Here is that report on the away game at Albion Rovers on November 18, 1944 from my dad’s wartime diary:
9th League Trophy match away, at Cliftonhill, Coatbridge
Albion Rovers (2) 4 – 1 (3) Greenock Morton
Scorers: Gallacher, Crum (2)
Team: Johnstone, Maley, Higgins, Campbell, Aird, Whyte, McInnes, Gallacher, Crum, Garth, Kelly.
Morton played towards Greenock, and against the wind, in the first half. The pitch is surrounded by a dog-racing track and there is almost no rain covering. A promising goalward move was ended by McInnes tapping over the touchline. Rovers’ inside men immediately looked dangerous and Hannah sends a cross-shot from the left corner of the area past Johnstone’s right and inside the post, the ‘keeper seeming to think the ball was going into touch. A Hunter snap-shot was then sent well over the bar by Johnstone. Kelly takes an optimistic shy from inside Morton’s half. Johnstone scoops the ball up from a Black shot and Maley starts a Morton break, however wind and luck was against them. Johnstone then again saves from Black when he is through, in a goal-mouth scramble.
Rovers then got their second goal when the ball came to Hunter, who crossed for Black to head toward the low right corner. Johnstone could only palm the ball along the line, and McIlhatton swoops in to score, injuring himself in the process. He is forced to hobble through the rest of the game. Morton then get one back. Rovers’ ‘keeper Forsyth flicks a Garth header over the bar, and from the resulting corner, GALLACHER, unmarked, heads in a fine Kelly cross, Forsyth getting a hand to it but unable to prevent the goal. Maley, with bandaged leg, then goes off and Morton are down to 10 men for the rest of the game. Campbell goes to right back and Garth to right half. Kelly is wandering everywhere. Garth had a nice shot past the right post from his favourite surprise shot position. Gallacher then features in some nice mid-field play, and Kelly luckily barges past four men but his shot was scramble-saved by Forsyth at the lower left post to end the first half.
The second half started with Morton again re-organised, Whyte now at right back for the inured Maley and Campbell back at right half, with Garth going to left half. A Hunter cross along the goal-line found Black, but he was only able to put the ball into the side-netting. Crum sends over to Kelly on the right wing and the return was just over-judged for speed by Crum. A dangerous McIlhatton volley from a Hunter cross just went past the post. Hannah for Albion sends a shot past the post, and Kelly has a first-timer saved at the foot of the right post. A Campbell (own goal) then increases Albion’s lead, the Morton defender accidentally sending the ball into the net while under pressure from Black. The Rovers centre-forward then sends a shot over the bar, and a McIlhatton break ends when he sends the ball too far in front of himself. Johnstone is then lucky to intercept the ball after another break, this time between two Albion forwards.
Am in line of the Rovers touchline when Kelly takes an ideal corner which Gallacher heads toward the low right corner and CRUM makes sure. Hope! Further excitement with Kelly whamming over and three Morton forwards going offside. Whyte has a free on the penalty line, and when Garth tries Gavin’s trick of two weeks ago they fall to it and divert to a Garth corner, which is cleared.
CRUM then heads home the equalizer, just under the bar from a cross by McInnes, helped on the way by Gallacher. Wild gesticulations by me! Johnstone punches a McIlhatton cross safely away to start another fruitless Morton raid, and then, four minutes from time, Black has a fine break up-field and he sends the ball home at the far top right corner of the net, a magnificent and unanswerable shot. McInnes then sends the ball over the touchline to end these notes as they began, with extreme frustration!
Best Morton player: Whyte
Referee: W.G. Livingstone of Glasgow (who looked daft running around with his idea of fairy steps in what appeared to be plimsoles rather than boots!)
Edited by torontobee, Yesterday, 08:19 PM.