Morton vs Inverness CT – Match Preview
by Dean McKinnon
Morton will once again square off against Inverness tomorrow, rounding off a trinity of contests in short succession. Morton triumphed midweek, with Gary Oliver’s penalty securing a Fourth Round Scottish Cup trip to Fir Park to face Motherwell. Interim manager Derek Anderson will look to secure a positive result for the Sinclair Street side, a week after Gus MacPherson was relieved of his duties following last week’s pulsating 2-2 draw against Ayr United.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Apart from Brian McLean, having sustained a serious injury at East End Park, interim boss Anderson should have a full squad to choose from.
Nobody in the current Morton squad has ever plied their trade in Inverness. The Caley Jags do have someone in their ranks with somewhat of a link to Cappielow. Right sided defender Wallace Duffy joined Morton on loan from parent club St Johnstone in September last year, only for the loan to be terminated a few days later due to ‘non footballing reasons’. He was subsequently released from the Perth side and signed for Inverness on a two-year deal.
Former Ross County stalwart Michael Gardyne spent the first half of the 2007/08 season at Cappielow. Having brought the youngster in, Jim McInally struggled to give Gardyne a consistent run of games in one position, and as a result, the winger struggled to force his way into the first team squad consistently. Having made ten league appearances for the club, he then joined Second Division Ross County, in his first of three spells with the Staggies.
Tale of the Tape
The Caley Jags were welcomed to Cappielow to play their Scottish Cup Third Round tie to a finish on 7th December. The Ton, led in the dugout by Head of Youth Development Derek Anderson, lined up in a familiar 4-4-2 set-up. The first half was a tightly contested affair, with both sides cancelling each other out. As the first period drew to a close, Robbie Muirhead cut in from the right wing and curled a beautiful finish into the far corner of Mark Ridgers’ net to open the scoring.
The Caley Jags restored parity shortly after the restart. Aaron Doran’s delivery into the box was caught by the wind and floated towards Danny Devine, who claimed the slightest of nicks on the ball to take it past Jack Hamilton. Devine and Hamilton were both involved in deciding the outcome of the tie, with the Morton keeper pulling off a full stretch save to deny the goalscorer, allowing Gary Oliver to send the Ton through to Round Four of the Scottish Cup.
Morton trekked up the A9 in icy conditions on 27th November in the hope of upsetting the odds and progressing through to the Fourth Round of the Scottish Cup. Gus MacPherson lined up in a 4-4-2 with a narrow diamond in midfield. Inverness started the brighter of the two sides and found their just reward in the early stages of the first half. Shane Sutherland’s header cannoned off of Jack Hamilton, allowing Billy McKay to tuck home from close range. The Ton made a few tactical adjustments and grew into the match. With the match drawing to a close, Jack Hamilton’s long downfield kick was picked up by substitute Gain Reilly, who rounded Mark Ridgers and finished from a tight angle.
Morton’s first trip to the Highlands this season marked the end of the first quarter of the Championship campaign. The home side recorded a comfortable win to earn top spot in the league table. A Morton corner led to the opening goal. After shepherding a Morton header harmlessly out of play, Caley Jags goalkeeper Mark Rigers launched a long ball forward in the direction of Billy McKay. The ball evaded both covering defenders Tom Allan and Lewis Strapp, allowing the home side to take the lead. Former Ton man Michael Gardyne slotted the ball past Jack Hamilton from close range four minutes after the interval, rounding off a frustratingly comfortable win for the home side.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Inverness’ impressive league performance thus far cannot be accredited to exceptional attacking play. Despite taking the second highest number of shots in the league, currently standing at 172 (11.47 per 90 mins), they have only scored the five highest number of goals in the Championship with 18 goals in 15 matches. By comparison, Morton sit bottom in the goal ratings and third bottom for shots attempted this term.
The Highlanders’ success this term appears to have been built on a solid defensive foundation. Mark Riders has only found his goal breached on 11 occasions this season, a record which has only been bested by league leaders Kilmarnock. The Caley Jags’ rear-guard have shown their combative side this season, with 168 fouls (11.2 per 90 mins) and 26 bookings (1.73 per 90 minutes) so far this term.
All match odds are provided by McBookie. Odds are correct as of 6am on 9th December 2021 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.
Morton again head into tomorrow’s clash as outsiders, priced at 12/5 to win despite their home advantage. The Ton to win and BTTS is 6/1, with 19/4 your reward if you fancy the home side to win to nil. Morton to win on a -1 handicap chalks at 15/2
The draw prices at 23/10, with a 0-0 stalemate coming in at 8/1. Inverness to head back up the A9 with all three points is Evs. The Caley Jags to win with BTTS is 10/3, 23/10 to win without Mark Ridgers conceding, and 3/1 to win with a goal to spare.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Referee – John Beaton.
AR1 – Drew Kirkland.
AR2 – Michael MacDermid.