Premiership Footballer Snapped In Ton Shirt

Unfortunately, the shirt was a gift from Port Glasgow school children to Portsmouth and South Africa player Aaron Mokoena, who was visiting the school after their support for his charity, the Aaron Mokoena foundation, and not a press photo shoot for a new signing.

Mokoena started his career with Dutch giants Ajax and has spent the last couple of years playing in the English Premier League with Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth. The 29-year-old is set to add to his 99 international caps when he captains his country, South Africa, as they host this summer's FIFA World Cup.

Greenock Telegraph - World Cup Captain Visits Greenock

Inverclyde Now - South African Football Captain's Port Visit

Ross County 2 - 1 Morton

Ross County 2 - Brittain (26), Barrowman (90+2)
Morton 1
- Witteveen (52)

Att: 1,830

Highland Clearance: County striker Andrew Barrowman broke Morton hearts when he collected the ball and stroked home an injury time winner after a blunder by Dominic Shimmin.

James Grady made a couple of changes to the team that lost heavily to Dunfermline at the weekend; out went the injured pair Michael Tidser, who Grady described as 'a bit leggy', and Peter Weatherson to be replaced by Neil MacFarlane and Donovan Simmonds respectively. Tidser took a place on the bench but Peter was not included in the match squad. The only other change was David MacGregor's inclusion at left-back in place of Alan Reid, who was on the bench.

I covered this match for the Greenock Telegraph; you can read my match report here: Greenock Telegraph - Ton Face Last Day Survival Fight

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 7
2. Ryan McGuffie - 6
3. David MacGregor - 6
4. Dominic Shimmin - 6
5. Stewart Greacen (c) - 8
6. Neil MacFarlane - 6
7. Kevin Finlayson - 7
8. Allan Jenkins - 7
9. Donovan Simmonds - 6
10. David Witteveen - 7
11. Carlo Monti - 6

Unused Subs:

12. Brian Graham
14. Erik Paartalu
15. Michael Tidser
16. Alan Reid
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: Witteveen, McGuffie, Simmonds.

McGuffie Greacen Shimmin MacGregor
Finlayson MacFarlane Jenkins Monti
Witteveen Simmonds

Ross County: Michael McGovern; Gary Miller (Stuart Kettlewell, 73), Alex Keddie, Scott Boyd, Scott Morrison; Richard Brittain, Paul Lawson (Garry Wood, 77), Iain Vigurs (Martin Scott, 46), Michael Gardyne; Paul Di Giacomo, Andrew Barrowman.

Unused Subs: Stephen Watt, Joe Malin (GK).

Booked: Kettlewell.

My man of the match: Richard Brittain (Ross County)

Sponsor's man of the match: Paul Lawson (Ross County)

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report

bbc sport - Match Report


Dunfermline 4 - 1 Morton

Dunfermline 4 - Phinn (9), Bell (27, 44, 90+2 pen)
Morton 1
- Monti (40 pen)

Att: 2,532

Hell's Bells: Dunfermline Athletic midfielder Steven Bell took full advantage of a very poor defensive performance from Morton to net his first senior hat-trick and help the Pars to a comfortable 4-1 victory.

Full match report to follow...

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 5
2. Ryan McGuffie - 7
3. Alan Reid - 7
4. Dominic Shimmin - 5
5. Stewart Greacen (c) - 5
6. Erik Paartalu - 4
7. Kevin Finlayson - 5
8. Michael Tidser - 7
9. Peter Weatherson - 5 (12. Donovan Simmonds - 41 mins)
10. David Witteveen - 5 (14. Brian Graham - 61 mins)
11. Carlo Monti - 6

Unused Subs:

15. David MacGregor
16. Allan Jenkins
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: Shimmin.

McGuffie Greacen Shimmin Reid
Finlayson Paartalu Tidser Monti
Witteveen Weatherson

Dunfermline: Chris Smith; Greg Ross, Calum Woods, Andy Dowie, Austin McCann (c); Willie Gibson (Graeme Holmes, 80), Steven Bell, Alex Burke, Joe Cardle (Ross Campbell, 61), Nick Phinn (Gary Mason, 80); David Graham.

Unused Subs: Chris Higgins, Greg Fleming (GK).

Booked: Bell, Dowie.

My man of the match: Steven Bell (Dunfermline)

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

bbc sport - Match Report

dafc.co.uk - Match Report

dafc.co.uk - Photographs


Ton's Uncapped Wonders

This week, STV announced the results of their poll to find Scotland's Greatest Team and, as expected, it included illustrious names such as Dalglish, Law and Souness.

However, the Scottish Sun's Roger Hannah recently honoured the nearly men by choosing Scotland's Uncapped Wonders - and four ex-Morton players featured in the eleven. Ton legends Andy Ritchie and Jim Duffy were joined by Alex Miller and John McMaster, who both had short playing spells at Cappielow.

