Clyde vs Morton – Match Preview
by Dean McKinnon
There will be a touch of the familiar for Dougie Imrie as he leads his Morton side on Saturday. Imrie will face Clyde, whom he represented for two years as a player, in the stadium in which he played more than any other. Saturday’s showdown against an already eliminated Clyde should be an opportunity for The Ton to limber up for their trip to Easter Road next midweek, which has become a must-win encounter thanks in no small part to League One Falkirk besting Hibs this week. Defeat for The Ton in either of the upcoming fixtures would almost certainly guarantee the Sinclair Street side’s exit from the competition.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Morton will welcome reinforcements back into their squad, having been forced to name only twelve players last week against League One side Falkirk. Both John Baird and Grant Gillespie are both back in contention following suspensions being served. Dougie Imrie’s side are currently without defenders Alan Lithgow and Daire O’Connor, club captain Kyle Jacobs and attackers Zander Easdale and Robbie Muirhead.
As mentioned above, Ton gaffer Imrie cut his teeth in senior football with the Bully Wee, joining from Junior side Lanark United in the January transfer window of 2006. Clyde are one of the many Scottish sides that assistant manager Andy Millen represented, spending three years with the club following his departure from Morton as liquidation loomed large over The Ton. Alan Lithgow spent three years with the Lanarkshire side following his release by Hearts in 2008, before moving onto Dumbarton.
Clyde’s newly assembled centre back pairing are both familiar faces to The Ton faithful. Peter Grant made a dozen Championship appearances for the club during the shortened 2019/20 season. Brian McLean spent two years on Sinclair Street, joining in the same summer transfer window as the aforementioned Grant. McLean made thirty-one appearances under three different permanent Morton managers before moving to pastures new this summer.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Tale of the Tape
With The Ton and the Bully Wee not sharing a division since the 2008/09 season, the League Cup has provided the battleground for the two subsequent meetings between both sides. A Thomas O’Ware goal gave Morton a laboured 1-0 win in 2016/17 as The Ton progressed through to the Semi Finals of the competition before eventually falling to Aberdeen at Hampden. Almost a year ago to the day, a Robbie Muirhead double was enough to see off the visitors in what proved to be The Ton’s only League Cup victory of the campaign.
Our very own Craig Dunning ran the rule over our League One counterparts ahead of Saturday’s League Cup clash – “Clyde come into this game already eliminated from the tournament, after a chastening 5-0 defeat at Easter Road was followed by a 2-1 defeat by League Two newcomers Bonnyrigg Rose in the first competitive game at their new home at New Douglas Park.
Clyde's defensive recruitment was a rare reason for optimism among the support, with the reuniting of former Morton centre back partnership of Peter Grant and Brian McLean providing an experienced base with solid track records for League One. Competitive action then began with Hibs scoring all their goals in the first half as Christian Doidge bagged a hattrick in 30 minutes. This was followed by Bonnyrigg Rose centre forward Kieran McGachie dominating both centre backs in the air while Grant made an error directly leading to the first goal, so that optimism is quickly draining away. After a disappointing performance from Joshua Bradley-Hurst in goal against Bonnyrigg, it would be no surprise to see established number one Neil Parry back in goal against Morton.
Similarly to Morton, there is a lot of hope being placed on future midfield and attacking signings. Morgaro Gomis and Ray Grant both have the credentials to be good League One players but creativity is not their strength. Jordan Allan and Ross Cunningham show promise but there is little reason to believe there is currently the attacking quality in the squad to aspire to more than a League One relegation battle, so troubling a Championship side will be a huge task.”
Photo - GBR Photographs.
All match odds are provided by McBookie. Odds are correct as of 11pm on 14/07/2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.
Unsurprisingly, the Greenock side enter this match as the bookies’ favourite, priced at 4/5 to come out on top in regulation time, with 14/5 your reward if you fancy the home side to continue the trend of upsets in this year’s competition thus far. If you fancy a comfortable win for the Championship side, 9/4 is your reward for a -1 hanidcap, with -2 goals priced at 6/1 and -3 goals 14/1.
Given the strength of the The Ton rearguard, the most eye-catching option may be the away side to win without conceding a goal, chalked at 23/10.
Referee - Scott Lambie
AR1 - David Dunne
AR2 - Andrew Bryson