Jump to content
TheMortonForum.com

Admin

Admin
  • Posts

    684
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    28

Everything posted by Admin

  1. Ahead of the 2022/23 season, Morton Women are seeking player sponsors. There are a wide range of benefits available to all sponsors as The Ton prepare for the new SWF Championship season. Contact Dean McKinnon at MortonWomen@mortoncommunity.net to secure your package.
  2. Announcement 2.mp4 We are delighted to announce that Titan Spirits will continue to support TheMortonForum this season. Titan Spiced Rum is inspired by Clydeside heritage and Inverclyde's incredible scenery. Visit http://TitanSpiritsLTD.com and secure a bottle of their incredible rum now!
  3. A Moment in Time is our new series, fronted by Alan, taking a detailed look at some of the most significant games in Morton's history. In this episode Dean, Alan, Stephen and guest Gordon Ritchardson take a look at the Peterhead game that clinched the 2003 Third Division title, discussing Morton as a club at that point as well as some cultural and political landmarks of the time.
  4. Russell rounds off his extended season review by looking at the most enjoyable part of the season under Dougie Imrie, beginning with the 5-0 dismantling of Dunfermline at Cappielow, as the new gaffer made his home debut.
  5. (Photo- Gary Bradley) Punts, Punishments And Pitch Invasions A Review of Morton’s 2021-22 Season, Part Three. By Russell Gordon It’s fair to say the point collected at Rugby Park was an unexpected bonus, but as we welcomed the new year, the same couldn’t be said about the visit of fellow strugglers Dunfermline Athletic for a match that was very much of the six-pointer variety. Defeat in Imrie’s debut in the Cappielow dugout would’ve seen Morton drop to the foot of the table below John Hughes’ toiling, but more fancied Fifers. What we got was what this observer would describe as the best Cappielow performance at this level since a 4-0 hounding of St. Johnstone in October 1995. After a tepid first half hour or so, in which the Pars had marginally the better of proceedings, Gary Oliver struck his customary goal against the Fifers brilliantly from the edge of the box before a Cammy Blues howitzer and a Gavin Reilly header on the stroke of half time sent Morton in at the break with a commanding lead. If Dunfermline didn’t know what had hit them, neither did the 500 fans scattered around the main stand, who used the break to purr over a scintillating end to the half. Morton would add to their lead in the second, with the hapless Pars debutant Coll Donaldson heading Lewis Strapp’s throw into his own net 18 minutes from time before the coup de grace 7 minutes later, as substitute Robbie Muirhead delicately helped Brian McLean’s sublime pass into Owain Fon-Williams’ net to give Morton a fantastic 5-0 win and leave the park to a standing ovation from the delighted Cappielow crowd. The following week was to be the last of limited crowds (to date), as Morton, with the addition of Hearts right back Jamie Brandon on a six-month loan, travelled to another toiling side, Ayr United. Gavin Reilly’s double was to provide the perfect tonic for those of us who were stuck at home, forced to listen to a commentary team that would make Alex Rae blush with their partisan approach. Six points out of six and onto Fir Park for a Scottish Cup tie that suddenly didn’t hold as much fear as it had done a few weeks previously. Gavin Reilly's double sent Morton on their way to three precious points as they followed up their Dunfermline rout with a comfortable win at Somerset Park. (Photo-Gary Bradley) Whilst Fir Park used to be a place Morton fans hated visiting for the threat of an absolute doing, it was to be a second successive season of Scottish Cup heartbreak, rather than humiliation at the home of the Steelemen. Having lost on penalties last term, Morton took them to extra-time before taking a shock lead in the first period. However, a Kevin Van Veen penalty and a 121st minute screamer from Liam Donnelly, with penalties looming were to dash Morton’s hopes of a repeat of the 1922 win en route to lifting the trophy. So it was back to league duty, and a Friday night date with Raith Rovers, and what was probably to prove the BBC’s most entertaining fixture that they broadcast all season. Gozie Ugwu’s opener was cancelled out before half time as a Jamie Gullan penalty and Reghan Tumilty’s goal sent the visitors in with a thoroughly undeserved half time lead. In the second half, Morton peppered Jamie MacDonald’s goal before finally getting an equaliser through super-sub, Robbie Muirhead. Whilst most observers would accept we were well worth our point, and had the game lasted much longer, we’d probably have collected all three, Rovers’ boss John McGlynn was less complimentary, bemoaning Morton’s tactic of firing long throws into their box. I’m sure his policy of total football will go down a treat as he slums it with League One minnows Falkirk next term. Two more wins were to follow, a satisfying 1-0 victory courtesy of Lewis Strapp’s first-half goal at Inverness and a 2-1 win over a Queen of the South that were looking more and more likely to face the drop to League One- Reilly and Blues doing