The full eleven was: Hamish McAlpine, Alex Miller, Jim Duffy, John Brown, John McMaster; Gordon Smith, Bobby Russell, John McGovern, Peter Marinello; Harry Hood, Andy Ritchie.

Scottish Sun - Uncapped Wonders (22.04.2010)


Former Player Admits Irons Rift

Former Morton midfielder Kieran McAnespie is the latest player to admit a fall out with former manager Davie Irons.

In a Daily Record story about how he left his job as a cameraman at TV porn channel Babestation to return to Scotland to play with junior side Bellshill Athletic, McAnespie is quoted as saying: "I was at a crossroads in my career and scunnered with football. I fell out with Morton manager Davie Irons and spat the dummy.

"So I was labouring and just playing amateur football with Milngavie Wanderers when I went down to London in December.

"But my mate said I could work as a producer and cameraman at Babestation and I thought, 'Why not?' - and it was just brilliant."

Daily Record - Former football star quits job filming naked women to return to Scotland to play in the juniors (19.04.2010)


Icelandic Invasion

“Greenock Morton, very good team, no?” said an Icelandic fisherman to an Aberdonian journalist in a disco in the Faroese capital, Tórshavn.

In an article in today's Press and Journal, Mike Lowson writes about the time he was accosted by a huge Icelandic fisherman who wanted to discuss his love of the 'Ton.

Apparently, the Icelander watched a match at Cappielow after his fishing boat stopped at Greenock. According to Lowson, the human volcano hated the English and the Faroese - but he loved Morton.

You can read the full story here: Press and Journal - Encounter With A Human Volcano (21.04.2010)


Rangers Watch Tidser

Rangers first-team coach Kenny McDowall was at last week's 1-1 draw with Ross County to watch Morton's Michael Tidser, according to the Scottish Daily Express.

The small snippet also states that Tidser's Irn-Bru Young Player of the Month award has 'sparked interest from a host of SPL clubs'.

Fortunately for Morton, Tidser signed an 18-month deal in January - so any move would require interested clubs to pay a transfer fee to secure his signature.


Morton 2 - 2 Dundee

Morton 2 - Witteveen (40), Monti (66 pen)
Dundee 2
- Harkins (68), Griffiths (86)

Att: 1,998

The Pink Panther strikes again:
Effeminately booted Dundee striker Leigh Griffiths scored a late free-kick to snatch a 2-2 draw after Morton looked to have the game wrapped up when a Carlo Monti penalty put them 2-0 up in the 66th minute.

For the first time in a long time, James Grady went with the exact same starting eleven for two consecutive matches.

Morton tormentor in chief Griffiths, who has scored in three of the four matches against us this season, almost opened the scoring in the 3rd minute. The Scotland 'B' internationalist picked up a slack pass by Michael Tidser and drove towards goal but he his low shot was straight at Colin Stewart.

However, from then on in Morton took control of the match. Peter Weatherson jinked past a couple of defenders before smashing his effort wide in the 4th minute. Then, in the 14th minute, Tidser volleyed over after the bar after the ball ran loose when David Witteveen's attempt to take it on his chest went wrong.

Ryan McGuffie has been a revelation since moving back to right-back and his marauding runs from deep were causing the Dundee defence no end of problems. The 29-year-old made a lung busting run forward in the 19th minute, but the end product wasn't quite there as he dragged his shot wide of the upright. He was getting forward at every opportunity and popped up in the box five minutes later but this time he volleyed over.

Kevin Finlayson was another player who was having a fine match and it was his cross that Tidser met with a flying header in the 32nd minute, but heading doesn't appear to be one of the former Celtic man's strengths and the ball flew wide of goal.

Tidser's corners are a becoming an important weapon in Morton's attacking arsenal and it was from one of his outswingers that McGuffie headed towards goal in the 38th minute. The ball looked as if it was destined for the back of the net but Dundee's 2nd choice goalie, the rotund Tony Bullock, made a spectacular leap to tip the ball over the crossbar.

Morton were completely dominating the match now and it was no surprise when the we took the lead two minutes later. Carlo Monti swung over a free-kick from out by the main stand and 6' 5" Erik Paartalu rose above everyone to head against the cross bar. Fortunately, Hearts loanee Witteveen was right on hand to tap the rebound into the net to give the Ton a half-time lead.

Dundee had been particularly poor in the first half, and Gordon Chisholm decided to freshen things up with two half-time changes: Pat Clarke replaced Colin McMenamin and Sean Higgins came on for Andrew Shinnie.

However, it was Morton who picked up where they left off and they should have extended their lead one minute into the second half when Weatherson was played in one-on-one with Bullock. The Geordie striker is usually deadly in these situations but he totally mishit his shot and the ball screwed well wide of the target.

