31/12/2010

And Another One's Gone...

Morton's New Year clash with Partick Thistle is the latest Ton match to be cancelled.

The fixture, set to be played on 2 January, was postponed after several pipes burst at Cappielow, affecting the toilets and other facilities.

A statement posted on the official website earlier today reads: "We have experienced an unprecedented number of burst pipes at the Stadium following the recent cold weather, which has affected various facilities within the ground including the toilets and catering stands.

"Despite repairs having been carried out over the last 48 hours, the situation is such that we have had to take the decision to cancel this weekends match. We would like to apologise for having to postpone, but trust that supporters will understand the reasons for doing so."

The match is the sixth to succumb to the arctic winter we are currently experiencing.

gmfc.net - Morton -v- Partick Thistle (31.12.2010)

Young And Evans Extend Deals

Morton have today announced deals to extend the contracts of Darren Young and Grant Evans.

Evans' loan from Hamilton Accies was due to expire at the start of January and has been extended until the end of the season, while Young, who signed a short-term deal in November after a three-game trial, also extends his stay until the end of the current campaign.

The news that Young has signed a new deal is particularly pleasing. The 32-year-old has been very impressive in his short time with the club, using his know-how and experience to control the middle of the park while aiding the development of his 20-year-old central midfield partner, Michael Tidser.

Evans, meanwhile, has had a few shaky moments in a Ton shirt but demonstrated his potential with a superb showing at right-back in the recent 2-2 draw with Ross County at Victoria Park. Allan Moore will be hoping for more of the same from the 20-year-old, particularly due to the fact that Stewart Greacen's recent departure means that he may have to fill in at centre-back if either of Marc Smyth or Stuart McCaffrey are ruled out through injury or suspension.

gmfc.net - Player News (30.12.2010)

24/12/2010

Another One Bites The Dust

Morton's Boxing Day match versus Stirling Albion is the latest fixture to fall foul of the weather.

The First Division clash was postponed after the frost-covered Forthbank (or Doubletree Dunblane Stadium, if you prefer) playing surface failed a pitch inspection earlier today.

Meanwhile, the club also announced that the A.G.M., which was scheduled to be held earlier tonight, was cancelled due to "frozen pipes within the stadium".

gmfc.net - Stirling Albion -v- Morton (23.12.2010)

gmfc.net - A.G.M. Cancelled (23.12.2010)

23/12/2010

Greacen Leaves Club

Long-serving Morton defender Stewart Greacen has today parted company with the club by mutual consent.

The centre-back, who has been installed as club captain on two seperate occasions, has only made three starts under Allan Moore this season and appears to have moved on in search of first-team football.

Moore made it clear at the start of the season that he wasn't happy with his defence after a 2-2 draw in a bounce game against Albion Rovers and moved to sign Marc Smyth and later Stuart McCaffrey to strengthen his rearguard.

28-year-old Greacen joined Ton on a season's loan in season 2001-02 and then made the move permanent in the summer of 2003. In his two spells with the club, Greacen made 276 starts, three substitute appearances and scored a respectable 19 goals (which included seven in the 2003/04 season alone).

Stewart is a great professional who always gave everything he had in a Morton shirt. I'd like to take the opportunity to wish him all the best in the future.

gmfc.net - Stewart Greacen (22.12.2010)

17/12/2010

Queens Game Off

Morton suffered at the hands of the weather again today as their fixture against Queen of the South was postponed.

The game was called off this morning due to the fact that the Palmerston pitch was frozen and that the weather was not expected to get any better tonight or tomorrow.

A statement on Queens' official club website says: "Due to the pitch at Palmerston being frozen and with further low temperatures forecast for tonight and tomorrow during the day this game has been cancelled."

The BBC's Keir Murray interviewed Allan Moore about the club's alternative training arrangements, and also spoke to Ton groundsman Mark Farrell and chief executive Gillian Donaldson about the effects of the postponements, which you can listen to here:
BBC - Allan Moore Boxing And Pumping Up Morton Team (04.12.2010) and BBC - Morton Face Two Month Home Freeze (06.12.2010).

qosfc.com - Morton Game Is Off (17.12.2010)

16/12/2010

Ross County 2-2 Morton






















Ross County
2 - Barrowman (23), Boyd (90+5)
Morton 2 - Graham (26), Jenkins (31)

Morton were on the receiving end of a controversial refereeing decision for the second time in two games against Ross County.

With Ton leading 2-1 in injury-time referee Iain Brines is alleged to have told Graeme Holmes there were only five seconds left and earlier told Allan Moore there was one minute left - but played over a minute after that, in which time Scott Boyd headed home a 95th minute equaliser.

I personally thought that Brines looked as if he knew he'd got it wrong and the Tele's excellent photograph (above), which shows Moore berating Brines just after the final whistle, shows, in my opinion, the face of a man who knows he got it wrong.

The visitors had dominated from the first whistle, with David O'Brien flying out of the traps. But they failed to score while they were on top and conceded against the run of play when the criminally unmarked Andrew Barrowman headed home Martin Scott's cross from the right.

However, the Ton demonstrated tremendous character and turned the game on its head in a five-minute spell when Brian Graham pounced on Richard Brittain's shocking back-pass to level. He then turned Gary Miller inside out on the left wing before whipping over a sensational cross for Allan Jenkins to power home minutes later.

County were the better team in the second half but couldn't find a way past the Ton defence until Brines awarded a corner on 94 minutes and 36 seconds.

You can read my full Greenock Telegraph match report and reaction here: Moore: Decision Was Diabolical.


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 6
2. Grant Evans - 7
3. David MacGregor - 7
4. Marc Smyth - 5
5. Stuart McCaffrey - 5
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Allan Jenkins - 7
8. Darren Young - 6 (15. Graeme Holmes, 75 - 3)
9. Brian Graham - 8 (14. Kevin Kelbie, 76 - 2)
10. Stewart Kean - 6
11. David O'Brien - 8 (12. Carlo Monti, 90+1 - 1)

Subs not used:

16. Fouad Bachirou
20. Kevin Cuthbert


Stewart
Evans Smyth McCaffrey MacGregor
Jenkins Young Tidser O'Brien
Graham Kean

Ross County (4-2-3-1): McGovern (7); Miller (5), Boyd (7), McCormack (6), Morrison (7); Lawson (6), Vigurs (6) (Corcoran 61, 3); Brittain (5) (Craig 69, 3),Gardyne (6), Scott (6) (Wood 85, 2); Barrowman (7).

Subs not used: Flynn, Malin (gk).


Morton bookings: Tidser (81).



Referee:
Iain Brines

Attendance:
1,759

My man of the match:
Brian Graham



View from the other side:

rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk - match report

14/12/2010

Morton 0-1 Dundee

Morton 0 -
Dundee 1 - Lockwood (62 pen)

This was a match Morton really should have won, never mind lost.

In-form striker Brian Graham appeared to have left his shooting boots at home for this one, as he passed up two glorious chances after Rab Douglas had parried two long-range efforts into his path.

