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

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


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)

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)

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)


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

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

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)


(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.


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)


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.


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 (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.


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)


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)


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)