the damage this time. That win at Inverness was to see the debut of midfielder Iain Wilson, brought in from Dunfermline, and after a slow start, he was to prove an excellent addition. But things were going too well, something had to give. It’s Morton after all. Sure enough, Dougie Imrie was cited by the SFA in relation to historic gambling during his playing days and was hit with a ten-match touchline ban, four of which were suspended. Dougie Imrie's touchline ban put a spanner in the works, but his impact on his new side, and in galvanising a previously fractured Morton support, was incredible. (Photo- Gary Bradley) With Imrie’s presence on the touchline missing, it was perhaps unsurprising to see form dip slightly, with his first defeat coming in the form of a 0-1 reverse at his former side, Hamilton. However, a midweek visit to Glasgow was to provide the perfect remedy as Morton weathered a bit of a storm on the Firhill bog. With Morton having been denied a stonewall penalty in the first half, Partick looked to have taken the lead after Jack Hamilton had saved Brian Graham’s spot kick, seen the rebound hit the post and then being bundled in. As the Partick players celebrated though, the referee had other ideas and disallowed the goal for an obstruction in the melee. Partick don’t ever need anything to moan about, but their woes were compounded late on when Oisin McEntee scored the first goal of his career to send Morton up the road with three precious points and the added bonus of sticking a massive cog in the wheel of the Jags’ promotion wagon. What a shame. Oisin McEntee's first career goal put a massive dent in Partick's title challenge, whilst dragging Morton further clear of the drop just at a point some may have predicted them to wobble. (Photo- Gary Bradley) We’ll gloss over the uneventful 0-0 draw with Arbroath at Cappielow and particularly the 0-3 doing at Palmerston that brought March in and move swiftly onto the return fixture with Ian McCall’s faltering failures at Cappielow. Partick were to take the lead early on through Kyle Turner, causing a minor pitch invasion from Tarquin and Felix in the Wee Dublin End. It’s fair to say that irked the Cowshed and after a series of second half chances, Gavin Reilly’s equaliser was to cause pandemonium not only on the terraces, but also on the pitch, as the crowd spilled on to share their joy with the players and goad their Maryhill counterparts. Those scenes were to be repeated ten minutes later, as Robbie Muirhead again emerged from the bench to provide the winner, and with it, a third invasion of the afternoon and the greatest photograph of all time (thanks Gary). A series of draws in the following weeks effectively cemented Morton’s place in the Championship for another year. Iain Wilson’s first half strike looked to have secured a smash-and-grab win over a much-improved Dunfermline side before a late lapse in concentration at a corner from Kyle Jacobs allowed Lewis McCann to nip in and claim what could’ve proved to be a vital point for the home side. 1-1 Cappielow draws with the two Ayrshire sides were to follow, the latter against Kilmarnock proving far more credible, and Brian McLean could consider himself unfortunate to be punished for a handball that gave the visitors a penalty from which they equalised. The goal of the season was to come the following week from Robbie Muirhead as Morton travelled to a notoriously difficult Stark’s Park and claimed a rare 1-0 victory. Whilst relegation was still arithmetically possible, when you considered the other fixtures between the teams around us, it was done. We were safe. Robbie Muirhead's goal celebrations became a staple diet of the second half of the season, with his goal of the season marked in style at Stark's Park. (Photo- Gary Bradley) We celebrated the anniversary of the Scottish Cup win in the most Morton way possible, with a 0-1 home defeat by Hamilton before survival was rubber-stamped with, yes, you guessed it, a 0-1 home defeat. This time by Inverness. The final game saw a severely weakened team fall 0-3 at league runners-up Arbroath on a night that few in the away crowd were particularly bothered about the football unfolding in front of them before the players, and Dougie Imrie in particular, took the applause for the remarkable turnaround in fortunes under his tutelage. With Kilmarnock getting over the line in the end, to be replaced by Dundee and Cove and Queen’s Park replacing the relegated Queen of the South (leaving Morton as the club who has remained longer in this division than any other continuously) and Dunfermline, it’s probably fair to say that we’ll see two more competitive teams coming up, but a weaker one joining us from the Premiership. What Morton’s ambitions for next season are are clearly budget-dependent, but we’ll likely be favourites to take the drop again amongst the bookies. Whilst we’ve already seen the loss of the out-of-contract Reilly and Wilson to Queen of the South, it’s encouraging to see Dougie conducting some business of his own this early in the summer as we look to upset the odds again. Hopefully the upward trajectory can be continued and we’ll be discussing the commissioning of Dougie’s statue in the not-too-distant future!