Ton were punished for their profligacy when Dark Blues player/assistant manager Matt Lockwood slotted home a cool 62nd minute penalty - his second of the season against Allan Moore's men - after Kevin McKinlay had fouled Stephen O'Donnell in the box.

The home side thought they'd grabbed a well deserved equaliser in the 80th minute when Stewart Kean bulleted a diving header past Douglas, but the Cowshed linesman had (wrongly, in my opinion - watch the YouTube video, below, and make up your own mind) raised his flag for offside.



It was substitute Sean Fitzharris, playing in the last game of his emergency loan from Celtic, who whipped over the cross for Kean's 'goal', and he provided another teasing centre in injury-time. This time Dundee defender Rhys Weston swiped at the ball in an attempt to clear and only succeeded in sending the ball looping up behind him towards his own goal. It just wasn't to be Ton's day, though, as the ball crashed off the top of the crossbar and behind for a goalkick.

You can read my full Greenock Telegraph match report here: Ton Paying The Penalty.

And match reaction from Stewart Kean and manager Allan Moore here: Goal Should Have Stood.


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 6
2. David MacGregor - 6
3. Kevin McKinlay - 5
4. Marc Smyth - 7
5. Stuart McCaffrey - 5
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Allan Jenkins - 7 (14. Sean Fitzharris, 73 - 7)
8. Darren Young - 7
9. Brian Graham - 5
10. Stewart Kean - 6 (12. Kevin Kelbie, 82 - 1)
11. David O'Brien - 5 (16. Carlo Monti, 78 - 4)

Subs not used:

15. Fouad Bachirou
20. Kevin Cuthbert


Stewart
MacGregor Smyth McCaffrey McKinlay
Jenkins Young Tidser O'Brien
Graham Kean

Dundee (4-4-2): Douglas (7); Irvine (6), McKeown (6), Weston (7), Lockwood (7); Riley (5), O’Donnell (6), Harkins (6), Forsyth (6); Higgins (5) (McIntosh 84, 1), Griffiths (5).

Subs not used: Benedictus, Stewart, Tulleth, Cervi (gk).


Morton bookings: McCaffrey (81),
MacGregor (85),

Dundee bookings: Riley (43), McKeown (44), Griffiths (88)


Referee:
Eddie Smith

Attendance:
1,568

My man of the match:
Darren Young



View from the other side:

dundeefc.co.uk - match report

05/12/2010

Falkirk Match Postponed

Morton's match with Falkirk on Tuesday night has been postponed for a second time.

The First Division match, originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, 27 December, had to be cancelled again today due to the continued cold weather.

A statement on the club website reads: "Taking into account the current condition of the pitch, together with the fact that temperatures are set to drop again over the next 48 hours, an early decision was taken to provide as much notice to supporters as possible."

gmfc.net - Morton -v- Falkirk (05.12.2010)

03/12/2010

Ross County Game Off!

As usual, Morton will be forced into a midweek trip to face Ross County at Dingwall, after Saturday's First Division fixture was postponed.

According to the County website, "the safety of those travelling to the game and the severity of the weather it was simply an impossibility to get the game on."

The game has been rescheduled to be played on Tuesday, 14 December - but I have my doubts about that going ahead either.

I am actually in Inverness at the moment and had major difficulties travelling up here via train during the week. It was announced that Scotrail could not guarantee safe passage beyond Perth and that travellers attempted the journey at their own risk.

I risked it and had to change into a freezing, old school train at Perth as the new, modern trains freeze up in certain low temperatures.

I eventually got here a few hours late, but conditions have worsened today and all trains from or to Inverness have been cancelled.

It might be a good while before we see the Ton in action again.

rosscountyfootballclub.co.uk - Morton Match Postponed (02.12.2010)

Greenock Telegraph - Ton v Ross County Game Is Off (02.12.2010)

27/11/2010

Game Off!

Tomorrow's Morton versus Falkirk fixture will not now go ahead.

The match was cancelled after Polish officials drafted in to cover the Scottish referees' strike withdrew their services.

A statement on Ton's official website says: "With the S.F.L. now not having access to these additional officials, our game has been cancelled.

"We would like to apologise to supporters of both clubs for any inconvenience caused by this postponement, however we know that supporters will appreciate that it is due to the difficult circumstances experienced this week."

However, the match may not have went ahead anyway, due to tonight's snow and freezing cold weather.

The match has been speedily re-arranged and will now be played on Tuesday, December 7, with a 7.30pm kick-off.



gmfc.net - Match Postponed (26.11.2010)

gmfc.net - Morton vs Falkirk (26.11.2010)

Greenock Telegraph - Morton Game Is Called Off (26.11.2010)

26/11/2010

Ton Game Goes Ahead... For Now

Morton's match with Falkirk will go ahead on Saturday despite the chaos caused by the refereeing strike.

The SFA and SFL have secured the services of referees from several European associations, including Poland and the Netherlands. However, they could not secure enough to cover all of Saturday's fixtures.

The Ton match was drawn ahead of nine other SFL fixtures. Meanwhile, six SPL games and the Alba Challenge Cup final will also go ahead.

Despite the good news that our match was picked out of the hat, the cold weather means that the match may still be in doubt, as the club issued a plea earlier this evening for help to lay covers over the pitch.

gmfc.net - Morton vs Falkirk - Game On! (25.11.2010)

Daily Record - Refs Crisis: SFL fixture card decimated by strike with only Morton v Falkirk going ahead (25.11.2010)

25/11/2010

Dumbarton 1-2 Morton

Dumbarton 1 - Geggan (11)
Morton 2 - Graham (43, 49)

Morton secured their passage to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup with a battling 2-1 win over serial cup opponents Dumbarton.

Allan Moore's men started brightest but conceded an early goal against the run of play when Colin Stewart put his name on a corner but failed to collect, leaving Andy Geggan the easy task of heading into an empty net.

Ton struggled for around half an hour after that as their lowly opponents - the Sons currently sit bottom of the Second Division - took a huge lift from their goal.

However, the visitors gradually fought their way back into the game and levelled minutes before the interval when Brian Graham popped up at the back post to nod home Graeme Holmes' inviting cross.

The young striker added a second shortly after the restart when he rifled the ball into top corner from close-range after Stewart Kean's low centre found him in acres of space just outside the six-yard box.

David MacGregor was sent off in the 79th minute after a second yellow card for a slide tackle that looked both well timed and fair. His initial booking, which arrived just six minutes earlier, was for a fairly innocuous looking obstruction.

Young St Mirren loanee Jon McShane and impressive left midfielder Alan Cook both went close for the hosts but could not quite find the breakthrough as 10-man Ton held on for the win and a fourth round tie with Airdrie United or Beith Juniors.

You can read my full Greenock Telegraph match report here: Double Puts Ton Into Next Round.

And match reaction from Ton goalscoring hero Brian Graham and manager Allan Moore here: Brian: Now Bring On The Old Firm.


