Morton 5 - 0 Raith Rovers

Morton 5 - Paartalu (14), Wake (55, 60), Weatherson (62, 89)
Raith Rovers 0 -

Att: 1716

Turning the corner: a rampant Morton destroyed 10 man Raith Rovers to end a run of five successive defeats.

James Grady stuck with the same starting XI that lost 2-0 to Partick Thistle last week. In fact, there was only one change to the whole match day squad: under-19s left-back Nathan Shepherd took Carlo Monti's place on the bench. David van Zanten made his first start as a Morton player while Alan Reid was still listed as a trialist.

Morton started brightly and took the lead in the 14th minute. A cross from the right found Peter Weatherson lurking at the back post, his perfectly cushioned header back across goal found the onrushing Erik Paartalu who sent a powerful side footed volley past former Morton keeper David McGurn.

Raith Rovers should've equalised 10 minutes later. Morton failed to clear a Robert Sloan corner and the ball fell invitingly for Grégory Tadé but the French winger blasted over from six yards.

Morton were probably the better team in the first-half, but more importantly we were also leading 1-0. We've often been the best team in the first period but with nothing to show for our efforts.

The game swung entirely in our favour when Grant Murray was sent-off in the 53rd minute. Murray was given a second booking when he body checked van Zanten to end a great mazy dribble by the Irish right-back. From then on there was only one winner.

Brian Wake punished Rovers and put the game beyond doubt by scoring two and setting one up in an amazing seven minute spell. Just two minutes after the sending off he volleyed home (with what appeared to be his shin) from another Peter Weatherson knock down. Three minutes later Wakey made it three when he stuck out a leg to flick the ball past McGurn after Stewart Greacen had headered a Jim McAlister corner towards goal. Wake rounded off his sensational seven minute salvo when he skipped past two defenders on the left of the Raith box and cut back for Weatherson to side footed into an empty net. What a great way for the likeable striker to hit back at the critics - myself included - who laid a large portion of the blame for last week's defeat squarely at his feet.

Peter rounded off the win, and an excellent personal performance, with the fifth and final goal in the 89th minute. 17 year old substitute Ryan Kane (pictured, below) demonstrated both determination and skill as he forced his way past a couple of challenges down the right; including one stonewall foul that he decided to get up and play on from rather than wait for a foul, before firing over a superb deep cross to the far post from where Weatherson craned his neck to expertly head the ball back across McGurn and into the top corner.

This was a very good win and for the first time in a long time we played some excellent football. There was one move which involved around twenty passes as the whole team kept possession and worked the ball around the pitch until Jim McAlister cut in from the left and sent a stunning curling effort towards the top corner. Unfortunately, McGurn made a breathtaking save to deny McAlister one of the best goals ever scored at Cappielow. Special mention to the old guy standing at the seats down the front who was giving the "ole" shouts everytime we made a pass, as it was his incessant grunts that sort of made everyone take notice of how many passes we'd actually made without Raith getting a touch of the ball.

In Wednesday's Greenock Telegraph Stewart Greacen said that we weren't too far away. I think the big defender is right and Saturday appears to be strong evidence that the work Grady is doing is paying off and that things are beginning to move in the right direction. We need to keep the momentum going at New Broomfield next week and if we've got another positive result come 4.45pm this Saturday then I'll be more confident in saying we've turned the corner.

Photos courtesy of Tontastic

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Stewart - 7
2. Van Zanten - 8
3. MacGregor - 6
4. Reid [Trialist] - 7
5. Greacen - 7
6. Paartalu - 8
7. Finlayson - 7
8. McGuffie - 6
9. Wake - 8 (14. Kane - 79 mins)
10. Weatherson - 9
11. McAlister - 6

Unused Subs:

12. Harding
15. Shepherd
16. Grady
20. McWilliams

Booked: van Zanten

van Zanten Greacen MacGregor Reid
Finlayson Paartalu McGuffie McAlister
Wake Weatherson

Raith Rovers: McGurn, Wilson, Ellis, Murray, Hill, Simmons (Ferry 70), Sloan (Wallas 77), Walker, Russell (Wedderburn 53), Tade, Smith.

Subs Not Used: Trialist, O'Connor.

Booked: Murray, Simmons, Hill.

Sent Off: Murray (53)

My man of the match: Peter Weatherson

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report

Greenock Telegraph - Match Reaction

The Scottish Sun - Match Report

The Daily Record - Match Report

raithroversfc.com - Match Report

raithroversfc.com - Match Reaction (John McGlynn / Allan McManus)

bbc sport - Match Report

Tontastic Pics

raithroversfc.com - Pics


Woody said...

I would be happier with a result at the Shyberry Excelsior to be honest!!

mortonjag said...

The squad's a lot better than many believe and the additional width provided by Van Zanten and Reid is something we've cried out for. I've never seen a striker as a priority. Perhaps a decent winger would be my next hope though young Kane looked a real 'find'.

I predicted a top four spot in August. If only we'd offloaded Irons earlier we could be there already.

Bring on Erdry!

Jonathan Mitchell said...

Aye, a result at Airdrie would be better, Woody.

For some reason the SFL fixture list has us at Livingston :