Morton were not to be denied and got the second their play deserved in the 66th minute. For the second consecutive match, Witteveen was bundled over in the box and young Monti stepped up to cooly slot his penalty down the middle.

But we hardly had a chance to settle down after the celebrations before the Dens Park men pulled one back when local lad Gary Harkins smashed an angled shot across Colin Stewart from inside the box, 2-1.

Griffiths should have pulled his side level in the 77th minute but he volleyed wide after the Morton defence failed to deal with a long free-kick.

And just when it looked like we might've held on for the win, Dundee were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal when Dominic Shimmin was adjudged to have fouled a Dundee striker in his attempt to win a header. This was never a free-kick in a million years and you just knew we'd be punished for it. Dundee had four players around the ball arguing over what to do with the set-piece until Griffiths hobbled back on after treatment from what seemed a pretty bad ankle injury. The former Livingston striker appeared to pull rank and cleared the area around the ball to line up a strike at goal. His left footed effort curled over the wall and into the top corner to level the score at 2-2. I have to say that I thought Colin Stewart's positioning was suspect. To me, he was too close to the far away post when it was obvious that Griffths would be looking to put it over the wall in to the opposite side of the goal. I realise that a keeper puts up a wall and guards the other side, but I thought that Colin was still too far to the one side.

Morton had one last chance to win it when Kevin Finalyson slid in to meet substitute Donovan Simmonds' cut back to the edge of the six yard box, but a defender got back to block and send the ball high over the cross bar.

Dundee almost committed daylight robbery when Eddie Malone powered a header towards goal in injury time but Stewart got a strong hand to the ball to push it over for a corner.

At 2-0 up and with Dundee playing dreadful, this match looked out of sight, but as has happened so often this season, we failed to show the mental strength to hold on for the win. This is something that Grady will have to address in the summer and I'm confident that he will know this himself. Although Dundee snatched a late point, they'll still be pretty devastated with a draw as it effectively ended their title hopes. And this is a huge blow considering the money they have invested in order to secure a return to the SPL and the way they lost an eight point lead earlier in the season. However, it's easy to see why they have fallen away - they are a two man team. Without Leigh Griffths and Gary Harkins, Dundee wouldn't even have had chance of the title in the first place.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 6
2. Ryan McGuffie - 8
3. Alan Reid - 7
4. Dominic Shimmin - 7
5. Stewart Greacen (c) - 7
6. Erik Paartalu - 6
7. Kevin Finlayson - 8
8. Michael Tidser - 7
9. Peter Weatherson - 7 (12. Donovan Simmonds - 78 mins)
10. David Witteveen - 6
11. Carlo Monti - 6

Unused Subs:

14. Stevie Masterton
15. David MacGregor
16. Brian Graham
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: Greacen.

McGuffie Greacen Shimmin Reid
Finlayson Paartalu Tidser Monti
Witteveen Weatherson

Dundee: Tony Bullock: Craig McKeown, Jim Lauchlan, Ryan O'Leary, Eddie Malone; Gary Harkins, Brian Kerr (Colin Cameron, 61), Andrew Shinnie (Sean Higgins, 46) Eric Paton; Colin McMenamin (Pat Clarke, 46), Leigh Griffiths.

Unused Subs: Richie Hart, Derek Soutar.

Booked: McKeown, Lauchlan, Paton

My man of the match: Ryan McGuffie

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report

The Scottish Sun - Match Report

bbc sport - Match Report

dundeefc.co.uk - Match Report


Grady Wins Appeal

Morton manager James Grady has had a two game touchline ban rescinded after he successfully appealed against the SFA's decision.

Last December, Grady was sent to the stand (pictured) along with Craig Brewster after they clashed at the side of the pitch during Ross County's 3-1 win. However, the incident actually involved Grady being choked and man handled by Brewster. And it would appear that the referee's report confirmed this version of events as Grady's ban was quashed by the SFA disciplinary committee.

There doesn't appear to be any lingering resentment over the incident, though. "So, on to today's game. We welcome Derek Adams and his coaching staff including Big Brew!" Grady joked in his programme notes for the Ross County match on Tuesday.

Scotsman - Morton Boss James Grady Ban Quashed By SFA (15.04.2010)


Morton 1 - 1 Ross County

Morton 1 - Monti (7 pen)
Ross County 1
- Gardyne (42)

Att: 1,219

Should've Gone To Specsavers: Ross County's Michael Gardyne tried to save face by desperately claiming that a shot he hit defied the laws of physics by going over the line in between hitting both posts after he embarrassed himself by running away in celebration somewhat prematurely. However, it was the former Morton man who earned his side a point after he cancelled out Carlo Monti's opener from the penalty spot.