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 6
2. David MacGregor - 5
3. Kevin McKinlay - 6
4. Marc Smyth - 8
5. Stuart McCaffrey - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Graeme Holmes - 6 (15. David O'Brien, 68 - 3)
8. Darren Young - 7 (12. Fouad Bachirou, 70 - 4)
9. Brian Graham - 7
10. Stewart Kean - 6
11. Carlo Monti - 6 (14. Peter Weatherson, 81 - 3)

Subs not used:

16. Kevin Kelbie
20. Kevin Cuthbert


Stewart
MacGregor Smyth McCaffrey McKinlay
Holmes Young Tidser Monti
Grahah Kean

Dumbarton (4-4-2): Grindlay - 7; Devlin - 7, Nugent - 8, McNiff - 7, Creaney - 6 (Chisholm, 81 - 2); Brannan - 5, Geggan - 7, McLeish - 6 (McStay, 76 - 3), Cook - 8; Campbell - 6 (Smith, 61 - 4), McShane - 7.

Subs not used: Walace, White (gk).

Dumbarton bookings: McLeish (23), Brannan (75).

Morton bookings: MacGregor (73), McCaffrey (75), Smyth (77).

Morton sending off: MacGregor (79).


Referee:
Craig Charleston

Attendance:
905

My man of the match:
Marc Smyth

Sponsor's man of the match:
Paul Nugent (Dumbarton)


View from the other side:

dumbartonfootballclub.com - match report

18/11/2010

Saint Grady

Former Morton striker and manager James Grady has been given a coaching position at St Mirren.

The 39-year-old (pictured, making a sub appearance against St Mirren in the 2009/10 Renfrewshire Cup final) has been brought in to work with the Saints' strikers on a part-time basis.

Although born in Paisley, this is Grady's first ever involvement with his home-town team.

St Mirren gaffer Danny Lennon told the Daily Record: "James is a bubbly character and I feel having someone who has been there and done it as a striker can help the guys."

Daily Record - St Mirren Call On Ex-Morton Boss Grad To Boost Their Firepower (17.11.2010)

Partick Thistle 0-0 Morton

Partick Thistle 0 -
Morton 0 -

Entertainment was at an absolute premium as Morton secured their second away point of the season at Firhill.

In the first half, Martin Grehan had a curling effort tipped over the crossbar by ex-Partick goalkeeper Colin Stewart, while Liam Buchanan had a weak side-footed effort cleared off the line by another ex-Thistle player, Kevin McKinlay.

For Morton, Darren Young's deflected strike looped onto the roof of the net and Michael Tidser had a swirling 30-yard free-kick saved by Scott Fox. But these were about the only noteworthy incidents in a dull and scrappy match.

At the end of the day, leaving Firhill with a point is a decent result, especially if you consider Morton's terrible away record and the fact Thistle have recently beaten Falkirk and Cowdenbeath at home.

However, fans will be hoping to see more of the side that played so well against Dunfermline the previous weekend rather than the team that scrapped for a point in Glasgow on Saturday.

You can read my full Greenock Telegraph match report here: No Thrills At Firhill For Morton.

And match reaction from Ton left-back Kevin McKinlay and manager Allan Moore here: Kevin Pleased With Away Point.


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 6
2. David MacGregor - 5
3. Kevin McKinlay - 6
4. Stuart McCaffrey (c) - 6
5. Marc Smyth - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Allan Jenkins - 6 (14. Graeme Homes, 72 - 1)
8. Darren Young - 7
9. Brian Graham - 6
10. Jonathan Toto - 5 (16. Stewart Kean, 65 - 4)
11. Carlo Monti - 6 (15. David O'Brien, 78 - 3)

Subs not used:

12. Grant Evans
20. Kevin Cuthbert


Stewart
MacGregor Smyth McCaffrey McKinlay
Jenkins Young Tidser Monti
Graham Toto

Partick Thistle (5-3-2): Fox -6; Paton - 7, Kinniburgh - 6, McNamara - 6, Archibald - 7, Boyle - 6; Flannigan - 6, Cairney - 6, Hodge - 7 (Erskine, 67 - 4); Buchanan - 6 (Donnelly, 73 - 2), Grehan - 7 (Rowson, 78 - 1).

Subs not used: Maxwell, Halliwell (gk).

Partick Thistle bookings: Archibald (32), Kinniburgh (46).


Referee:
Brian Winter

Attendance:
2,436

My man of the match:
Darren Young

Sponsor's man of the match:
Alan Archibald


View from the other side:

ptfc.co.uk - match report

ptfc.co.uk - photographs

12/11/2010

Young Signs On

Morton trialist Darren Young has today signed a short-term contract with the club.

Young had previously played three trial matches for the Ton and the contract will now ensure that he will be at Cappielow until January.

Yesterday, I suggested that the 32-year-old might not be getting a deal due to the fact there was no news so late in the week, but it turns out I was a wee bit premature as Chris Tait revealed that a deal had been agreed in today's Greenock Telegraph.

Moore told Tait: “I think he will give us a bit of experience in the middle of the park."

The club later confirmed the contract had been signed and that the former Aberdeen and Dundee player has signed until the beginning of January.

Greenock Telegraph - Young Is Set To Sign (12.11.2010)


gmfc.net - Player News (12.11.2010)

11/11/2010

All Quiet On Potential Young Deal

It is looking more and more unlikely that Ton trialist Darren Young has earned a deal at Cappielow.

The 32-year-old central midfielder featured in three trial matches for Morton - appearing as a substitute against Cowdenbeath and starting matches against Raith Rovers and Dunfermline - and impressed in the most recent win against the Pars.

However, Saturday's appearance was the final outing which he could make while listed as a trialist. Young would now have to be offered a contract to play for the club again and the fact that it is now Thursday suggests that a contract offer might not be forthcoming.

In an interview for the Greenock Telegraph, Darren told me that despite Allan Moore's early statement that he had no money to sign him, he was still hopeful of getting a deal.

He said: “I’m not sure if there’s the chance of a deal. I’ve come here for a chance to get my fitness up, but I’ll speak to Allan Moore about it during the week and hopefully there is something there."

According to those in hosptitality after Saturday's match against Dunfermline, Moore stated that he'd have to speak to the chairman about signing Young, but that Douglas Rae was less than enthusiastic about a deal.

And, with time getting on, it looks like the chairman has maybe decided that there just isn't the money to sign Young.

Greenock Telegraph - Darren Hopes To Land Ton Deal (03.11.2010)

SFL - Young On Trial At Morton (21.10.2010)

10/11/2010

The Kids Are Alright

Morton youngsters Nathan Shephard and Ryan Kane have extended loan deals with junior side Glenafton Athletic.

The teenagers both joined the New Cumnock team on initial one-month loans at the beginning of October, but after they impressed in that original spell, Glenafton manager Greig Denham, who is a friend of Allan Moore's, moved to extend their deals until December 31.

According to a Glenafton official I have spoken to, the pair have been very impressive and both netted a brace a piece in a recent 6-3 win over Vale of Clyde.

