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

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