Neil MacFarlane picked up a virus during the week and was replaced by Erik Paartalu. This was the only change to the team that lost 2-0 to County's Highland rivals, Caley Thistle.

In the 7th minute, the first real incident of the match ended in a goal for Morton. David Witteveen collected Carlo Monti reverse pass and knocked the ball past County goalkeeper Michael McGovern. As he moved past the goalkeeper, the Staggies' Alex Keddie barged into Witteveen's back forcing him to the ground and gifting Morton a perfect chance to take the lead from the penalty spot. I thought the push sent the Wittster tumbling over the Northern Irish goalkeeper, creating the illusion that it was goalie who fouled the big Austrian, but that it was Keddie and not McGovern who was the guilty man. The referee agreed - not a good sign - as he booked Keddie. Either way, young Monti grabbed the ball and sent McGovern the wrong way with his side footed spot kick.

Peter Weatherson almost scored seven minutes later but, after taking a nice touch to control the ball and swivel, he hooked wide of goal.

There was a moment of controversy in the 32nd minute as the Cowshed-side linseman - who had a very strange running style - and that's being kind - failed to flag for off side when Andrew Barrowman came back from an offside position and went straight to close down Dominic Shimmin. The striker's off side position clearly gained him an advantage and his presence certainly affected Shimmin, whose frantic clearance eventually fell for Martin Scott. Fortunately, Scott's stunning 30-yard volley was dramatcially pushed over the bar by Colin Stewart.

Monti was inches away from making it 2-0 in the 40th minute but his powerful strike from distance flashed past McGovern's left hand upright.

County weren't much of an attacking force in the first 30 minutes, but they did what most successful teams do, take their chances when they come along. They were back on level terms three minutes before half-time. And it was no surprise that it was former Morton player Michael Gardyne who got the goal. The nippy forward, whose sensational form this season has earned him a PFA Scotland First Division Player of the Year nomination, picked the ball up on the corner of the box and smashed an exocet missile of a shot across Stewart and into the top left hand corner.

Right on half-time, former Celtic youngster Monti, who had a superb first half, demonstrated his superb technique when he he arched back and met Kevin Finlayson's dipping cross with a crisp volley that flew inches past the same post that his shot flashed past five minutes earlier.

The first ten minutes of the second half were packed full of incident. Witteveen put an effort wide of the post in the 51st minute and then put Monti one-on-one with McGovern with a clever through ball a minute later but Monti opened up his body too early and telegraphed the fact he was going to try and curl the ball around the keeper with the inside of his left boot, and this allowed McGovern to get enough on the ball to tip it round the post. The referee astonished everyone when he pointed for a goal kick - but Monti should've scored.

Then, in the 54th minute, Gardyne volleyed off both posts - a shot he later claimed was proven to be over the line by video footage. I'd love to see this footage because if it's from the home video taken from the centre of the stand then there's no way it could prove that the effort went over the line. Mind you, it wouldn't have mattered if it was a top of the range Sky Sports camera positioned on the by line, it still wouldn't have proved the shot went in as it would've been physically impossible for the full ball to cross the line. The angle Gardyne shot from and the way the ball would've spun after hitting the post meant that if that ball had crossed over the line after hitting one post there's no way it could've came back out off the other post, it would've had to continute into the net.

Here's the real truth of the situation courtesy of Colin Stewart: "It wasn't over the line. I actually got a finger tip to push the shot off the post and when I turned and got across the ball was actually spinning out." I think Gardyne was just trying to save face after he, rather embarrassingly, started to run about celebrating with his arms outstretched after the ball hit the first post.

Morton almost went right up the other end and scored but Tidser's low strike crept agonisingly past the post. Tidser, who was deservedly voted Irn-Bru Phenomenal Young Player of the Month for March, had an excellent start to the match but faded in the last half hour, as he has done on a few occasions recently. We have to remember that he is still only 20-years-old and it's a bit much to expect him to control games at this level for the full 90 minutes. But I hope that as he continues to quickly adapt to first team football at this level, he also finds that extra gear to allow him to exert an influence on the game in the closing stages, as it is no coincidence that as Tidser falls out of the game, so do Morton.

However, from around the 55th minute onwards neither team really threatened and the match petered out. Both teams should be reasonably content with a share of the spoils. Ross County had just reached the Scottish Cup Final after eliminating Celtic at the weekend, while James Grady is entitled to be happy with a point that pushes us five points ahead of Ayr United: "I don't think we did enough to win the game anyway and a point was fair enough."

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 6
2. Ryan McGuffie - 8
3. Alan Reid - 7
4. Dominic Shimmin - 7
5. Stewart Greacen (c) - 6
6. Erik Paartalu - 6
7. Kevin Finlayson - 6
8. Michael Tidser - 7
9. Peter Weatherson - 6 (14. Brian Graham - 76 mins)
10. David Witteveen - 6
11. Carlo Monti - 7

Unused Subs:

12. Donovan Simmonds
14. Stevie Masterton
15. David MacGregor
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: Paartalu, Monti, Greacen, Graham.

