended but three elements combined to spark Morton into life for the last half hour: Iain Russell started driving at opponents, Stevie Tosh was sent off and Kevin Finlayson came on as a sub. Our best efforts were a Dominic Shimmin header, that went just wide, from a Jim McAlister corner and an Iain Russell shot that skimmed off the top of the bar and over. Russell's strike came at the end of run in which he drove directly at opponents leaving two or three trailing in his wake. Russell appears to be settling into life in the first division. His attacking play has been one of our biggest positives this season. Well done Iain.

Like Queens we couldn't convert our chances and the game finished goalless. It wasn't a bad point in the scheme of things but there is still cause for concern when we have to play so defensively at home. Dougie Rae has asked for us to bring a friend but with this sort of football on show you'd struggle to get people with season tickets to turn up.

Morton (4-5-1):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. Walker - 6
3. Smith - 6 (12. Weatherson - 81 mins)
4. Shimmin - 7
5. Paartalu - 6
6. Harding (c) - 6
7. McGuffie - 7
8. Jenkins - 6 (14. Finlayson - 58 mins
9. Wake - 7
10. Russell - 8
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

15. McAnespie
16. McKerrell
20. Stewart

Booked: Walker

Walker Shimmin Harding Smith
Russell McGuffie Paartalu Jenkins McAlister

Queen Of The South: Bell, Parratt (McGowan 76), Thomson, MacFarlane, Barr, Sives, McQuilken, Tosh, Kean, Dobbie, Burns.

Subs Not Used: Robertson, Weatherston, Simmons, Halliwell.

Booked: Sives, Bell, Tosh, Barr, McGowan

Sent Off: Tosh (69).

My man of the match: Iain Russell

Sponsor's man of the match: Kevin Cuthbert

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

Greenock Telegraph match reaction

BBC match report

Tontastic Pictures

qosfc.com match report


Good Chance Of Being Alba's Live Match

Ross County manager Derek Adams (pictured, left) believes that there is a good chance that the Challenge Cup semi-final between his side and Morton will be shown live on BBC Alba.

Adams is quoted in a snippet in yesterday's Daily Star as saying: "With the Gaelic language so strong in our community we should be in with a good shout of being the live match."

If Adams is correct it will be the first time a Morton match has been live on TV since Sky Sports showed our Scottish Cup Quarter-Final tie against Celtic at Cappielow on the 3rd of March 1999.


Bobby Collins

I was extremely saddened to learn - after reading Stuart Cosgrove's column in yesterday's Daily Record - that Bobby Collins (pictured, left), the former Morton, Celtic, Leeds and Everton legend, is suffering from dementia.

Cosgrove penned the article after meeting Joe Jordan who had recently visited Collins in a Leeds nursing home. Tragically, the illness is at such a stage that Collins did not even know that his visitor was the man who he played with at Cappielow and who he catipulted to stardom by recommending him to Leeds manager Don Revie.

I'm too young to have seen Collins play but got a little bit of an understanding of how respected he was after reading a biography - Bobby Collins: The Wee Barra - by David Saffer. However, I probably learned more by reading Joe Jordan's autobiography in which he's full of praise for the man he described as 'his hero'.

Although I didn't score, I got involved in a move that resulted in a goal for Collins, my hero and, as it soon turn out, the man who put in the word that carried me to where I had always wanted to be, at the top of the professional game. Collins lashed in the goal from close range (pictured, below), and in his body language at that moment of triumph you could see that, even at that late stage of his career, all his passion for football and the hard edge of competitiveness were in full working order. Collins played Sunday football into his sixties. Only age could interfere with his rage to play - and to win.

(Joe Jordan on Bobby Collins)

The Daily Record - Stuart Cosgrove: Time We Looked After Guys Who Earned Pittance

Bobby Collins: The Wee Barra


The Tie No One Wanted

Morton have been drawn to play Ross County at Victoria Park in the semi-finals of the Alba Challenge Cup. The tie will be played on Sunday 12th of October - the day after Scotland play Norway at Hampden.

The other semi-final sees Airdrie United travel to play Partick Thistle. It's likely that this will be the tie BBC Alba ( a newly launched Gaelic language channel; 168 on Sky Digital) decide to use as their live match.

SFL - The ALBA Challenge Cup - Semi-Finals


It's A Long, Long Way To Dingwall

The draw for the semi-finals of the Alba Challenge Cup will be made on Thursday and 'Ton manager Davie Irons only wants to avoid one tie - a trip to Dingwall to face Ross County.

He told the Evening Times' Bert Mitchell: "I guess the one tie you don't want is Ross County away. But if we maintain the form we showed at Queens we have a chance whoever we get."

