Inverness vs Morton – Match Preview
by Dean McKinnon.
As Morton enter the final third of this shortened Championship season, the situation is far from ideal at the Tail of the Bank. The Ton are second bottom of the table and in the midst of a winless run that extended to double figures on Saturday, as Morton fell 2-0 to fellow strugglers Ayr United at Cappielow. A flat and uninspiring result lead to a huge outpouring of anger from the Cowshed faithful on Saturday night as Morton fans began seriously contemplating the threat of relegation. A positive result on Tuesday night would have a curative effect on the Morton squad, management and fanbase.
Lewis Strapp, a key player for The Ton and the only player capable of playing left back in the squad, is an injury doubt following his early substitution on Saturday with what appeared to be a foot issue. If Strapp cannot play, Anton McElhone is placed in the difficult situation. He either has to consider changing shape to a back three at short notice, or playing Robbie Muirhead, a striker to trade, at left back.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
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.
Tale of the Tape
The two sides met six weeks ago, on 27th January, with Morton battling back from 2-1 down to claim a point despite being reduced to ten men midway through the first period. A well-executed Sean McGinty half volley gave The Ton an early 1-0 lead, only to be pegged back a minute later by Shane Sutherland. Daniel MacKay then rounded off an incisive counter-attack to give the visitors a 2-1 lead. Things went from bad to worse for The Ton as Rabin Omar was given a second booking in the 28th minute. Morton rallied in the second half, taking full advantage of the away side’s lack of match fitness. Cameron Blue’s lung-bursting run from midfield met a Gary Oliver cross, with Blues slotting the ball past Mark Ridgers to snatch a point.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
It’s safe to say that Inverness are in a similar position to Morton, looking over their shoulders fearfully having only won once in their last eleven outings. The stats tend to suggest that Inverness are creating chances, sitting second highest in both the ‘shots taken’ and ‘shots on target’ ratings. The Highland side average 10.88 shots taken per match, and 5.18 shots on target per match, second only to league leaders Hearts.
Despite some high-profile departures during the summer, Inverness have a solid spine with players such as Mark Ridgers, Brad McKay, Danny Devine and James Keatings. They’ve also freshened their squad up with new recruits from their academy and young players such as Wallace Duffy and Scott Allardice.
Ahead of the postponed fixture last month, I spoke to Andrew Moffat (@AMoff7), host of The Wyness Shuffle Podcast (@TheICTPodcast) and he gave his insight into Inverness’ stop-start season so far –
“Lockdown is not without its challenges, lack of human interaction, home schooling, daytime TV and forgetting your mask when you make the weekly trip to the shops, but at least, thanks to the power of technology, you still get to watch your team every Saturday. Unless you’re a Caley Thistle fan, denied as we have been, of the basic human right to warm up scotch pies in your microwave before screaming at your telly for 90 minutes.
In the space of 45 days, mainly due to the adverse weather conditions, ICTFC have played just two games, our first game of 2021 being a 2-2 draw on Wed 27th January. Morton fans will remember this well, they being soundly outplayed for the first half, reduced to ten men in that same period then gaining the upper hand in a bizarre second half that saw Caley look firmly like a team that had never before played together, let alone for just a month.
At time of writing we are three points and four games behind Morton, and closer to the relegation spots rather than the play-offs. Something that would no doubt be troubling Morton and Inverness fans were it not for the abysmal form of Queen of the South and their hastily assembled band of crap footballers, and the abysmal luck of the admittedly decent-to-watch Alloa Athletic.
This is somewhat of a reset season for John Robertson and Inverness, having seen the spine of his side, assembled over the last three seasons, picked off by premiership clubs. The replacements brought in have, with the exception of 30-year old Shane Sutherland from Elgin, been young players trying to make their way in the game – RB Wallace Duffy from St Johnstone, CB Robbie Deas from Alloa, CM Scott Allardice (ex of Dundee United) and youth academy graduates Roddy McGregor, Dan Mackay and Cameron Harper. Common consensus seems to be that while on our day we are a match for anyone in the division, this might prove to be more of a bedding-in season for these boys.
This lack of game nous is none more so evident than in the latter stages of a number of matches this season, which has seen us drop numerous points from winning situations, the 2-2 with Morton a case in point.
Other than that, and our lack of a recognised goal-scorer, the main issue now is whether our wafer thin squad, which has already been decimated by injuries at the start of the campaign, can cope with the huge amount of games we’ll be faced to play between now and the play-off dates, as we catch-up with our backlog of matches.
The last time we actually won a game of football was the 4th December, a 3-0 victory against Queens. This match summed up the squad at the time, with young players full of promise, playing exciting attacking football. Since then star-man Kai Kennedy has left for Raith Rovers and the performances of the last two games have been nowhere near this standard. We’re at our best when we’re moving the ball quickly and getting interchanges between our attacking players such as Keatings, Storey, Doran and McGregor. Given our lay-off, its currently taking time for them all to get back up to speed, but fingers crossed (for us, not you) this happens this weekend, should the game actually be on, which it probably won’t. But on the plus side you won’t have to listen to the ICT-TV ‘commentator’, a man who combines as much knowledge of football as David Tanner with the oral stylings of Alan Partridge.”
Photo - GBR Photographs.
All match odds are provided by our sponsors – McBookie. All odds correct as of 6am on 8th March 2021 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.
The Caley Jags go into Tuesday’s game as favourites at 5/6. Inverness to win and BTTS prices at 13/5 and the home side to win to nil is 11/5. If you fancy Inverness to record a comfortable victory over Morton a -1 handicap prices at 23/10.
The draw prices at 13/5, with a stalemate 0-0 pricing at 10/1. Morton to leave with a much needed win prices at 31/10, with Morton to win and BTTS pricing at 6/1, as does The Ton to win and keep a clean sheet.
Keep your eyes across our socials for our recommended McBookie BetBuilder ahead of Tuesday night’s game.