McGuffie Greacen Shimmin Reid
Finlayson Paartalu Tidser Monti
Witteveen Weatherson

Ross County: Michael McGovern; Gary Miller, Scott Boyd, Alex Keddie, Scott Morrison; Iain Vigurs (Stuart Kettlewell, 86), Martin Scott, Richard Brittain, Michael Gardyne (Garry Wood 74); Steven Craig (Paul Lawson, 60), Andrew Barrowman.

Unused Subs: Paul Di Giacomo, Joe Malin.

Booked: Keddie, Vigurs, Brittain.

My man of the match: Ryan McGuffie

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report

The Scottish Sun - Match Report

The Daily Record - Match Report

bbc sport - Match Report

Tontastic Photgraphs


Young Player Award For Tidser

Morton midfielder Michael Tidser has won the Irn-Bru Phenomenal Young Player of the Month award for March.

"I am delighted with the award as it shows I must be doing something right," Tidser told the SFL's Co-operative Insurance League Insider. "The main objective for everyone at Morton is to stay in the First Division but it is nice to be recognised as an individual as well. The gaffer announced my win in front of all my team-mates and they gave me a round of applausewhich was great when you consider I've only been here a couple of months."

The 20-year-old joined the club in January, and his impressive start to his Ton career has earned him the first of, what should be, many accolades.

SFL - Irn-Bru Phenomenal Awards For March Announced (13.04.2010)

SFL League Insider (Issue 34)

Best British Strikers

The February edition of FourFourTwo magazine included a list of the 50 Best Strikers to play in the UK since the war and two ex-Morton players featured in the list - Joe Jordan finished 42nd and Stevie Chalmers came in at 26th.

The two strikers' spells at Morton were in stark contrast to each other. Jordan began his career at Cappielow, while Chalmers (pictured: posing for Morton's 1971/72 team photograph) wound down a glorious career, in which he scored Celtic's winning goal in the 1967 European Cup Final, with just under two seasons in Greenock.

Other Scots in the list included: Duggie Reid (50), Andy Gray (44), Ally McCoist (39), Billy Liddell (36), Lawrie Reilly (21), Denis Law (9) and Kenny Dalglish (1).


Rae Furious At SFL Decision

Morton chairman Douglas Rae is unhappy at the SFL's decision to play the Ross County v Morton fixture, which had to be cancelled due to County's Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic this Saturday, on Monday 26 April.

And Rae expressed his anger in last Saturday's matchday programme. "I have appealed against that ruling on the grounds that is unfair to our team to have to play on the Monday evenining following an away match on the previous Saturday," he wrote.

"Travelling to Dingwall in midweek is a nightmare exacerbated on this occasion by the extensive roadworks being carried out around Aviemore. Our team, when playing a midweek match at Dingwall, normally do not get home until around 2.30am and we are faced with a two hour delay in additon on this occasion."

The Cappielow side's attendances have been causing Rae concern in recent weeks, and he insists that the SFL have to take some of the blame for the stay-away fans. "It is unfair too on any fans who might be travelling to the game although I have informed the SFL that if they force us to play on Monday 26th April, we could have no fans travelling in support of our team," he added.

"The SFL is totally unconcerned that fewer fans come through the turnstiles in midweek matches than on Saturdays but that seems to be of little interest to the 'powers-that-be'. It is not right that a cavalier approach should be taken by the very people who are supposedly looking after the interests of our clubs."


Ex-Morton Players To Represent Scotland

Four ex-Morton players have been called up to the Scotland Junior Representative Squad for the Umbro Quadrangular Tournament in Northern Ireland later this month.

Goalkeepers Keith Ross and Andy Carlin are joined by defenders Bryan Slavin (pictured, above) and Stuart MacDonald (pictured, below) in Keith Burgess's squad for matches against amateur national sides from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and the Isle of Man.

SJFA - Umbro Quadrangular Tournament


Morton 0 - 2 Inverness C. T.

Morton 0 -
Inverness C.T. 2
- Foran (6), Rooney (84)

Att: 1,277

Bottle job: Whistler Brian Winter's scandalous decision not to show Stuart Golabek a red card when he denied David Witteveen a clear goalscoring opportunity was the key moment in a match that eventually ended with Caley Thistle extending their lead at the top of the table.

James Grady made one enforced change to the team that drew 3-3 with Queen of the South: Carlo Monti coming in to replace the injured Jim McAlister at left midfield.

As per usual, Morton started the game with all guns blazing and could've scored three times before Caley Thistle hit us with a sucker punch in the 6th minute. In the 2nd minute, David Witteveen had a great shot saved by Ryan Esson and then dragged a shot wide two minutes later after being put clear by Peter Weatherson.