Although their deals are set to run until the end of December, the fact the loan deals are between senior and junior clubs means that they are free to play for Morton at any time during the loan. This was demonstrated when Kane (pictured, in action against Bellshill) was recalled to play in the 2-0 win over Queen of the South.

Their loan records so far are:

Shephard: 4 Starts, 0 Sub App, 2 Goals
Kane: 3 Starts, 1 Sub App, 2 Goals

Greenock Telegraph - Ton's Young Duo Extend Loans (05.11.2010)

09/11/2010

Morton 2-1 Dunfermline Athletic

Morton 2 - Graham (24), Monti (36 pen)
Dunfermline Athletic 1 - Gibson (83)

After receiving a midweek boost when Dundee were deducted 25 points, Morton rounded off the week with an excellent win over second placed Dunfermline Athletic.

Brian Graham netted an opportunistic opener and Carlo Monti added a second from the penalty spot to push Allan Moore's side further up the table after the three points moved them ahead of Partick Thistle and Stirling Albion.

There were impressive performances from every single Morton player, including the much-maligned Jonathan Toto - who came on to a game after a slow start. The defence were particularly strong and Marc Smyth and Stuart McCaffrey marked the league's outstanding striker, Andy Kirk, out of the game, while left-back Kevin McKinlay nullified the threat of right-winger Willie Gibson.

Like Kirk, Gibson is one of the Scottish First Division's stand-out players, and although McKinlay could do nothing to stop the former Kilmarnock man's 83rd minute free-kick, the Ton left-back coped with everything Gibson had to throw at him and is proving to be a really influential player for the Cappielow men this season.

Despite the Pars' late goal, Morton held on for a very impressive win. I believe that this is the 'real' Morton we witnessed on Saturday and have faith that Allan Moore will continue to guide his team up the table.

You can read my full Greenock Telegraph match report here: Back On Track

And match reaction from Ton goalscorer Brian Graham and manager Allan Moore here:


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 7
2. David MacGregor - 7
3. Kevin McKinlay - 8
4. Marc Smyth - 9
5. Stuart McCaffrey (c) - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Allan Jenkins - 7 (14. Graeme Homes, 88 - 1)
8. Darren Young [trialist] - 7 (15. Graeme Holmes, 75 - 1)
9. Brian Graham - 8
10. Jonathan Toto - 7 (12. Peter Weatherson, 70 - 2)
11. Carlo Monti - 8 (16. David O'Brien, 88 - 2)

Subs not used:

15. Grant Evans
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: Tidser (73), Young (75).


Stewart
MacGregor Smyth McCaffrey McKinlay
Jenkins Young Tidser Monti
Graham Toto


Dunfermline Athletic (4-4-2): Smith - 7; Woods - 6, Dowie - 5, Higgins - 7, McCann - 6; Gibson - 7, Mason - 6, Bell - 4 (Thomson, 18 - 6), Graham - 6, (Cardle, 58 - 5); Clarke - 5, (McDougall, 58 - 3), Kirk - 5.

Subs not used:
Keddie, Allison (gk).

Referee:
Mat Northcroft

Attendance:
1,813

My man of the match:
Marc Smyth

Sponsor's man of the match:
Allan Jenkins

View from the other side:

dafc.co.uk - match report

dafc.co.uk - photographs

Tontastic - photographs

05/11/2010

Moore Not Bothered By Dundee Deduction

Allan Moore is insisting that Dundee's 25-point deduction isn't a godsend for his team - as he's aiming to finish in mid-table anyway.

Morton were lifted off the bottom of the table earlier this week after the SFL decided to deduct 25 points from the Dens Park side for their financial mismanagement.

The penalty ensured that Dundee dropped from fourth to 10th in the table and now sit 20 points behind Ton on minus 11 points.

However, in an interview with the Greenock Telegraph's Chris Tait, Moore has stated that he his looking to climb the league rather than stay ahead of Dundee.

He said: “We’re concentrating on catching the teams above us.

“The Dundee situation obviously puts them below us but at the end of the day we’re only looking after ourselves and we’re not looking at anybody else."

He echoed those sentiments in a similar article in the Scotsman, saying: "Of course it's a bonus for ourselves and all the other teams that are down there.

"But we've got to start winning games and climbing the table ourselves. Never mind relegation, we want to be up there in the top half of the table."

Greenock Telegraph - Moore: Up To Us To Climb Table (02.11.2010)

The Scotsman - Morton: Allan Moore 'Bonus' (02.11.2010)

04/11/2010

Fitzharris May Play For Ton Again

Sean Fitzharris may play for Morton again, according to the Greenock Telegraph's Chris Tait.

When Celtic loanee Fitzharris dislocated his shoulder in the 11th minute of last month's 2-0 win over Queen of the South, Ton boss Allan Moore hinted that the severity of the injury meant that it may well be the last time he played for the club.

However, Fitzharris revealed that he may back sooner than first thought after Celtic's physio informed him that he would not need an operation.

He told Tait: “There is a chance I could be playing in a month or so. It could be a possibility that I come back in time to play for Morton.

“I have a few weeks of rehab work then I’ll take it from there and we’ll see how it goes."

The 18-year-old Inverkip lad's loan deal expires on December 15 and he has already stated that he would be willing to extend the deal if it suited both clubs.

Therefore, it may be the case that Sean will feature at Cappielow again this season even if he fails to make another appearance before his initial loan spell comes to an end.

Read the full Tele' article here: Greenock Telegraph: Sean Could Be Back In Ton Shirt (02.11.2010)

03/11/2010

Morton 0-1 Raith Rovers

Morton 0 -
Raith Rovers 1 - Walker (61)

Morton dropped back down to the bottom of the First Division after losing 1-0 at home to league leaders Raith Rovers.

The match was a fairly even one in which both goalkeepers pulled off a few strong saves.

However, Colin Stewart could not keep out Allan Walker's 61st minute volley, which turned out to be the winning goal.

Despite some late pressure, Morton couldn't find a way past a stubborn Raith Rovers defence expertly marshalled by former St Mirren defender Laurie Ellis and protected by sitting midfielder Iain Davidson.

You can read my full Greenock Telegraph match report here: Morton Go Back To The Bottom

And match reaction from Ton goalkeeper Colin Stewart and manager Allan Moore here: Colin: We Need To Cut Out Errors


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 7
2. Grant Evans - 6
3. David MacGregor - 6
4. Marc Smyth - 7
5. Stuart McCaffrey (c) - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 6
7. Allan Jenkins - 6
8. Darren Young [trialist] - 6 (15. Graeme Holmes, 75 - 1)
9. Peter Weatherson - 5 (15. Jonathan Toto, 60 - 2)
10. Brian Graham - 6
11. David O'Brien - 5 (12. Carlo Monti, 64 - 2)

Subs not used:

14. Kevin Kelbie
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: None.


Stewart
Evans Smyth McCaffrey MacGregor
Jenkins Young Tidser O'Brien
Graham Weatherson


Raith Rovers (4-4-2): McGurn - 7; Wilson - 6, Murray - 7, Ellis - 7, Dyer - 6; Walker - 7, Davidson - 8, Williamson - 6 (Ferry, 65 - 2); Tade - 7, (Weir, 79 - 4) Mole - 6 (McBride, 88 - 1), Baird - 6.