  6. Part two of Russell Gordon's extended season review is now live - make sure you give it a read! Dean, Darren and Ewan analyse the second half of the season under Dougie Imrie. The panel also discuss next season's Championship and the potential benefits of the club switching to a 'hybrid' model. Women's manager Colin McEachnie also chats with Dean about his first three months in the role.
  7. Dean, Darren and Ewan analyse the second half of the season under Dougie Imrie. The panel also discuss next season's Championship and the potential benefits of the club switching to a 'hybrid' model. Women's manager Colin McEachnie also chats with Dean about his first three months in the role.
  8. Dean, Darren and Ewan analyse the second half of the season under Dougie Imrie. The panel also discuss next season's Championship and the potential benefits of the club switching to a 'hybrid' model. Women's manager Colin McEachnie also chats with Dean about his first three months in the role.
  9. (Photo- Gary Bradley) The Axe Falls And A New Broom Sweeps Into Town… A Review of Morton’s 2021-22 Season, Part Two. By Russell Gordon With the league campaign going from bad to worse, Morton’s fans had the welcome relief of a couple of cup ties to distract them from the more pressing of avoiding the drop from the Championship. The long journey up to Inverness didn’t get the juices flowing for many though, with a paltry 31 fans making the trip for a game that it would be fair to say filled most of the support with trepidation. Those fears however, were to prove unfounded as Morton produced what at this point of the season was an uncharacteristically fine performance in the Highland capital. Having fallen behind to a scrappy Billy McKay strike, Morton were far from overawed and got their reward nine minutes from time, when Gavin Reilly, only 6 minutes after coming off the bench, ended his goal drought in a Morton jersey by getting onto Jack Hamilton’s long ball to skip round Mark Ridgers to secure a replay. It was perhaps telling of the squad’s feelings though that Reilly chose to ignore the fans as he celebrated his landmark finish. The following Wednesday saw another lengthy trip- this time to Dumfries for the SPFL Trust Trophy quarter-final against fellow league strugglers Queen of the South. With the tournament being Morton’s most realistic opportunity to win a trophy, we could’ve perhaps expected a positive approach from Gus MacPherson heading into the match, so it was probably good for those in attendance that they didn’t get to see the manager’s pre-match interview with BBC ALBA, who were covering the match live. MacPherson’s interview focussed not on how heplanned to win the game and advance in the competition, but on the pre-determined set up of the tournament that saw Morton playing away from home in every round as the 32nd team to be drawn out in the first round. Quite what relevance it had at the quarter-final stage is beyond me anyway, but Gus’s ramblings gave off the air of a man in the dying embers of his reign. The night didn’t improve from there. An uncharacteristic Jack Hamilton mistake was to give the Doonhamers a first half lead, but it looked as if we’d salvaged a draw and an extra 30 minutes when Alan Lithgow’s late header produced an unlikely equaliser after a truly dreadful Morton performance. Lithgow was to “celebrate” by cupping his ears to the travelling support, further emphasizing the rift between the squad and the support. He had of course, been the subject of a torrent of abuse a few weeks earlier, but it may have been advisable to keep his powder dry as seconds later he was partly culpable as Queens went straight up the park to bag a winner. No sooner were Morton back in the tournament as they were out again. Gus MacPherson’s coat was on an extremely shoogly peg now, as the fans, and finally the board, went into the Ayr United game at Cappielow demanding nothing less than a victory. What was to follow was actually one of the more entertaining games of the Gus MacPherson era, but an afternoon marred with shame, as Morton hitman Gozie Ugwu was appallingly treated by two cretins in the Cowshed, who decided to abuse him for nothing other than the colour of his skin. What was reassuring was how quickly they were rounded on by those around them, and ejected from the ground. After a thorough investigation, they were issued with lifetime bans from Cappielow, to the surprise and dismay of nobody. But to matters on the park, it was two fine Ugwu headers that were to provide the goals for Morton on the day, but an excellent Steven Bradley strike and Tomi Adeloye’s goal had looked to give the Honest Men the points before Ugwu’s second goal. Gozie Ugwu's double gained a point at home to Ayr as the Gus MacPherson era came to an end. (Photo-Gary Bradley) Enough was enough, and as we left into the Greenock night, it was barely 5pm by the time messages were coming through that MacPherson had been relieved of his duties and had swiftly left the stadium. One suspects that an ultimatum had been given to the boss that nothing less