Weatherson had a low shot saved by Esson before Caley broke up the field and scored the opener. Johnny Hayes - who was playing in the Messi role of left footed player on the right wing, which seems to be all the rage - terrorised Alan Reid by running directly at him before dropping the shoulder and skipping past him to the byline where he was given too much space to stand up an excellent cross for Richie Foran, who headed in at the back post. I really didn't think that Foran would score as he looked to be at an acute angle from which it would be too difficult to score. But he did and he scored. For me, Colin Stewart should've done a bit better. He seemed to take an age to scramble across his goal to try and claw the ball out.

Stewart looks to be suffering from a real crisis of confidence at the moment. His decision making appears to be clouded by the goal he conceded against Dunfermline. Now, he kicks the ball out of play at every opportunity to ensure that he doesn't make a similar mistake to the one in the Pars game. And, although the safety first approach is one I like to see players employ, I think Colin is doing it at times when he doesn't have to.

Normal service was resumed immediately after the Highlander's goal as Michael Tidser continuted to orchestrate the game in the middle of the park. We were playing some great football and some of the link play between Tidser, Monti, Weatherson and Witteveen was a joy to watch. It is just unfortunate that we don't seem to have that cutting egde in front of goal.

However, all the evidence seems to suggest that big Witteveen could be the man to change that. He seems to get into the right positions and certainly isn't afraid to have a pop at goal. He almost levelled the game twice in two minutes, but both headers were saved by Esson. The first was a looping header from a Weatherson cross. The ball appeared to be dropping into the net until Esson jumped out from behind the camouflage of a team mate - the goalkeeper and outfield players were both wearing shirts with red on them - to pluck the ball out of the air. The second header was a bit firmer but Esson was well positioned to catch the Wittster's effort.

The outcome of the match could've been so different if referee Brian Winter hadn't absolutely bottled out of giving Golabek a red card for a last man trip that denied Witteveen a one-on-one with the keeper in the 25th minute. "I don't think it was a clear goalscoring opportunity. As a striker, James Grady will say it's a red, but I say it was a yellow," Terry Butcher said. But don't listen to him, it was definitely a goalscoring opportunity and how Winter never flashed the red I'll never know. I've never been one to get overly annoyed at referees - but this was one of the worst decisions I've ever seen at Cappielow. I actually felt physically sick when the ref produced the yellow.

Caley almost doubled their lead completely against the run of play in the 31st minute. Eric Odhiambo caught Neil MacFarlane dwelling on the ball in midfield and quickly switched the ball to Hayes, who ran for goal and curled a magnificent effort over Stewart towards the top corner. For once, our luck was in as the ball crashed against the face of the bar and rebounded to safety.

One thing I really like about Witteveen is that he's not shy when it comes to having a shot at goal. A point that was demonstrated by the fact that he actually had two pot shots at goal in the same minute, the 33rd to be precise. Unfortunately, both efforts were straight at Esson and fairly straightforward saves at that. But, as the old cliche goes: if you don't shoot, you don't score. So keep it up David.

It was a real blow to go in one down at half-time as our play deserved so much more. The fans recognised this and gave the team an appreciative round of applause as they left the field. Yet you'd have thought it was a whole new team that emerged for the second period as the hunger and confidence seemed to have evaporated as they put in a second half display that was in stark contrast to the previous 45 minutes.

We only really threatened the Caley goal on one occasion in the second half - and what an effort it was. Witteveen nipped in ahead of Ross Tokely to steal possession and before the Highland behemoth could blink, the Wittster had rattled an audacious volley towards goal from fully 40 yards. Esson was stranded but to his relief the ball landed a couple of feet wide of his right hand post. It was a great piece of thinking by a player who looks a step ahead of most players at this level, particularly when it comes to getting a shot away. I always think of Andy Gray's commentary when I watch Witteveen as he seems to catch keeepers out by firing off his shots really early and before they've had a chance to get themselves into position to make a save.

Five minutes later, Stewart redeemed himself with a great save to deny Adam Rooney, who'd burst through after slack play by MacFarlane. If it were down to me, I'd only use MacFarlane sparingly from now on. Although he still has good positional sense, I think, at 32-years-old, he's too slow to compete in the midfield. He reminds me a bit of Alan Mahood when he came back to Cappielow for his third spell a few years back ; a great player in his day, but one whose best years were behind him. Mahood knew it and retired, and I think Neil might do the same at the end of his contract next season.

Caley put the result beyond doubt in the 84th minute. Rooney and Russell Duncan traded passes before the Irishman took advantage of Dominic Shimmin's hesitancy by slotting a sublime finish round Stewart and into the bottom right hand corner for his 21st goal of the season.

