Morton 2 - 3 Crawley Town

Morton 2 - McAlister (30, 47)
Crawley Town 3 - Killeen (60), Ademeno (62, 76)

Att: 407

by Russell Gordon

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Fachau

Morton managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in this game, but in all honesty the only surprise was that they managed to find themselves in the position of holding a 2-0 lead at one point against an impressive Blue Square Premier side.

'Ton lined up with an unfamiliar 3-4-3 formation, including the lightweight Monti on the left hand side of the defensive trio and Jim McAlister playing a more forward role than usual [Ed - there seems to have been some confusion about which formation Morton actually used. I listened to the match on the webcast and it sounded to me like it was a variation of 4-4-2 while others, like Russell, have argued it was a 3-4-3, click here for the debate]. However, it was Crawley who came out the blocks quickest, forcing a corner in the first minute which was headed past Stewart's right hand post. A few minutes later McAlister drove wide but it was the visitors who were turning the screw, and striker Pinault should've scored 10 minutes in when played through only for Monti to recover well.

Ten minutes later the ball fell to Masterton 20 yards out after good work by Jenkins on the right but his effort flew high and wide.

The opening goal came against the run of play on the half hour, with good work between Jenkins and McGuffie providing an easy finish for Jim McAlister from 8 yards. A couple of minutes later, it could've been two, McGuffie just failing to connect with an excellent delivery from a Masterton corner.

Morton's best spell came just after half time, Masterton having a go from 20 yards before Jim McAlister made it two, again from close range after the Crawley defence failed to deal with Brian Graham's cross.

It was all downhill from there however, substitute Killeen converting from an excellent cross on the right on the hour before Crawley's star of the show Ademendo equalised 2 minutes later, although provider Rents looked about 3 yards offside before delivering the final ball.

Morton had a few efforts, notably a free kick from Masterton and a Paartalau effort that was punched away, but the inevitable Crawley winner arrived 15 minutes from time, again it was Ademeno who scored after the defence failed to deal properly with a free kick.

One positive from the game was the performance of Brian Graham, who certainly looked like he could make a contribution this season, although alot of his good work was done on the right hand side rather than through the middle. Morton's best chance of an equaliser came when he squared for Jenkins to screw wide.

Biggest applause of the day from the Morton support came for Ademeno when he was replaced late on after his excellent performance. The Blue Square, and Crawley in particular, have been happy hunting grounds for Irons before with last summer's acquisition of Dominic Shimmin. One wonders how far out of our price range guys like Ademeno actually are, as with the collapse of Setanta, surely the clubs have taken a financial hit.

Final point of note was possibly the worst decision from an official I've seen since Les Mottram disallowed Paddy Connolly's goal for Dundee United at Firhill (or at least since my own refereeing performance at this years' supporters' clubs tournament!) as the hapless linesman decided that after the ball crashed off the main stand roof that it was still in play!

Not the most encouraging performance, but I really don't expect anyone in the First Division, Dundee included, to be as good a side as Crawley were.

Morton (4-4-2 or 3-4-3):

1. Stewart
2. McGuffie (18. Finlayson - 70 mins)
3. Monti (16. Trialist - 70 mins)
4. McManus
5. Greacen
6. Masterton
7. Jenkins (14. Trialist - 80 mins)
8. MacFarlane (17. Paartalu - 70 mins)
9. Weatherson (12. Wake - 46 mins)
10. Grady (15. Graham - 57 mins)
11. McAlister

Subs Not Used:

20. Cuthbert

Crawley Town: 1. Rayner, 2. Wilson, 3. Rents, 4. Hutchison, 5. Giles, 6. Wright, 7. Rusk, 8. Ademeno, 9. Lewis, 10. Pinault, 11. Cook.

Substitutes: 12. Mills, 14. Killeen, 15. Malcolm, 17. Cogan, 18. Napper, 19. Macrae, 20. Nayee, 22. Jordan

My man of the match: Charlie Ademeno (Crawley)

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

crawleytownfc.com - match report

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