Subs not used: Campbell, McNeil (gk).

Booked: Weir, Walker.

Referee: Steve Conroy

Attendance: 1,858

My man of the match: Colin Stewart

Sponsor's man of the match: Colin Stewart

View from the other side:

raithroversfc.com - match report

raithroversfc - photographs

29/10/2010

Son Of A Bitch

Morton face their second trip to the Strathclyde Homes Stadium of the season after they were drawn to face Dumbarton in the Scottish Cup third round.

Ton have already faced the Sons of the Rock in cup competition this season, securing a penalty shoot-out victory after a 0-0 draw in the Alba Challenge Cup.

The draw sees the Cappielow side face Dumbarton for the sixth time in five seasons.

The full draw:

Peterhead v Cowdenbeath
Ross County v Deveronvale
East Fife v Forfar Athletic
Bo'ness United v Buckie Thistle
Spartans v Forres Mechanics or East Stirlingshire
Stirling Albion v Partick Thistle
Cove Rangers v Berwick Rangers
Stenhousemuir v Threave Rovers
Brechin City v Preston Athletic or Annan Athletic
Airdrie United v Beith
Dumbarton v Greenock Morton
Alloa Athletic v Raith Rovers
Montrose or Arbroath v Whitehill Welfare or Wick Academy
Ayr United v Sunnybank
Elgin City v Livingston
Stranraer v Golspie Sutherland or Girvan

Date for ties: Saturday 20th November

SFA - Third Round Draw Made (29.10.2010)

28/10/2010

McLean Gunning For Ton

Former Morton striker Kenny McLean is desperate to face the Cappielow side in this season's Scottish Cup.

McLean, who now plays for Ayrshire Junior side Beith, told the Scottish Sun's Paul Hughes that he wants a crack at the Ton in the next round of the Scottish Cup to gain some revenge after former Morton manager Jim McInally unceremoniously dumped him after he was diagnosed with cancer.

McLean said: "I'd quite like a crack at Morton in the next round. I used to play there and felt a bit aggrieved when I was released.

"I was only 20 and had been with them for about three years. Jim McInally was in charge there but I fell seriously ill and he just gave me the cold shoulder when I recovered.

"I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and missed four or five months.

"When I came back I was ready to go again but I just got binned.

"The way McInally did it was bad because he never even told me I wasn't getting a deal. After something like that I just want to enjoy my football. Life's too short."

The 25-year-old made 11 appareances (3 starts, 8 sub) for Morton in three seasons with the club and was actually given a shock start in the second leg of the 2005-06 promotion play-off against Peterhead.

Scottish Sun (25.10.10): Beith 8 Glasgow University 1

07/08/2010

Stranraer 1 - 7 Morton

Stranraer 1 - McColm (55)
Morton 7 - Kean (27, 50, 54), Holmes (31), Weatherson (71, 76), Kelbie (83)

Morton ended their mini goal drought with a seven goal thrashing of a poor Stranraer side.

Stewart Kean, who'd come in for some criticism after missing a few good chances against Dumbarton, was in deadly form and netted an impressive hat-trick.

His striker partner, Peter Weatherson, helped himself to a double -one a sublime chip - while Graeme Holmes and late substitute Kevin Kelbie also scored to complete the rout and set Allan Moore's men up for the season with a confidence boosting goal fest.

Meanwhile, Carlo Monti has been the man in possession of the left-midfield starting place but faces stiff but healthy competition from David O'Brien, who made a very impressive contribution after replacing the injured Holmes in first half injury time.

After the match, Allan Moore expressed his delight at Kean's hat-trick, saying: “I’m glad he managed to get off the mark as I’d seen some of the websites saying he was useless, so he’s answered back today.

“He took his goals very well, and I’m pleased for him as he’s a confidence player and didn’t have the best of seasons at Queens last year."


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 7
2. David MacGregor - 7
3. Kevin McKinlay - 7
4. Marc Smyth - 7
5. Grant Evans - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 8
7. Graeme Holmes - 7 (12. David O'Brien, 45+1 - 7)
8. Allan Jenkins (c) - 7 (16. Fouad Bachirou, 64)
9. Peter Weatherson - 8
10. Stewart Kean - 9 (15. Kevin Kelbie, 55)
11. Carlo Monti - 7

Subs not used:

14. Stuart McCaffrey
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: Kean.


Stewart
MacGregor Smyth Evans McKinlay
Holmes Jenkins Tidser Monti
Kean Weatherson


Stranraer (4-4-2): Marshall 6; Gallagher 4, Murphy 4, Bouadji 3 (McAuliffe 75, 1), Sharp 5; Winter 6 (G. Mitchell 75, 2), Agnew 6, D.Mitchell 5, McColm 6 (Nicoll 65, 2); Oné 6, Moore 5.

Subs not used: Malcolm, McCaulay (gk).

Booked: D. Mitchell, Moore.


Referee: Steven Nicholls

Attendance: 470


My man of the match: Stewart Kean

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report (02.08.2010)

stranraerfc - photographs

02/08/2010

Morton 0 - 0 St. Mirren

Morton 0-0 St Mirren

(St Mirren win 4-3 on penalties)

St Mirren won their fifth consecutive Renfrewshire Cup with a penalty victory at Cappielow after the 90 minutes ended goalless and went straight to spot-kicks.

The Ton had Kevin Cuthbert, who appears to be Allan Moore's second choice goalkeeper at the moment, to thank for sending the match to spot-kicks after he denied Steven Thomson, Steven Robb, Michael Higdon, Craig Dargo and Darren McGregor with a series of impressive stops.

However, the Buddies' Scotland internationalist goalkeeper Paul Gallacher was also in impressive form and saved efforts from Peter Weatherson and Michael Tidser.

New St Mirren boss Danny Lennon had come in for some criticsm from opposition fans for his decision to sign four players from previous club Cowdenbeath - but I actually thought that Paul McQuade and Darren McGregor were two of the better performers on the night.

Also of interest was the introductions of ex-Morton players David van Zanten and Paul McGowan as second half substitutes. McGowan, whose goals helped fire Morton to the Second Division title in 2006/07 while on loan from Celtic, was greeted by a loud boo from the home support, although I have been told that there was also a smattering of applause from some fans in the Cowshed.

And McGowan expressed his disappointment with the reception after the match, saying: "I was a bit disappointed with the fans. I was a young boy when I was here, which seems a lifetime ago, and I thought I did well.

"I learned a lot coming here, but in terms of my career I obviously want to be playing in the SPL.

"But that's fans for you, isn't it?"

McGowan had the last laugh when he tucked away his penalty and St Mirren won the shoot-out 4-3 when captain John Potter stroked home after Graeme Holmes and Kevin Kelbie missed for Morton.

Penalty sequence: Holmes (missed), Higdon (scored), Monti (scored), van Zanten (missed), Kelbie (missed), Brady (scored), Tidser (scored), McGowan (scored), Smyth (scored), Potter (scored).