It was a case of the same old story as Morton failed to take advantage of the chances they created in a strong opening period and were then made to pay from some slack defending at the other end.

The outcome would've probably been different if the referee had given Golabek his marching orders, but he didn't. It's becoming a concern that we continue to fail to score when we are on top and then fade in the second half of matches. We need to start taking our chances. Hopefully Witteveen does a Wakey '08 and scores a few crucial goals to save us from the play-offs. On recent displays, including his one, I've got a wee feeling he might.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 5
2. Ryan McGuffie - 7
3. Alan Reid - 6
4. Dominic Shimmin - 6
5. Stewart Greacen (c) - 5
6. Neil MacFarlane - 5 (15. Erik Paartalu - 64 mins)
7. Kevin Finlayson - 5 (12. Donovan Simmonds - 67 mins)
8. Michael Tidser - 7
9. Peter Weatherson - 6 (16. Allan Jenkins - 83 mins)
10. David Witteveen - 7
11. Carlo Monti - 6

Unused Subs:

14. David MacGregor
20. Kevin Cuthbert

McGuffie Greacen Shimmin Reid
Finlayson MacFarlane Tidser Monti
Witteveen Weatherson

Inverness C.T.: Ryan Esson; David Proctor, Grant Munro, Ross Tokely, Stuart Golabek; Johnny Hayes, Lee Cox, Russell Duncan, Richie Foran; Eric Odhiambo (Nauris Bulvītis 69), Adam Rooney (Dan Stratford, 87).

Unused Subs: Robert Eagle, Dani Sánchez, Kyle Allison.

Booked: Golabek, Duncan.

My man of the match: David Witteveen

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

Greenock Telegraph - Match Report

The Scottish Sun - Match Report

bbc sport - Match Report

ictfc.co.uk - Match Report


Jim's Last Game For Ton

It looks like Jim McAlister may have already played his last game for Morton after breaking a metatarsal that will rule him out for the rest of the season.

"Jim's got a fractured metatarsal. So, unfortunately, that will be him out for the rest of the season," Ton assistant manager Allan McManus told the Greenock Telegraph.

The 24-year-old's contract expires this summer and he has made it pretty clear that he is looking to move on in the summer. So, it looks like Jim may have played his last game in the blue and white hoops.

One possible destination may be Aberdeen. Dons boss Mark McGhee has been a long term admirer, but it remains to be seen whether he will still be in charge by then.

Greenock Telegraph - Jim Out For The Rest Of Season (06.04.2010)


Simmonds Wants SPL Football

Morton striker Donovan Simmonds wants to be back playing in the SPL next season, according to an article in today's Sunday Mail.

"I'm enjoying my football at Morton. We have a good manager and a great bunch of lads," he told Mark Guidi. "I'll be talking about my contract situation with them soon but it's not the level I want to be playing at. I want to be in the SPL."

The 21-year-old played in the SPL for Kilmarnock, while on loan from Coventry City, last season. His record there was 4 starts, 18 substitute appearances and 1 goal. For Morton, he has made 5 starts, four substitute appearances and scored 1 goal.


Morton 3 - 3 Queen of the South

Morton 3 - Witteveen (12, 21, 90+1)
Queen of the South 3
- Quinn (8, 52), Weatherston (64)

Att: 1,926

Witt a guy: Loan striker David Witteveen grabbed an injury time equaliser to complete his hat-trick and nick a point for Morton.

As expected, James Grady only made one change to the team that beat Ayr United 1-0 in midweek: Alan Reid came in to replace the injured Kevin McKinlay at left-back.

Morton went behind to the first real chance of the game in the 8th minute. Former Morton target Rocco Quinn volleyed under Colin Stewart after Derek Holmes had headed Bob Harris free-kick from the half way line into Quinn's path. For me, Stewart Greacen's marking was a bit suspect and Colin Stewart looked like he could've got down to the shot a bit quicker.

The home side went straight on the attack and almost equalised a minute later but Michael Tidser shot right at Queen of the South goalkeeper David Hutton's.

However, the former Celtic youngster was instrumental in Morton's equaliser in the 12th minute. It was his floated free-kick that was dropped by Hutton, who was under pressure due to a robust challenge by Davie MacGregor, and swept into the net by grateful loanee David Witteveen.

The match was turned on its head ten minutes later as Witteveen got his second of the afternoon. The big Austrian collected a Ryan McGuffie cross from the right wing, took a great first touch and turned Craig Reid with ease before firing under the exposed Hutton.

The only other goalscoring opportunity of the first period was a McGuffie header in the 35th minute. The former Gretna man met Tidser's inswinging corner, but Hutton caught it with ease. Unfortunately for the Queens stopper, he seemed to twist his ankle catching the ball and had to be replaced by sub goalie Scott Fox.

