Partick Thistle 1 - 0 Morton

Partick Thistle 1 - Doolan (49)
Morton 0 -

Att: 3348

A single goal, scored by Thistle's January signing Kris Doolan, was enough to settle this abysmal match.

Davie Irons went with the same line up that earned a 0-0 draw with St. Johnstone at Cappielow on the 31st of January. The only changes were on the bench as James Grady returned after almost 2 months out with a damaged medial ligament and Under-19s reserve goalkeeper Kieran Cannon was listed as the back up for Kevin Cuthbert.

This poor excuse for a football match only sparked into life in the last five minutes of the first half. In the 40th minute Morton almost scored when a Stewart Greacen - one of only three players I'd give pass marks to; the others being Cuthbert and Shimmin - header came back off the post. However, Thistle just about had the better of the first half (not really an achievement to be proud of) and came closest to scoring right on half time when Greenock-born Gary Harkins forced an excellent save from Kevin Cuthbert. Harkins met a Paul Paton corner but Cuthbert got down well to push it away with two arms.

So after an appalling first half the teams went in 0-0 at half-time.

Some fans around me contemplated leaving to go to the pub as it was a punishment to watch the drivel both teams were serving up but most stayed in the hope the second half would pick up. However, it only took 4 second half minutes for them to head for the exits when a move involving Liam Buchanan and Stephen McKeown presented a chance to Doolan who fired the ball past Cuthbert to score his 3rd goal in 6 games since signing from junior side Auchinleck Talbot.

Kevin Finlayson had the ball in the net in the 64th minute but the linesman's flag had been up for a while and those who did celebrate quickly realised the goal wouldn't count. I'm afraid this disallowed goal - and a decent long range shot from the same player - were the highlight of our second half.

Those who spout nonsense saying the first division is the best in Scotland would do well to go to matches like this one. Then they'd realise that the league is only tight and competitive because most of the teams are terrible. I watched Airdrie against Clyde on BBC Alba on Sunday and this was another borefest with a standard of football that wouldn't look out of place in a pub league.

As a Morton fan it is doubly frustrating because we actually play a long ball game that makes the Wimbledon sides of the 1980s and 1990s look like Brazil. In last month's FourFourTwo magazine an article called 'Hooooof! The Long View Of Direct Football' analyses long ball tactics. The article concludes by saying:

"For the truth of the long ball football, as of any tactical system, is neither that it is evil nor that it is a panacea: it simply is effective only with the right players and in the right curcumstances."
This is our whole problem; the circumstances might be right but we don't have the right players (being tall isn't enough) and we don't play long ball football with any direction or purpose therefore the system is ineffective. The defence hoofs aimless long balls up at Brian Wake who cannot win a header and Peter Weatherson who refuses to jump. Even if one of those two does win a header Ryan McGuffie and Stevie Masterton haven't bothered to get up in support looking for knockdowns or defensive clearances. The evidence that our football is ineffective lies in the league table. Crowds are on the wane as people wont pay the extorionate first division prices to watch shocking long ball football, a style that isn't even proving effective, during a credit crunch. In my opinion it's time Irons changed his footballing philosophy or leaves Cappielow as I for one am sick to the back teeth of watching his team. TTG?

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Cuthbert - 7
2. Walker - 6
3. Smith - 5 (16. Grady - 64 mins)
4. Shimmin - 7
5. Greacen (c) - 7
6. Masterton - 5
7. Finlayson - 6
8. McGuffie - 4 (14. Paartalu - 71 mins)
9. Weatherson - 6
10. Wake - 5 (15. Russell - 79 mins)
11. McAlister - 6

Subs Not Used:

12. McManus
20. Cannon

Booked: Finlayson

Walker Greacen Shimmin Smith
Finlayson Masterton McGuffie McAlister
Weatherson Wake

Partick Thistle: Tuffey, Paton, Storey, Robertson, Archibald, Twaddle, McKeown (Chaplain 76), Rowson, Harkins, Buchanan (McKinlay 67), Doolan (Donnelly 86).

Subs Not Used: Kinniburgh, Hinchcliffe.

My man of the match: Dominic Shimmin

Sponsor's man of the match: Kris Doolan

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

BBC match report

The Greenock Telegraph - match report

The Greenock Telegraph - match reaction

The Scottish Sun - match report

The Daily Record - match report

ptfc.co.uk - match report

Tontastic pictures

1 comment:

mortonjag said...

It's very frustrating, it's very sad, and the ultimate losers (as always with Morton under the Rae Dynasty) are the loyal supporters. Mr Rae has had his own record of taking them for a ride, but Davie Irons' cynical attempts to save his own neck really 'take the biscuit'.

Undoubtedly time for him to move elsewhere.