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Kevin Cuthbert - 8
2. David MacGregor - 7
3. Kevin McKinlay - 7
4. Marc Smyth - 7
5. Grant Evans - 6
6. Michael Tidser (c) - 6
7. Graeme Holmes - 6
8. Fouad Bachirou - 7
9. Peter Weatherson - 6 (14. Allan Jenkins, 81)
10. Stewart Kean - 6 (15. Kevin Kelbie, 72)
11. David O'Brien - 6 (12. Carlo Monti, 72)

Subs not used:

16. Neil MacFarlane
17. Nathan Shepherd
20. Colin Stewart


Cuthbert
MacGregor Smyth Evans McKinlay
Holmes Bachirou Tidser O'Brien
Kean Weatherson


St Mirren (4-4-2): Gallacher 8; Barron 7, Potter 7, McAusland 7 (Brady 90+2, 1), Travner 7; Thomson 6, McGregor 8, Murray 7 (van Zanten 72, 3), Robb 6 (McGowan 82, 3); McQuade 7 (Dargo 63, 4), Higdon 8.

Subs not used: Lynch, Wardlaw, Love, Samson (gk).


Referee: Stevie O'Reilly

Attendance: 3,422


My man of the match: Kevin Cuthbert

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report (28.07.2010)

saintmirren.net - match report

30/07/2010

Dumbarton 0 - 0 Morton

Dumbarton 0-0 Morton

(Morton win 4-3 on penalties)

Morton progressed to the second round of the Alba Challenge Cup after a penalty shoot-out victory against near neighbours Dumbarton.

However, the Sons have goalkeeper Stephen Grindlay to thank for taking it that far as the former Ton target pulled off a string of magnificent saves to deny new Ton striker Stewart Kean, who had around four excellent chances to score.

And on the one occasion Grindlay had no chance of making a save, Kean managed to slice a shot wide of the upright with the goal at his mercy.

30 minutes of extra-time passed without a goal, and so to spot-kicks.

After the match - which was watched by former Ton players Brian Wake, Jim McAlister, Alan Reid, Iain Russell and Kevin Finlayson - Allan Moore revealed that he choose the Ton penalty takers - and his choice was inspired as Graeme Holmes, Michael Tidser, David O'Brien and Kevin Kelbie all stepped up and fired superb efforts past Grindlay to send the Ton through after Ross Campbell smashed against the crossbar with the opening kick and Ryan McStay had his saved by Colin Stewart.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 7
2. David MacGregor - 6
3. Kevin McKinlay - 7
4. Marc Smyth - 7
5. Grant Evans - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Graeme Holmes - 8
8. Allan Jenkins (c) - 7 (15. Fouad Bachirou, 82)
9. Peter Weatherson - 6 (14.Kevin Kelbie, 82)
10. Stewart Kean - 6
11. Carlo Monti - 7 (12. David O'Brien, 68)

Booked: Tidser

Stewart
MacGregor Smyth Evans McKinlay
Holmes Jenkins Tidser Monti
Kean Weatherson

Dumbarton (4-2-3-1): Grindlay 9; Nugent 7, Gordon (c) 7, McManus 7, McNiff 7; Geggan 7, McStay 6; Carcary 7 (Cook 101, 2), Chaplain 7 (Maxwell 97, 2), Wilson 7; Campbell 6 (Brannan 85, 4).

Subs not used: Chisholm, White (gk).

Booked: Nugent, McStay, Gordon.


Referee: Stephen Finnie

Attendance: 1,301


My man of the match: Graeme Holmes

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report (26.07.2010)

Tontastic - Photographs

24/07/2010

Pre-Season So Far - Part II: Cappielow Friendlies

Morton 1-3 Bristol Rovers

Morton were given a lesson by English League One side Bristol Rovers in their first home match under Allan Moore.

Rovers completely dominated the first half and took a deserved 3-0 lead with goals by Jeff Hughes (penalty) and a Jo Kuffour double.

English-born Ghanaian Kuffour was particularly impressive and his excellent pace and move caused the Ton defence all sorts of problems.

Former Scotland under-21 Stuart Campbell, who was born in England but has a Greenockian mother and a Glaswegian father, also had a good match and it was his visionary through ball that unlocked the Ton defence for Kuffour's second goal.

The Ton came back into the game in the second half, thanks to the introduction of substitutes Peter Weatherson, new loan signing Grant Evans, Tarik Bengelloun (pictured, above) and Fouad Bachirou. And, after the match, Moore confirmed that he would be signing (or maybe even already had signed) Bengelloun and Bachirou on one-year deals.

Weatherson placed a late penalty in off the post to give Morton a late consolation and some reward for a much improved second half performance.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 6 (20. Kevin Cuthbert, 46 -6)
2. David MacGregor - 5 (12. Grant Evans, 46 - 6)
3. Kevin McKinlay - 5 (16. Nathan Shepherd, 86)
4. Marc Smyth - 7
5. Alan Lithgow [trialist] - 6
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Graeme Holmes - 6
8. Allan Jenkins - 6 (15. Fouad Bachirou, 60)
9. Stewart Kean - 6 (14. Peter Weatherson, 46 - 7)
10. Kevin Kelbie - 5 (17. Tarik Bengelloun, 65)
11. Carlo Monti - 6 (-. David O'Brien, 71)

Stewart
MacGregor Smyth Lithgow McKinlay
Holmes Jenkins Tidser Monti
Kean Kelbie

Bristol Rovers (4-2-3-1): Green 7; Regan 6, Coles 6 (Anthony 46, 6), Tunnicliffe 7, Sawyer 7; Campbell 8, Blizzard 7 (Brown 59, 3); Hoskins 7 (Duffy 68, 2), Lines 7, Hughes 8; Kuffour 8.

Subs not used: Reece, Clough, Pell, Richards.

Referee: Alan Muir

Attendance: 1,036


My man of the match: Michael Tidser

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report (19.07.2010)

bristolrovers.co.uk - Photographs

Morton 13-0 Moorcroft AFC

Morton cruised into the Renfrewshire Cup final with an easy victory over plucky Renfrew based amateurs Moorcroft.

Peter Weatherson bagged four, while Carlo Monti and Kevin Kelbie grabbed a hat-trick a piece as Morton steamrollered their amateur opponents.

Michael Tidser wrapped up the win scoring his second of the match with a stunning dipping volley from 25-yards in the final seconds.

Graeme Holmes netted the other goal with a cool finish after Carlo Monti put him one-on-one with keeper Ian McLean with a sublime through ball.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Kevin Cuthbert - 6 (20. Colin Stewart, 46 -6)
2. David MacGregor - 7
3. Harry Killick - 6
4. Marc Smyth - 6 (14. Kevin McKinlay, 61)
5. Allan Jenkins - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 9
7. Graeme Holmes - 8
8. Neil MacFarlane - 6 (15. Nathan Shepherd, 46 - 5)
9. Peter Weatherson - 8
10. Kevin Kelbie - 8
11. Carlo Monti - 8 (12. David O'Brien, 46 - 7)

Cuthbert
MacGregor Smyth Jenkins Killick
Holmes MacFarlane Tidser Monti
Weatherson Kelbie


Moorcroft AFC (4-4-1-1): McLean 6; Scobie 4 (McMillan 72, 2), Robinson 3, Lawrie 3, Heinman 6 (Capani 53, 2); Sutherland 5, Morgan 6 (Mulgrew 63, 2), Goudie 5, Anderson 6 (Kerr 53, 3); McKinna 6; Gilmour 5 (Sharp 78, 1).