Morton have played four cup ties so far this season and all four have been away from home. I suspect most Morton fans will echo the manager's sentiments.

Evening Times - Irons points way for Morton (08.09.2008)


Queen Of The South 0 - 2 Morton

Queen Of The South 0 -
Morton 2 - Wake (48), McGuffie (77)

Att: 2991

Brian Wake and Ryan McGuffie both scored to send Morton into the Challenge Cup semi-finals for the fourth season in a row.

This win was a perfect response to last week's shocker at Airdrie. The mannner of the 5-0 defeat must've given Irons plenty of food for thought and was probably the main reason that he brought in Chris Smith and went with a four at the back at Palmerston today. Alex Walker and Smith were the full-backs with Dominic Shimmin and Ryan Harding in the centre. Ryan McGuffie moved inside as Iain Russell dropped back to play wide right leaving Brian Wake up front himself in what turned out to be a four-five-one formation.

The first half was a bit of a non-event. Queens probably dominated possession but only had one real shot on goal when Stephen Dobbie turned quickly and smashed an effort at goal but Cuthbert saved well. After last week's result 0-0 at half-time was a big improvement, the back four were solid and didn't look as if they would give much away.

We started the second half brightly and took the lead after only three minutes. McGuffie drove forward and attempted to play Wake in behind the Queens' defence. His first attempt was blocked but he got it right second time. Wake collected the pass, composed himself and drilled a great strike past Cammy Bell and into the far corner.

McGuffie made it two in 77th minute. Erik Paartalu gave the former Newcastle and Gretna man the ball just inside the box on the left hand side of the pitch (down towards the away fans) and, in a very similar manner to Wakey, Ryan took a touch to compose himself and then curled a beauty into Bell's top right hand corner. For someone who wasn't there think Lee McCulloch's goal for Scotland versus the Ukraine.

Queens are one of the form teams in the division and to go to Palmerston and win while keeping a clean sheet and scoring a couple of cracking goals is a great achievement for any team never mind a team who were beaten five-nil the previous week. If we stick with the back four I think we can finally take our cup form into the league and start moving up the table.

The semi-final draw will see us matched with one of Partick Thistle, Airdrie United or Ross County for a place in the final. Surely after three successive semi-final defeats we can make it fourth time lucky and get to the final for the first time since we lost to Hamilton Accies in 1992.

Morton (4-5-1):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. Walker - 7
3. Smith - 8
4. Shimmin - 8
5. Paartalu - 7
6. Harding (c) - 7
7. McGuffie - 8
8. Masterton - 6 (12. Jenkins - 64 mins)
9. Wake - 7 (14. Weatherson - 87 mins)
10. Russell - 7 (15. Finlayson - 87 mins)
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

16. McAnespie
20. Stewart

Booked: McGuffie

Walker Shimmin Harding Smith
Russell McGuffie Paartalu Masterton McAlister

Queen Of The South: Bell, Parratt, Barr, Sives, Aitken (Weatherston 52), McQuilken, MacFarlane (Robertson 65), Tosh, Burns (Simmons 75), Kean, Dobbie.

Subs Not Used: Halliwell, McGowan.

Booked: Robertson, McQuilken.

My man of the match: Ryan McGuffie

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Team Sheet(Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

Tontastic Pictures

qosfc.com match report


Chris Smith Finally Signs

Morton have announced the signing of former Rangers defender Chris Smith (pictured).

The centre-half was on trial with the club for most of pre-season and featured in matches against Threave, Tow Law, Durham, Ayr, Hartlepool and Dumbarton.

Juniors - as he is known - was a part of the Rangers Reserves and under-19s team last season.

gmfc.net - player news

bbc.co.uk - Morton sign ex-Ibrox player Smith

Chris Smith profile


Trialist / Weatherson / Co-Op Cup

A few updates from today's papers:

Davie Irons hasn't revealed the identity of the trialist who played against Partick Thistle in midweek but did tell the Greenock Telegraph's Roger Graham that he'd be having another look at him: “He’s a lad from London who has played at Reading. We’ll have another look at him next week.”

In the same article Roger Graham tells us that Peter Weatherson will no longer be used in defence. Irons said: “We’ll be looking on Peter as a striker as opposed to a defender. He has been a bit of a jack of all trades and that maybe hasn’t been helpful to his performance.”

Finally, both today's Tele' and The Scottish Sun reveal that Morton have been named Team of the Round for the second round of the Co-Operative Insurance Cup after beating Hibs 4-3. We were also given the award in the previous round for our 6-3 win against Stranraer.