And it was Fox who made a superb save to stop Morton increasing their lead a minute into the second half. McGuffie played the ball inside to Peter Weatherson, the pass was slightly behind the Ton's top scorer, but he managed to expertly dig out a shot that looked to be heading for the top corner before Fox's intervention.

The Doonhamers equalised seven minutes into the second half, and it was almost a carbon copy of their first. A Harris free-kick from his own half was headed down by Holmes, who'd outjumped David MacGregor, to Quinn, who'd escaped Greacen's marking to side foot into the bottom corner.

Then it was the away side's turn to take the lead when the suspiciously offside looking David Weatherston collected Paul Burns lobbed pass over the top and ran clear before slotting into Stewart's bottom right hand corner.

The game could've been out of sight if the Dumfries had taken advantage of some shaky defending by MacGregor but Holmes and Jamie Adams were both denied by some great goalkeeping by Stewart in the Morton goal.

And Adams must've been crushed when, just one minute after he'd skied an absolute sitter over the bar from 8 yards, Morton equalised. And it was the man on loan from Hearts who grabbed his hat-trick in inury time. Substitute Stevie Masterton lifted a sublime pass over the top and the Wittster made a great darting run in behind before chesting the ball down, dragging it back past Stephen McKenna and slotting under the advancing goalkeeper and past Harris on the line.

Morton finished the match with 10 men as Jim McAlister had to leave the field due to injury with Grady having used all his subs. The injury turned out to be a broken metatarsal and has ruled Jim out for the rest of the season.

It wasn't a great performance but the last minute equaliser meant that the result felt like a win rather than a draw. And the point gained could prove to be a precious one as it took us up to 7th in the table, four points ahead of Ayr, who currently occupy the play-off place.

Morton (4-4-2):

1. Colin Stewart - 7
2. Ryan McGuffie - 8
3. Alan Reid - 7
4. David MacGregor - 4
5. Stewart Greacen (c) - 5
6. Neil MacFarlane - 6 (16. Allan Jenkins - 71 mins)
7. Kevin Finlayson - 5
8. Michael Tidser - 6 (14. Stevie Masterton - 67 mins)
9. Peter Weatherson - 6 (12. Donovan Simmonds - 67 mins)
10. David Witteveen - 9
11. Jim McAlister - 6

Unused Subs:

15. Dominic Shimmin
20. Kevin Cuthbert

Booked: Witteveen.

McGuffie Greacen MacGregor Reid
Finlayson MacFarlane Tidser McAlister
Witteveen Weatherson

Queen of the South: David Hutton (Scott Fox, 36); Stephen McKenna, David Lilley, Craig Reid, Bob Harris, Paul Burns, Jamie Adams, Jordan McMillan, Willie McLaren (David Weatherston, 64), Rocco Quinn, Derek Holmes (Sean O'Connor 69). .

Unused Subs: Stewart Kean, Joe Hamill.

Booked: Harris, McKenna.

My man of the match: David Witteveen

Sponsor's man of the match:

Matchday Programme (Click to enlarge)

bbc sport - Match Report

qosfc.com - Match Report

Tontastic Photographs


Grady Aware Of Marc Smyth's Availability

Morton boss James Grady has admitted that soon to be out of contract Airdrie United defender Marc Smyth is a player that they are 'aware of' but that they haven't made any concrete offer for the 27-year-old.

"We know about him. We are aware his contract is coming up at the end of the season and that he would be available. But we haven't taken it any further," Grady told the Greenock Telegraph's Chris Tait.

However, greenockmortonfc.blogspot.com has heard suggestions that he may have already signed a pre-contract deal to come to Cappielow next season.

With the Diamonds all but relegated, it looks certain that the former Northern Ireland youth internationalist will be leaving the Excelsior stadium this summer anyway. And I, for one, would be delighted if he showed up here next season. I've always been impressed with Smyth since a match he played for Ayr United at Cappielow, in which he was absolutely outstanding.

Greenock Telegraph - Ton Plan A Move For Defender (31.3.2010)


No One Would Want The Morton Job

Whenever Morton invite applications for the vacant manager's position, you'll hear fans suggest that no one would want the job or that there's no one available - but they'd be surprised at the number of people you wouldn't even think of who actually apply to take over the Cappielow hotseat.

One such example would be former Scottish internationalist Kenny Burns, who applied for the job earlier this season, according to the Scottish Sun.

Burns, who won two European Cups and one European Super Cup under Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest, is eager to get a break in management and told the Sun about his ambitions to manage in the Scottish First Division. "I just need the chance to prove that I could be invaluable to a lot of the First Division clubs in Scotland," he told Jim Black. "I applied for the Morton job earlier in the season and got a reply saying 'no thanks'.

"All I am asking for is several months, and if you don't see an improvement in that time, I'll walk away."