Booked: Robinson (55)


My man of the match: Michael Tidser

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report (21.07.2010)

23/07/2010

Pre-Season So Far - Part I: North East Tour

Blyth Spartans 0-0 Morton

Morton kicked-off their pre-season tour of the north of England with a visit to Blyth Spartans' Croft Park.

Allan Moore included trialists Alan Lithgow (pictured, above) Tony McParland and two unnamed Frenchmen, who turned out to be French-Morrocan striker Tarik Bengelloun and French-Comorian defensive midfielder Foaud Bachirou, in his first proper match as Ton manager.

Bachirou started the match, while Bengelloun appeared as a second half substitute - and both players made impressive contributions.

However, Moore's men still couldn't find a way past the Blue Square North side's defence and the match finished goalless.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Kevin Cuthbert - 8
2. David MacGregor - 6
3. Kevin McKinlay - 6
4. Marc Smyth - 8
5. Alan Lithgow [trialist] - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 8 (-. Graeme Holmes, 60)
7. Tony McParland [trialist] - 7 (16. Nathan Shepherd, 77)
8. Fouad Bachirou [trialist] - 7 (-. Allan Jenkins, 68)
9. Stewart Kean - 6 (15. Tarik Bengelloun [trialist], 60)
10. Brian Graham - 5 (12. Kevin Kelbie, 46 - 4)
11. Carlo Monti - 7

Unused Subs:

14. Stewart Greacen
17. Neil MacFarlane
20. Colin Stewart

Cuthbert
MacGregor Smyth Lithgow McKinlay
McParland Bachirou Tidser Monti
Graham Kean

Blyth Spartans (4-2-2-2): Grieveson 8; Harrison 6 (Alexander, 60), Swailes 6 (Taylor 60), Williams 7, Cave 7; Hooks 6, Turnbull 6 (Groves 64, 2); Tait 6, Deverdics 5 (Graham 46, 3); Dale 6, Brayson 6 (Ridley 83).

Unused Subs: Wilkinson, Smeil, Cunningham (gk).


My man of the match: Michael Tidser

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report (14.07.2010)

blythspartansafc.co.uk - Photographs

Gateshead 0-1 Morton

Morton followed up their draw with Blyth Spartans with a win over their near neighbours and fierce rivals, Gateshead, at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Allan Jenkins, who was looking a bit fitter and more like the man we remember from his time at Stranraer and Gretna, was the goal hero.

It was one minute before the interval when Kevin Kelbie was fouled in the middle of the park. The referee awarded a free-kick and Jenks caught everyone unaware, including the fans present but especially Gateshead goalkeeper Paul Farman, with a floated free-kick from the halfway line.

Morton were impressive in possession, looking to keep the ball on the ground and attack down the wings, and looked rock solid at the back. New signing Marc Smyth was particularly impressive, and his excellent organisational and leadership skills suggest to me that he's a good bet for captain in the coming season.

In addition to the trialists who appeared in the Blyth game, Allan Moore also had a look at former West Bromwich Albion right-back Jeff Forsyth, who also had a trial with the club under Davie Irons, and Portuguese striker Hardy Pinto-Moreira - the London-based left-footer who was originally billed as Nigerian - but both failed to stand out from a technical perspective. They also looked unfit, although there are mitigating factors in Forsyth's case.

This would also be Tony McParland's last match in a Ton shirt after Moore informed him he wouldn't be taking his interest any further, suggesting that he wanted someone 'more dynamic'.

Former Ton player Brian Wake played in the match and later mentioned that he was impressed with his old side's performance and that he holds the Ton faithful in great esteem, still has lots of great friends at Cappielow and wishes the club all the best this season.


Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 7
2. Jeff Forsyth [trialist] - 6 (-. Carlo Monti, 79)
3. Kevin McKinlay - 6 (18. Nathan Shepherd, 69)
4. Marc Smyth - 8 (16. David MacGregor, 69)
5. Alan Lithgow [trialist] - 7 (14. Fouad Bachirou [trialist], 66)
6. Graeme Holmes - 7
7. Tony McParland [trialist] - 6 (12. Tarik Bengelloun [trialist], 69)
8. Allan Jenkins - 8
9. Stewart Kean - 6 (15. Hardy Pinto-Moreira [trialist], 56)
10. Kevin Kelbie - 6 (17. Peter Weatherson, 62)
11. David O'Brien - 6

Unused Subs:

14. Ryan Kane
20. Colin Stewart

Stewart
Forsyth Smyth Lithgow McKinlay
McParland Holmes Jenkins O'Brien
Kean Kelbie


Gateshead (4-4-2): Farman 7; Baxter 7, Heywood 6, Clark 7, Heckingbottom 6; Brittain 5 (Marwood, 46), Turnbull 8, Ferell 6 (Francis, 83), Baptist 4 (Nelthorpe, 46 - 5); Allan 6, (D. Dowson 46 - 5) Wake 6 (Fisher, 66).

Unused Subs: Jones, Gillies, M.Dawson (gk).

My man of the match: Marc Smyth

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report (16.07.2010)

gateshead-fc.co.uk - Match Report and Photographs (16.07.2010)

22/07/2010

(Lack Of) Pre-Season Updates

Apologies for the lack of updates so far this pre-season.

I have been reporting on the matches for the Greenock Telegraph and have struggled to find the time to post updates on greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com.

However, I hope to post a full update and analysis of the friendlies sometime tomorrow night.

In the meantime you can read my Tele' reports here and watch a youtube video of stand-out performer Michael Tidser (pictured) that I found earlier today and have imbedded, below.

12/07/2010

No Deal For Three Trialists

Allan Moore has begun cutting down the number of trialists who have been training with the club by telling three players that they will not be offered deals.

According to the Greenock Telegraph's Martin Greig, interest in Jamie McCluskey (pictured), Grant Smith and John Kane will not be taken any further, while Alan Lithgow and former Aberdeen youths Jonathan Crawford and Nicky Clark will not travel to England due to injury.

However, Tony McParland, two unnamed French trialists and the unnamed Nigerian striker will journey south with the chance of earning contracts with the club.

Greenock Telegraph - Trialists Allowed To Leave (12.07.2010)

11/07/2010

Nigerian Trialist Scores For Ton

Morton's unnamed Nigerian trialist striker marked his first appearance in Ton colours with a goal against Albion Rovers.

According to today's Sunday Mail, Morton drew 2-2 in a closed doors game away to the Cliftonhill side. Allan Jenkins was the other goalscorer.