Iain Russell (pictured, with the award) tells The Sun's Paul Hughes that beating Hibs was the best moment in his career and that he feels he has only now adapted to life in the first division and is proving he can cut it at this level: “Beating Hibs at Easter Road was easily the best night of my career. To go to such a big club and perform on that stage was brilliant and I was buzzing after it.

"I feel like I’m proving myself at this level now. It took time to adjust to the First Division and full-time football again but I’m happy how I’m doing."

Greenock Telegraph - Morton are ready (05.09.2008)

The Scottish Sun - Dream team in nightmare (05.09.2008)


Closed Doors Draw With Thistle

Morton drew 2-2 with Partick Thistle in a closed doors game at Cappielow yesterday.

Thistle took a two goal lead with goals from Mark Roberts and Damon Gray. Peter Weatherson (pictured, in action against Thistle last October) and the trialist scored to clinch the draw.

According to chrissiboi ( a reliable poster on the unofficial messageboard) Morton lined up as follows:

Mitchell McManus Smith Under-19 Player
Jenkins McGeough Under-19 Player McAnespie
Weatherson Trialist

Thistle went with: Craig Hinchcliffe, Pedram Ardalany, Kevin McKinlay, John Robertson, Michael Robertson, Ricky Little, Ryan McStay, Chris Turner, Graeme Eaglesham, Mark Roberts, Damon Gray

Subs: Scott Tully, Ross McGeough, Philip Middlemiss and Ryan Scully.


Caley Thistle Date Confirmed

Morton have confirmed that we will play our Co-Op Cup tie with Inverness Caley Thistle on Tuesday the 23rd of September. The match will kick-off at 7.45pm.



Newby Joins Burton On Loan

Morton striker Jon Newby (pictured) has moved to Blue Square Premier side Burton Albion on a loan deal that expires in January.

The news was first mentioned on Burton's official website at 8pm this evening and was later confirmed minutes before the transfer window closed on BBC radio Scotland's 'Through The Window' programme.

Davie Irons told http://www.gmfc.net/: "John has gone to Burton Albion on loan until the beginning of January. It was agreed by both parties that things hadn't worked out the way we would have liked since he came to Morton."

Derek Collins elaborated on what Irons said when he told the Greenock Telegraph's Steven McArthur the following: "At the moment Jon feels that he needs to be playing every week, and at Morton no-one is guaranteed a starting place. It is an opportunity for him to play every week, and the travelling had become an issue as well."

Newby has made five starts, two substitute appearances and scored one goal - against Clyde on the opening day - this season. He was an unused substitute in Saturday's match at Airdrie.


www.burtonalbionfc.co.uk - Clough Targets Newby Loan

Greenock Telegraph - Burton snap up ace Newby (02.09.2008)

Jon Newby Profile


Inverness Caley At Home

Morton have been drawn at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the 3rd round of the Co-Operative Insurance Cup.

The tie will be played on either Tuesday 23rd or Wednesday 24th September.

The full draw was as follows:

Dundee United v Airdrie United
Partick Thistle v Rangers
Motherwell v Hamilton Academical
Morton v Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Falkirk v Queen Of The South
Kilmarnock v Aberdeen
Celtic v Livingston
Dunfermline Athletic v St. Mirren

Co-Operative Insurance Cup 3rd Round Draw

Airdrie United 5 - 0 Morton

Airdrie United 5 - McLaughlin (13, 26), Di Giacomo (36), Nixon (59), Lynch (63)
Morton 0 -

Att: 1793

Match report to follow...

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Cuthbert - 4 (20. Stewart - 16 mins - 4)
2. Shimmin - 6 (12. Jenkins - 55 mins)
3. Weatherson - 3 (16. Reid [Trialist] - 39 mins - 6)
4. McManus - 3
5. Paartalu - 5
6. Harding - 3
7. McGuffie - 5
8. Masterton - 6
9. Wake - 6
10. Russell - 7
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

14. Newby
15. McAnespie

Booked: Shimmin, McAlister

Sent Off: McManus (88)

Harding McManus Weatherson
McGuffie Paartalu Masterton McAlister
Russell Wake

Airdrie United: Robertson, Smyth, Hazley, McDonald (Brown 74), Bobby Donnelly, Nixon, McDougall (Cardle 64), McKenna, Di Giacomo, McLaughlin, Lynch, Cardle (Smith 70).

Subs Not Used: Noble, Hollis.

My man of the match: Paul Di Giacomo (Airdrie United)

Sponsor's man of the match: Scott McLaughlin (Airdrie United)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

BBC match report

Tontastic Pictures

airdrieunitedfc.com match report

Sunday Mail match report