Morton 2 - 1 Airdrie United

Morton 2 - Weatherson (19), MacGregor (65)
Airdrie United 1
- O'Carroll (54)

Att: 1,266

Déjà vu all over again: Morton stalwart Davie MacGregor did what he always does: got on the end of a corner to secure a 2-1 win in a crucial match at Cappielow. He did it when he scored his last goal in a 2-1 win over Peterhead at Cappielow in October 2005 (pictured, below), and before that in a 2-1 win against Albion Rovers in January 2003.

Understandably, James Grady reverted to a 4-4-2 formation for this home fixture against bottom club Airdrie after he had employed a 4-5-1 up in Inverness the previous Saturday. Donovan Simmonds, who was unimpressive against Caley, dropped to the bench and Peter Weatherson was restored to the starting line-up. Iain Russell partnered Peter up front after taking Erik Paartalu's place in the side. Dominic Shimmin had recovered from injury and his inclusion meant a reshuffle in defence: Ryan McGuffie moved back to right-back and Alan Reid, rather harshly, found himself on the bench.

The first real incident arrived in the 19th minute in the form of the opening goal. Peter Weatherson collected a clever angled pass from Jim McAlister and took a touch before sweeping the ball past Airdrie goalkeeper Stephen Robertson at his near post.

Peter almost doubled Morton's lead three minutes later but he smashed the ball high and wide at the back post. He should've done better and if his reaction was anything to go by, he knew it as well.

The Diamonds should have equalised just before the half hour but Bobby Donnelly headed a Ricky Waddell corner over the bar when it looked easier to score.

Cowshed enemy number one Scott McLaughlin had a couple of efforts, one of which was blocked and the other easily saved by Kevin Cuthbert before the half-time whistle blew.

Although this match wasn't offering much in the way of entertainment, we were winning in a match we had to take three points from. So most fans seemed reasonably happy if a little concerned.

It didn't take long for that little concern to chane to grave concern, when Airdrie equalised in the 54th minute. Poor defending allowed Waddell to pick the ball up on the left and his cross found former Celtic youth Diarmuid O'Carroll totally unmarked in the centre, and he nodded past Cuthbert to bring his side level. It is totally unacceptable to be conceding this kind of goal - something Ryan McGuffie seems to agree with,
"We concede too many goals and they are cheap goals, he told the Greenock Telegraph. "We are having to really work hard for goals but when teams score against us they don't really have to cut us open. They seem to come from an unforced error and they get their goals rather cheaply."

However, Morton restored their lead in the 65th minute. Allan Jenkins won a corner when he burst through the Airdrie rearguard and had a left foot shot pushed wide by Robertson. Long serving defender MacGregor, who put in as solid a performance as I've seen from him in a long time, met Stevie Masterton's inswinging flag kick with a bullet header from inside the six yard box to make it 2-1.

Substitute Donovan Simmonds almost put the match beyond doubt when his pace took him one-on-one with Robertson three minutes later, but the Airdrie stopper made a great save to deny the Englishman. Yet, he really should've had a penalty as Simon Storey was pulling and hauling at Simmonds the whole time. If he went down, he'd have surely have been awarded a penalty.

Kevin Cuthbert made sure the three points stayed at Cappielow when he tipped Kevin Watt's curling effort over the bar with ten minutes to go.

It wasn't pretty, or convincing, but we got the three points, which was the important thing.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Kevin Cuthbert - 6
2. Ryan McGuffie - 6
3. Kevin McKinlay - 6
4. Dominic Shimmin - 6
5. David MacGregor - 8
6. Michael Tidser - 7
7. Allan Jenkins - 6
8. Stevie Masterton - 7
9. Peter Weatherson - 7 (15. Erik Paartalu - 72 mins)
10. Iain Russell - 4 (12. Donovan Simmonds - 62 mins)
11. Jim McAlister (c) - 7

Unused Subs:

14. Brian Graham
16. Alan Reid
20. Colin Stewart

Booked: Weatherson, Tidser, Simmonds.

McGuffie MacGregor Shimmin McKinlay
Masterton Jenkins Tidser McAlister
Weatherson Russell

Airdrie United: Stephen Robertson; Ryan McCann, Robert Donnelly, Simon Storey, Paul Lovering (Kevin Watt, 80); Scott Gemmill, Scott McLaughlin, Kevin McDonald (Alan Trouten, 73), RickyWaddell; Diarmuid O'Carroll, Paul Keegan (Frankie Lagana, 72).

Unused Subs: David Nixon, Lee Hollis.

Booked: Trouten, Robertson.

My man of the match: David MacGregor

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report

Daily Record - Match Report

bbc sport - Match Report

airdrieunitedfc.com - Match Report

tontastic photographs

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