Ayr United 0 - 2 Morton

Ayr United 0 -
Morton 2 - Weatherson (23, 85)

Att: 2304

Peter Weatherson and Lady Luck combined to give Morton their first win of the season at Somerset Park on Saturday.

Davie Irons did exactly as he said he would in Friday's Greenock Telegraph and started with a 3-5-2 formation - and it's no coincidence that we won our first match of the season using it. Ryan McWilliams was back in goal; Ryan Harding, Stewart Greacen and Allan McManus made up the back three; the midfield was the same as usual but with Ryan McGuffie pushed on to play right wing-back while Brian Graham partnered Peter Weatherson up front.

Morton started brightly and created a few half chances for Weatherson and Allan Jenkins but they both failed to score with headers. The best chance in the early period of the match fell to Ayr. Chris Aitken was fouled right by the corner flag out on the Morton left and his quick free kick presented a glorious chance for Mark Roberts but the fomer Killie man failed to connect with diving header from six yards out and the ball skimmed off his head and wide for a goal kick.

Roberts' miss was greeted with a bit of a verbal bashing from the Ton support and in particular my mate Russell who told him it was "time to hang them up, ya auld bastard." Roberts seemed to take it in good spirits, flashing a big cheesy grin. Allan McManus provided a bit of comic relief by feigning anger at the comment and pointing out that he was the same age as Roberts.

Shortly afterwards Weatherson gave Morton the lead. Both Ayr keeper Stephen Grindlay and defender Kevin James went for the same cross and while both missed the ball they did manage to collide with each other to such an extent that James had to go off on stretcher after being knocked unconscious. Spoonsy was lurking at the back post and profited from the defensive mix up by blasting the ball into the open goal.

Both teams had excellent chances to score just before half time. Former Celtic youngster Kevin Cawley passed up the chance to get the honest men level but he headed Ryan Stevenson's cross against the post with the goal at his mercy. Then Brian Graham had the chance to extends the Ton's lead but couldn't beat Grindlay who made an excellent point blank save.

The second half saw more of the same as both teams missed excellent chances before Weatherson wrapped up the win five minutes from time.

Jenkins and Neil MacFralane were the Morton villains. Jenkins expertly chested a Weatherson pass past the last defender and composed himself for the finish but only managed to use his instep to volley over the bar when it looked much easier to score. Then it was MacFarlane's turn to exasperate the Ton support. The defensive midfielder burst forward from midfield and played a neat one-two with Brian Graham. Graham's cute return ball put MacFarlane one-on-one with Grindlay. However, he seemed to take an eternity to finish and then choose to try and dance round the keeper by dragging the ball past him with the sole of his boot. McAlister was unmarked to his left and a simple pass would've meant an easy tap in for Jimbo but the Ayr stopper managed to recover and snatch the ball from under MacFarlane's feet.

Morton started defend really deep in the second period which invited Ayr onto us

Ayr were not without their chances and were aided in their attempts to get back in the game by the way we seemed to sink further back as the game went on to such an extent that the back three almost seemed to be right on top of McWilliams in the Ton goal. Ryan Stevenson - who looks a class act, but who I've read has a poor attitude - was controlling the game and had Ayr's best efforts of the second half. He blasted one against the junction of bar and post so hard you'd think the bar might've come off and then had another long range effort that went inches over the cross bar. Davie MacGregor came on as a substitute as Irons went to a back four to try and plug a few gaps at the back and it was the long serving defender who started repaying the manager for handing him another years contract by amazingly clearing the ball off the line when he seemed in an impossible position to do so.

Peter Weatherson punished Ayr for their missed chances with a sublime piece of skill five minutes from the end. He picked the ball up 25 yards from goal with two defenders in front of him and just when it looked like the only thing he could do was look back to link up with a team mate he flicked the ball through the middle of James and Andy Aitken with the outside of his right boot and ran round James, took a few touches before slotting past Grindlay with ease. I don't want to get carried away here but this was the kind of goal Dennis Bergkamp used to score and one which is all the more special when you consider that Peter isn't known for his pace and so the piece of skill has to completely fool the defenders if he is to get past them to score. It's not like Didier Agathe just knocking the ball round them and running; Peter made a fool of his opponents and finished expertly to complete his double. Well done Spoonsy, that's the kind of goal that makes the admission money worthwhile.

This was a rarity for a few reasons - not only did we witness a Morton win at Somerset Park but it was an enjoyable match in a division that usually churns out dire fixtures that aren't worth the ridiculous prices they charge (I had to pay £8 for my four year old son on Saturday). However, I don't think anyone should mix up an entertaining match with us playing quality football; I still think we were launching long balls far too often and the deep defending could've been our undoing but I really enjoyed this match and would happily see us win like this every week - and I think we can if we stick with the 3-5-2. Roll on Tuesday.

Morton (3-5-2):

1. McWilliams - 7
2. McGuffie - 6
3. Harding - 7
4. McManus - 6
5. Greacen - 7
6. Masterton - 5 (14. MacGregor - 66 mins)
7. Jenkins - 6
8. MacFarlane - 6
9. Graham - 7 (16. Wake - 82 mins)
10. Weatherson - 8
11. McAlister - 6

Unused Subs:

12. Finlayson
15. Monti
20. Trialist

Booked: Graham

Greacen McManus Harding
McGuffie Masterton Jenkins McAlister
Weatherson Graham

Ayr United: Grindlay, Connolly, James, Gibson, A. Aitken, Keenan, C. Aitken (Prunty, 80), Stevenson, Easton (Borris, 80), Cawley (Gormley, 56), Roberts.

Subs Not Used: McGowan, Samson.

Booked: James, Keenan

My man of the match: Peter Weatherson

Sponsor's man of the match: Ryan Stevenson (Ayr)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report

Greenock Telegraph - Match Reaction

The Scottish Sun - Match Report

The Daily Record - Match Report

ayrunitedfc.co.uk - Match Report

bbc sport - Match Report

Tontastic Pictures

David Sargent's Ayr United Pictures

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