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Match Preview - Morton vs Hamilton (8th October)


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Morton v Hamliton Academical – Match Preview

by Russell Gordon.

After what can only be described as two very contrasting results against Glasgow’s other gruesome twosome in the last week, Morton return to Cappielow Park supported by Dalrada Technology Ltd. on Saturday to face a Hamilton side who have endured a difficult start to the campaign. 

Streams are available to fans out with the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland via the club’s season and half season passes, priced at £140 and £70 respectively. 

Hamilton v Morton 30-07-22-28.jpg

Photo - GBR Photographs.

Squad News 

Jack Baird’s return from suspension for Tuesday’s gritty win at Ochilview provided a timely boost to the squad, and his influence on the defence was evident, not only in his own performance, but in the more assured display from his central defensive partner Darragh O’Connor, who in my opinion enjoyed his finest outing in a Morton shirt against The Spiders. Should Alan Lithgow still be forced to sit out, O’Connor’s upturn in form and fortune should provide Dougie Imrie with a degree of comfort that was not afforded to him last weekend. 

Striker Jai Quitongo will also return to the fold after his two consecutive one-match bans (SPFL Trust Trophy bans are also in the post for he and Baird) and will be expected to return to the XI, although the strikers also hit form on Tuesday, with the much-maligned Jaze Kabia turning in a fine performance, which was capped off with the opening goal against Queen’s. 

Lewis McGrattan will also be hoping to hold onto his place in the starting line-up after his excellent outing, and there’s a bit of evidence of Liam Grimshaw getting up to speed after a difficult summer without a pre-season. 

Current Connections  

Morton boss Dougie Imrie’s links to Accies are well known, and Assistant Andy Millen started his career at the Lanarkshire club. In the Morton squad, Grant Gillespie represented Hamilton with distinction over nine seasons, playing no small part in their promotion in 2014 and regularly appearing in the Premiership with them for the following three seasons. Jai Quitongo, whose father Jose enjoys legendary status amongst the Accies’ faithful, was on the books at New Douglas Park in his youth. 

In the away camp, man-of-many-clubs Michael Doyle is the only to have played for Morton, over two seasons from 2016-18 under Jim Duffy, reaching the play-offs in his first season at the club. 

Hamilton v Morton 30-07-22-44.jpg

Photo - GBR Photographs.

Tale of the Tape  

There hasn’t been much between the teams since Accies’ relegation just over a year ago, with Hamilton just edging last season’s encounters. Morton took the spoils on their first visit thanks to a solitary Gozie Ugwu strike, before an injury time own goal salvaged a point for the home side at Cappielow in the dying embers of Gus MacPherson’s tenure at the club. Two 0-1 reverses saw out the season between the two. 

On the opening day of this term, Morton fell behind early to an Andy Ryan header from a poorly defended corner, before drawing level on the cusp of half time through a disputed Grant Gillespie penalty that also saw home defender Sean Want walk for a second booking. The booking and subsequent ordering off weren’t really in doubt, but Morton were fortunate the referee pointed to the spot given that the foul appeared to be outside the box, and were disappointed only to take a point having played over half the match against ten men. 

One note that I always hate alluding to when previewing this fixture- Morton haven’t beaten Hamilton at Cappielow since February 1999- a run that now extends to 14 matches!! 

Opposition Analysis  

Like Morton, Accies were expected to be toiling towards the bottom end of the table as the campaign kicked off, and unfortunately for them, it looks like this will be the case after a summer of turmoil that saw manager Stuart Taylor sacked on the eve of the new campaign- a move that many expected but appeared to drag out for so long because neither party could agree on a figure for compensation. 

The currently sit second bottom, but are unbeaten away from home (what was I saying about 14 games at Cappielow?), having picked up draws at Firhill, Somerset and Balmoral so far. 

I spoke to Accies fan David MacFarlane (@DavidMacFarlane), who isn’t optimistic ahead of his team’s visit to Cappielow. 

“This hasn’t been a vintage start to the season for Accies, and I can only see things getting worse. A squad that was already threadbare is crippled with injuries, and questions are also being asked of John Rankin’s managerial credentials, even this early.  

Goals have been really hard to come by, with only one home goal from open play- against Morton, way back on day one of the season. Luck elsewhere isn’t going our way either- watching Morton and Cove picking up victories from games they were expected to lose in midweek wasn’t pleasant for those of an Accies persuasion. 

Saturday might well be the day Morton’s Cappielow hoodoo against Hamilton comes to an end, much as it pains me to say.” 

Hamilton v Morton 30-07-22-26.jpg

Photo - GBR Photographs.

Betting Guide  

All odds are supplied by McBookie. All odds correct as of 7am on 7th October 2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.  

It’s not often we say it, but Morton are favourites heading into Saturday’s match at 6/5, whilst it’s 21/10 for both the draw and a Hamilton success. 

After his fine performance at Ochilview, Jaze Kabia is 15/2 to open the scoring, whilst if claims of Accies’ attacking woes are to be taken seriously, Morton to win to nil is 12/5. 

Match Officials  

Referee- Duncan Williams 

AR 1-  Colin Drummond 

AR 2- Chris Newman 

 

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