Morton 2 - 0 Dundee

Morton 2 - Weatherson (29, 79)
Dundee 0 -

Att: 2133

Morton continued their gradual rise up the first division table with a decent win at home to a Dundee side who look good on paper but not so good on grass.

Davie Irons only changes to the team that drew with Ross County were Ryan McGuffie's and Brian Wake's inclusions at Erik Paartalu's and James Grady's expense. New signing Carlo Monti took a place on the bench. I thought Iain Russell earned a start with his performance at Dingwall two weeks previously so I was surprised to see him start on the bench.

The Dens Park side started the match sharper than the home team and came close in the 21st minute when Paul McHale's shot struck the crossbar after Alex Walker had cleared Mickael Antoine-Curier's shot off the line. However, this was about the best Dundee could muster in the opening period and from then on Morton took over.

We should've took the lead just 5 minutes later but Brian Wake missed the first of three excellent chances he had over the course of the match. Rab Douglas spilled a Stevie Masterton free-kick and Wakey was on hand to pick up any scraps however he somehow managed to hook the ball across the line and past the far post with the goal at his mercy. If a defender had made the challenge you would have been shocked he could actually get the ball across goal and past the far post from that position.

Wake atoned for the miss minutes later when he won possession and combined with Jim McAlister down the left. McAlister manufactured enough space to whip over a lovely left footed cross that the new-and-improved Peter Weatherson bulleted past Douglas with a flashing header. It was really encouraging to see Jimbo get past his marker towards the bye-line and whip over a left footed cross instead of cuttingback onto his right foot and delivering a cross that more often that not ends up in the goalkeepers hands or sailing out for a goal kick. Jim has acknowledged he needs to work on his goalscoring (“It’s one area of my game I need to improve. I’ve not scored enough.”) but I feel that his crossing with his left foot was also a problem - maybe Saturday is an indication that he has also been working on this aspect of his game. This goal proved to be the last main action of the half so we went into the interval with a well deserved one goal lead.

Just like in the first half Dundee started the second half brightly and looked for all the world as if they would equalise 7 minutes into the second half. Colin McMenamin got away from his marker in the box and chipped the ball over Cuthbert from an acute angle. The chip sailed over the keeper but didn' t look as if it would hit the net however it did look to be dropping perfectly for the onrushing Antoine-Curier to force over the line. Allan McManus had tracked his run but looked as if he was stuck under the ball and that Dundee's Guadeloupe international had the momentum to knock the ball over the line yet McManus somehow managed to beat his opponent and successfully header the ball over the bar from a position that appeared to be right under the bar. This one incident sums up the excellent impact McManus has made in the last few months after a dodgy start to his 'Ton career.

McMenamin was involved in Dundee's next goalscoring chance but with only Cuthbert to beat he smashed the ball wildly into the Wee Dublin End benches at the Morton keeper's near post. If he'd remained composed he might've remembered Andy Gray's mantra about always going across the keeper, if he did Dundee might well have equalised - luckily for us he bottled it and you could see from his face that he knew he should've done much better.

As aforementioned Wakey had three excellent chances. The second of those three came in the 60th minute; it wasn't a goalscoring chance as such but more of an opportunity that should've resulted in a good goalscoring chance. Jenkins put Wake away down the left but the shaggy haired striker was slow and cumbersome in possession and when he finally got it out from his feet he attempted to cut inside Eric Paton - who our manager and players seem to rate as Dundee's best player - but he was dispossessed with ease and the chance came to nothing.

He had an even better chance seven minutes later. Weatherson controlled Cuthbert's punt and laid the ball into Jenkins' path for a shot. However, Jenkins swung his foot at the ball and only managed to connect with fresh air, as a fortunate consequence the ball ran on to the unmarked Wake. The Englishman tried to use the inside of his right foot to place the ball past Douglas but the finish was weak and poorly angled to such an extent that Douglas actually caught it in his midriff. There were loud groans from the Cowshed at this point (I actually thought I heard some boos although no one else I know did) so it was to Wake's credit that when he was substituted for Russell later on he made a big demonstration of clapping the fans as he left the field.

Sandwiched between Wake's misses was a McAlister header that went narrowly over the bar and a timely Greacen interception that denied Antoine-Curier a certain goal.

We doubled our lead in the 79th minute and it was that man Weatherson who netted with another header. Spoonsy ghosted in front of Jim Lauchlan to glance Masterton's near post corner past Douglas. An excellent goal that takes Weatherson into double figures for the season and makes him joint top scorer with Wakey on 10 goals.

With two minutes to go Irons gave Monti a debut as a replacement for McGuffie while Grady took sponsor's man of the match Weatherson's place up front.

Apart from Mark Gilhaney's shot that struck the crossbar we saw out the rest of the game quite comfortably and cruised to the three points and fourth place - ahead of Dundee on goal difference and eight points behind St. Johnstone with fifteen still to play for and a trip to McDiarmid Park on the 2nd of May...

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Cuthbert - 6
2. McManus - 9
3. Walker - 7
4. McGuffie - 8 (16. Monti - 88 mins)
5. Greacen (c) - 7
6. Masterton - 7
7. Finlayson - 6
8. Jenkins - 7
9. Weatherson - 9 (12. Grady - 88 mins)
10. Wake - 6 (14. Russell - 73 mins)
11. McAlister - 7

Subs Not Used:

15. Paartalu
20. Cannon

Greacen McManus Walker
Finlayson Masterton McGuffie Jenkins McAlister
Weatherson Grady

Dundee: Douglas, Paton, MacKenzie, Lauchlan, Malone, Shinnie (Williams 79), McHale, Cameron, Gilhaney, McMenamin, Antoine-Curier.

Subs Not Used: Benedictus, Posniak, Deasley, Roy.

My man of the match: Peter Weatherson

Sponsor's man of the match: Peter Weatherson

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph match report

Greenock Telegraph match reaction

BBC match report

dundeefc.co.uk match report

The Daily Record match report

The Scottish Sun match report

Tontastic Pictures

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