Morton 1 - 0 Partick Thistle

Morton 1 - McAlister (90)
Partick Thistle 0

Att: 2,163

Just Bute-iful: Cometh hour, cometh the men from across the water. Rothesay's Jim McAlister scored a 90th minute winner at home to Partick Thistle to follow up the heroics of Dunoon's Davie MacGregor, who scored the winner against Airdrie United in midweek.

James Grady made one change to the side that beat Airdrie United in midweek: Iain Russell, who had a poor game against the Diamonds, was replaced by Donovan Simmonds.

And it was Simmonds who almost made an immediate impact, but he fired wide after being put through on goal by strike partner Peter Weatherson in the third minute.

Then, four minutes later, Stevie Masterton smashed a shot inches over the junction of bar and post.

Morton also failed to convert two headed chances before Partick Thistle managed to manufacture their first chance of the half. Jim McAlister nodded a Simmonds cross over the bar in the 28th minute and there was a similar outcome when Ryan McGuffie met a Masterton corner three minutes afterwards.

Then Thistle came to life and missed three chances in three minutes towards the end of the half. In the 36th minute Marc Corcoran sent a dipping volley over the bar, then a couple of minutes later Kevin McKinlay, who had a solid game at left-back, got back to make a superb goal line clearance to deny Simon Donnelly. Ad it was just minute after that that the grounded Kevin Cuthbert managed to stick out a leg to deny Corcoran when the former St. Mirren winger looked certain to score.

The last chance of the half fell to the home side but Simmonds curled his effort over the bar after the ball fell kindly for him. Simmonds' pace and movement had the Thistle rearguard at panic stations throughout the match; it is just unfortunate that the Englishman seems to lack composure in front of goal.

It was the 21-year-old former Coventry striker who had the first opportunity of the second period when he got on the end of a Masterton cross in the 51st minute, but his header was tipped over the bar by Northern Ireland internationalist Jonny Tuffey.

From the resultant corner a flashing header sent the ball crashing off the post but, frustratingly for the Ton, the ball rebounded to safety. I thought that the ball was directed onto the post by a Partick Thistle head, possibly David Rowson's, but Craig Stewart, who was reporting for the Greenock Telegraph, suggests that it was actually the head of Dom Shimmin who knocked the ball towards goal.

The Jags passed up one of two glorious chances to take the lead, the first of which came in the 59th minute. Liam Buchanan, so often a thorn in Morton's side this season, burst past several Ton players down the left before cutting back for Paul Cariney, who scuffed the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.

With 15 minutes to go, Allan Jenkins, who looks as if he might be carrying an injury or struggling to recover fitness after missing three months of the season between October and January, burst forward before firing a left foot shoot wide of the upright.

Then, in the 81st minute, it was Buchanan's turn to miss a sitter. The ball found him unmarked at the back post but the 12 goal striker smashed the ball high into the side netting when it looked easier to score. Had he elected to place the ball back across goal rather than try to fire it into the top corner then he'd probably have scored.

Just as everyone seemed to be heading for the exits thinking that Morton had secured their first draw of the league season, Jim McAlister broke down the left and his a pretty hopeful left foot effort at goal and to everyone's amazement the ball zipped under Tuffey's leg and into the net to score his first goal since September 2008 and secure a crucial three points.

They say things always come in threes, so Raith Rovers better hope that Dunoon-born Neil MacFarlane isn't in the starting eleven tonight as he must be a cert to score the winner.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Kevin Cuthbert - 7
2. Ryan McGuffie - 7
3. Kevin McKinlay - 8
4. Dominic Shimmin - 7
5. David MacGregor - 7
6. Michael Tidser - 7 (14. Erik Paartalu - 69 mins)
7. Allan Jenkins - 6
8. Stevie Masterton - 7 (15. Kevin Finlayson - 69 mins)
9. Peter Weatherson - 7 (12. Brian Graham - 87 mins)
10. Donovan Simmonds - 8
11. Jim McAlister (c) - 7

Unused Subs:

16. Stewart Greacen
20. Colin Stewart

Booked: Weatherson, Masterton.

McGuffie MacGregor Shimmin McKinlay
Masterton Jenkins Tidser McAlister
Weatherson Simmonds

Partick Thistle: Jonny Tuffey; Eric Paton, Ian Maxwell, John Robertson, Alan Archibald; Paul Cairney, Stephen McKeown (Steve Lovell, 78), David Rowson, Marc Corcoran (Chris Erskine, 74); Simon Donnelly (Martin Grehan, 71), Liam Buchanan.

Unused Subs: Ryan Conroy, Bryn Halliwell.

Booked: Cairney.

My man of the match: Donovan Simmonds

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

bbc sport - Match Report

ptfc.co.uk - Match Report

Tommy Taylor's ptfc.co.uk photographs

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