The Nigerian trialist (pictured*, above: wearing number 9) was part of a touring Nigerian XI who were beaten 4-2 by a Morton select at the Battery Park on Monday night. And the striker, who has been described as tall and fast, impressed Allan Moore enough for the Ton boss to invite him on the club's pre-season tour in the north east of England.


*photo of Nigerian trialist courtesy of Nick 'Tonsilitis' Robinson.

09/07/2010

Nigerian Striker Invited On Tour

Allan Moore has invited a Nigerian striker on Morton's tour of the north east of England after he impressed in a bounce match at the Battery Park last night.

Morton beat a team of touring Nigerians 4-2 with goals from Michael Tidser, Ryan Kane, Brian Graham and a Jamie McCluskey penalty, according to greenockmorton.org poster SmithsTON.

Most fans who were present were impressed with the Nigerian team's number nine (pictured*, above: wearing the green bib beside the white booted Morton player, possibly Marc Smyth). "I reckon he was by far their stand out player," Donkey Dave said. Tonsilitis added, "I agree, their No 9 looked their best player and had Smyth and MacFarlane rattled a few times. Big lad and quick too!" And Muz seemed to agree with Tonsilitis' assessment, "He was a mountain of a player- looked quite fast. Not surprised they asked him, to be honest."



According to Tonsilitis, Morton lined up as follows (4-4-2):

Trialist
Trialist (John Kane?) Smyth MacFarlane McKinlay
McCluskey Holmes Tidser Monti
Graham Kane

Meanwhile, another Morton select had beaten Hamilton Accies 1-0 in a bounce game played earlier in the day. Stewart Kean scored the goal.

Greenock Telegraph - Ton Take Nigerian On Tour (09.07.2010)

greenockmorton.org thread

* Pictures courtesy of Jim MacVicar.

08/07/2010

Stoking Moore's Interest

Morton travel to the north of England next week and during that trip Allan Moore will run the rule over Chris Stokes, a left-back with England youth caps.

According to the Greenock Telegraph's Martin Greig, the 19-year-old former England under-17 international joins the club on trial after a recommendation by Bolton Wanderers assistant manager Sandy Stewart, a close friend of Moore's from their days together at Airdrie.


Stokes (pictured) was part of the England under-17 squad that travelled to Denmark in the summer of 2007 to take part in the Nordic Championships. He played alongside Everton's Jack Rodwell and Tottenham's John Bostock as they beat Iceland 2-0, Finland 2-1 but lost 2-0 to Sweden.

Stokes was a released this May after five years with the youth and reserve teams at the Reebok Stadium. He also spent two months on loan at Crewe Alexandra towards the end of last season and returned for what must've been an unsuccessful trial earlier this summer.

At the time, Crewe manager Dario Gradi told their official website: “We took him here on loan to have a look at him because we expected him to be released by Bolton. That has happened and he has asked if he can come here and have a trial. We are more than happy to have another look at him and the offer is there to come and train with us.

“He has a lovely left foot, was not fazed by anything and has the physical attributes"

Greenock Telegraph - Ex-England Youth Cap To Join (06.07.2010)

06/07/2010

McParland and McCluskey On Trial

Former Celtic, Livingston and Queen of the South wideman Tony McParland has been named as one of the many trialists who are currently training with the Morton squad.

The 27-year-old had a spell on trial with the club in May 2008 but failed to win a deal from the then management team of Davie Irons and Derek Collins. The decision appeared to be a poor one as the former Scotland under-21 internationalist subsequently signed for Livingston and put in a few very impressive performances against us in the 2008/09 season.

I thought McParland (pictured, above) was outstanding in Livi's 2-1 win at Cappielow in August 2008; I named him my man of the match as he terrorised Jim McAlister, who was playing left wing-back that day, in front of the Cowshed.

McParland is joined on trial by another right-winger in former Hibs starlet Jamie McCluskey. In January 2004, McCluskey became the youngest player in SPL history when John Collins gave him his first team debut at 16-years and 79 days old. However, things didn't go to plan as a fall out with Collins saw him leave Easter Road.

McCluskey was tipped by those in the know as a player with the potential to be the best young player to come out of a youth system that produced players like Derek Riordan, Scott Brown, Kevin Thomson, Steven Whittaker and Steven Fletcher.

In fact, my brother once told me about how two of his friends, who both played against McCluskey when they were playing with Inverness Caley Thistle youths/reserves, used to rave about McCluskey saying that he was the best player they'd ever played against, even though they'd faced the likes of Shaun Maloney, Nacho Novo and Steven Fletcher.

After Hibs, McCluskey joined St. Johnstone but suffered terrible injury problems and was released after one season. He had unsuccessful trial spells with Partizan Belgrade and Serie A side Catania before signing for Wrexham, where he spent a year and a half before his release this summer.

Other trialists have been confirmed by the Greenock Telegraph as: former Aberdeen pair Jonathan Crawford (right-back) and Nicky Clark (central midfield), ex-Clyde defender Alan Lithgow (central defender), Grant Smith who had a spell playing in Australia with North Queensland Fury but who had also played with Livingston, Clydebank, Dundee United and most recently Ross County (left back/ central midfield/ left midfield), ex-Hibs, Motherwell, Partick Thistle and Stranraer player John Kane (right-back, central defender) and ex-Bolton youngster Chris Stokes (left-back).

Allan Moore also has two unnamed French trialists training with the club.

Greenock Telegraph - Boss: Prove You Are Worth A Deal (02.07.2010)

Greenock Telegraph - Ton To See Trialists In Action (06.07.2010)

02/07/2010

Dumbarton Tie Moved To Sunday

Dumbarton have announced that their Alba Challenge Cup first round tie versus Morton has been switched from Saturday to Sunday - again.

The match will now be played on Sunday, July 25 after the Sons accepted a booking for a wedding at the Strathclyde Homes Stadium - just like last year.

dumbartonfootballclub.co.uk - Change To Alba Cup Fixture (30.06.2010)


Greenock Telegraph - Ton Face Cup Tie Date Switch (01.07.2010)

29/06/2010

Moore Kean On Stewart

Allan Moore has today signed former St. Mirren striker Stewart Kean.

The 27-year-old, who also played with Ayr United and, most recently, Queen of the South, has signed for Morton, according to today's Greenock Telegraph.

Kean started his career in the junior ranks with Craigmark Burtonians. He then moved to Ayr United, where he caught the eye and secured a £20,000 transfer to St. Mirren. In his time at Love Street, Kean scored 26 goals, including 12 in the Buddies' 2005/06 promotion season.

He was released by the Saints in the summer of 2008 and subsequently signed for Queen of he South, where he spent two seasons - he actually scored against Morton last season (pictured, below) - before he was released this summer.


Kean is Moore's fifth summer signing after he completed deals for Marc Smyth and Graeme Holmes yesterday.

Greenock Telegraph - New Boy Kean To Get Started (29.06.2010)

Evening Times - Ton Hit By Pete Injury Hold Up (29.06.2010)