Morton v Arbroath - Match Preview
by Russell Gordon.
After last weekend’s unforeseen sabbatical, Morton return to action at Cappielow Park supported by Dalrada Technology against last season’s Championship runners-up, Arbroath, as they look to recover from the narrow defeat to this season’s shock troops, Ayr United.
The club are no longer selling streams for individual matches, but overseas fans can purchase full or half season tickets for the ‘Ton TV service at a very reasonable £140 and £70 per respective package. The packages can be purchased at tv.gmfc.net/passes.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
As ever, the squad is somewhat thin, but with no injuries that we’re currently aware of, Dougie Imrie will be expected to add new signing Liam Grimshaw to the starting eleven. Who misses out is the question though, with the former Motherwell man comfortable both at right back and in the centre of midfield. I’d suggest that either Carlo Pignatello or Cameron Blues may have to make do with a seat on the bench. Lewis Strapp may also be forced to watch on as Alexander King continues to impress, but there wouldn’t be many complaints from the Cowshed if Jaze Kabia was to miss out, allowing King to play further forward and accommodate Strapp.
There seems a lot fewer former players of each in the two squads now than at any point since the Red Lichties joined us in the Championship in the summer of 2019. Only Carlo Pignatello in the Morton squad has played for Arbroath, three games on loan back in the COVID season of 2020/21. Arbroath’s ex-Morton contingent have a few more appearances under their belts, however. Long-serving Bobby Linn had a brief spell at Cappielow in 2007, whilst goalkeeper Derek Gaston enjoyed seven years between the sticks for Morton, both collecting third tier titles in 2007 and 2015 respectively.
Tale of the Tape
Matches between the two have gained a reputation of being notoriously grim to watch in recent years, with Arbroath unsurprisingly getting the upper hand over last season’s tussles, with two wins at Gayfield and a couple of draws at Cappielow.
The first of those draws was in fairness, quite entertaining fayre, with Morton responding to Colin Hamilton’s opener on the cusp of the break with two quick-fire goals from Gary Oliver and Cammy Blues, only to be cruelly robbed of the win as Michael McKenna dispatched a hotly disputed penalty late on. As Christmas approached, managerless Morton headed up to Angus and fell 1-2, Gary Oliver’s equaliser in the thick, north east fog sandwiched between another Hamilton header and Anton Dowds’ late winner.
As spring approached, the two cancelled themselves out in a 0-0 stalemate at the Tail o’ the Bank, and the less said about the 0-3 reverse against a buoyant Arbroath side on the final day the better. Very much a good day out for the fans, ruined by having to go to a football match.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Things aren’t quite as rosy in the Arbroath garden this term, with Dick Campbell’s troops currently propping up the Championship table with a solitary point, gained way back on the season’s opening day at Ayr.
The main grumble appears to be the absence of a goal scorer, after a couple of years of being spoilt be the presence of Joel Nouble and Jack Hamilton on loan from Livingston at various different points.
Chris Hamilton has gone onto pastures new at Dunfermline, as has James Craigen, often a thorn on Morton’s side, who has joined fellow League One minnows FC Edinburgh. Perhaps most controversially, Nicky Low has joined Kelty Hearts on loan amidst rumours that Campbell was determined to block any attempts to bring him to Cappielow, as was apparently the desire of Low.
The high profile signing of Scott Allan hasn’t as yet gone according to plan, with the former Hibs midfielder sitting out through suspension this weekend following an ordering off in his last outing against Partick.
I spoke to Arbroath fan Jackson Smith (jacksonsmith276), who is retaining a bit of optimism ahead of the trip to Greenock in spite of his favourites’ poor start to the campaign.
“When we beat Morton 3-0 in front of over 3000 people in the final game of the league season in April, I was full of optimism.
We were going into the play-offs on a high and seemed to have recovered remarkably well from the bitter disappointment of losing the league title to Kilmarnock the previous week. I genuinely believed we’d make it into the Scottish Premiership via the play-offs.
I’ve been watching Arbroath since I was four- I’m now sixteen- and last year was the best season of my life.
Even in the summer, when we lost key loan players such as Chris and Jack Hamilton, I fully believed we’d be up there challenging again- and so did almost 1500 people who bought season tickets.
So far, it hasn’t worked out. We’ve struggled to find a striker, and we’ve lost some players who’ve been invaluable to us- James Craigen, Jason Thomson and Nicky Low. But I still believe we can turn this around and have a good season in the Championship this year.
We still have some outstanding players like Derek Gaston, Tam O’Brien, David Gold, Michael McKenna and Bobby Linn. We’ve also signed Scott Allan and, although he’ll be suspended for the trip to Cappielow, he’ll be a brilliant player for us. As will Dylan Tait, who has joined on loan from Hibs.
Our captain O’Brien is the best defender in the league in my opinion, and he’s back from suspension. And don’t forget we have a brilliant manager in Dick Campbell!
When we came into the Championship four seasons ago, I expected to lose every game and go straight back down. That didn’t happen, and since promotion it’s been an incredible adventure. And I believe there is much more excitement to come, starting with a win at Morton!”
Photo - GBR Photographs.
All odds are supplied by McBookie. All odds correct as of 7am on 15th September 2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.
Morton head into the match as favourites at 29/20, with the visitors priced at 9/5 and the draw 2/1.
Given how profligate both teams are in front of goal, a 1-0 win for Morton may be a sound bet at 6/1, whilst regular penalty taker Grant Gillespie is a generous 14/1 to bag the first goal.
Referee- Scott Lambie
AR 1- Paul O’Neill
AR 2- Steven Wilson