Annan Athletic 1 - 1 Morton

Annan Athletic 1 - Cox (74)
Morton 1 - Masterton (37 pen)

Att: 525

by Russell Gordon

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Fachau

It had been nine long weeks since we last saw Morton in action (some might say longer given the way the season fizzled out), but when they eventually returned on Saturday, it turned out to be a bit of an anti climax in the Annan sunshine.

As the team took the field it certainly looked on paper too be far too strong a line up for the 3rd Division side- only Shimmin, MacGregor, Russell and Walker were absent from a starting line-up that looked pretty close to full strength. And so it proved to be the case, with Morton enjoying the majority of possession, whilst clearly playing within themselves.

'Ton were first to threaten as early as the third minute, Brian Wake heading tamely over from a Jenkins cross. Whilst it was pleasing on the eye to see how comfortably the team were passing the ball around, most chances tended to come in the form of shots from distance - Masterton and Weatherson both tested the Annan keeper from 30 yards although he dealt comfortably with their efforts.

Immediately after Weatherson's 15th minute effort, Annan nearly scored themselves with a shot that just escaped Cuthbert's left hand post.

What was most surprising was the length of time it took Morton to get their goal, which arrived via the penalty spot, Masterton converting with ease after Jenkins was fouled in the box on 37 minutes.

The second half was greeted with a flurry of substitutions, as tends to be commonplace with pre-season friendlies. Irons decided to put on 5 players at half time, and these wholesale changes disrupted the team's play to the extent that when Annan eventually equalised in the 74th minute, it was no surprise. By that point we had already seen players swapping jerseys as there were Morton players wearing identical numbers, adding to the feeling that this was more a kick about than a football match between two professional sides. There weren't many chances for Morton in the second period, perhaps the best falling to Finlayson who should've converted McAlister's excellent cross at the back post late on.

Whilst many were concerned with the second half performance, it's important to stress that we won't see a Morton team like the one who lined up for that second half in competetive action this term, but it does raise concerns about the strength in depth of the squad when injuries and suspensions eventually arise.

Morton (3-5-2):

1. Cuthbert
2. McGuffie
3. Trialist (15. Finlayson - 46 mins)
4. McManus (15. Harding - 46 mins)
5. Greacen
6. MacFarlane (12. Paartalu - 46 mins)
7. Jenkins (14. Trialist - 46 mins)
8. Masterton
9. Wake (16. Grady - 46 mins)
10. Weatherson (16. Trialist - 57 mins)
11. McAlister

Annan Athletic: Summersgill, Macbeth, Inglis (Hoolickin, 62), Muirhead, Neilson, Jack (Trialist, 64), S Sloan, Trialist (Jardine, 62), Cox, Bell (Storey, 62), L Sloan (Steele, 62)

My man of the match:

Sponsor's man of the match: David Cox (Annan)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)


Greenock Telegraph match report

annanathleticfc.com - match report and stats

The Daily Record match report

The Scottish Sun match report

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