than three points would have done against a struggling Ayr side, and the search for a new boss began. Robbie Muirhead made it clear he was less than impressed with the Cowshed's backing after opening the scoring against Inverness in the cup replay. (Photo-Gary Bradley) Derek Anderson was put in caretaker-charge for a Cappielow double-header against Inverness in the cup replay and the league with Morton in turmoil behind the scenes. On the park though, it was to be another credible performance as the Caley Jags came down twice in five days, firstly for the cup match. Robbie Muirhead was to be the target of the support on this occasion, having not enjoyed his most productive of evenings until the point he curled Morton into the lead a couple of minutes before the break. Rather than express his joy at producing such a fine strike, he was to take the lead from his captain the previous week and express his disdain for the home support. Again, there was to be a quick-fire counter, with Danny Devine bagging Thistle’s equaliser a couple of minutes after the break. However, on this occasion, we did have a happy ending. With no extra time, it was straight to a penalty shoot-out, and Devine provied to be the Highlanders’ fall guy, as Jack Hamilton’s fine save took Morton through to a fourth-round meeting with familiar foes Motherwell 5-4 after nine flawless spot kicks. Jack Hamilton's fine stop from Danny Devine's spot kick saw Morton defy the odds to dispose of the much-fancied Inverness in the Scottish Cup. (Photo- Gary Bradley) But it was to be a different story when Inverness came back down the road a few days later. Visiting boss Billy Dodds had been extremely critical of the temporary changing facilities provided for his team in midweek and was accommodated far more than he should’ve been for his outburst as arrangements were made for his side to use the gym between the Cowshed and Sinclair Street terraces. They were to take out their frustrations after that cup defeat by annihilating Morton 6-1, our biggest defeat at Cappielow since Ayr United’s 6-0 victory over a Morton side in the throes of administration way back in January 2001. Maybe it wasn’t Gus’s fault after all? With an appointment apparently imminent, Anderson took charge of his final game as caretaker against high-flying Arbroath at Gayfield. A much-improved performance saw another hard luck story against the Red Lichties though, with Jack Hamilton’s brother Colin again netting the opener before being clawed back by a Gary Oliver counter as the Angus fog thickened and the match looked under serious threat of abandonment. Unfortunately though, it was to finish with Falkirk loanee Anton Dowds doing what no other Falkirk player has managed in an awful long time by netting a winning goal against Morton, taking Arbroath to the top of the table in the process. A Gary Oliver equaliser wasn't enough to gain a share of the spoils at a foggy Gayfield just before Christmas. (Photo- Gary Bradley) The festive period was to prove eventful off the park- with the new Omicron variant of COVID hitting the world hard, the Scottish Government decided to take action to quell the problem. Crowds across the country were restricted to a maximum of 500, regardless of capacity or the amount of open-air space at grounds. With games against Queen of the South and Dunfermline over that time, the c. 1000 season ticket holders were allocated a game each to attend, with Morton’s hands tied behind their back by the restrictions. But the news we did want to hear finally arrived- the appointment of Morton’s new boss- former player, and First Team Coach to David Martindale at Livingston; Dougie Imrie. It was to be an unexpected and risky appointment, having seen the board go with the tried-and-trusted Gus MacPherson previously. Without the opportunity to bring his own staff in, Imrie was thrown into the lions' den, and immediate results were demanded as soon as possible. Not only that, but he also had to fix what appeared to be an increasingly fragile relationship between the players and their supporters. The new boss gets to work by taking his beleaguered squad to title favourites Kilmarnock for his debut on the touchline. (Photo-Gary Bradley) Imrie’s debut in the dugout was delayed by a COVID outbreak in the Queen of the South squad though, as the pandemic probably did Morton’s bean counters a favour and gave Imrie a bit more time to work with his new charges before he did debut on the touchline at title favourites Kilmarnock just before the new year. Things weren’t to start well, with Rory McKenzie’s fine strike giving Killie a first half lead and Morton thankful for Jack Hamilton’s incredible performance between the sticks in front of only 500 of the Ayrshire club’s support. But with Mark Russell having a torrid time at left back, Imrie did what we’ve not seen in long enough by taking the necessary action in replacing him with Lewis Strapp. Strapp wasn’t to look back under the new gaffer, but in the short term, we were to get out of Rugby Park with a precious point as Alan Lithgow headed home an excellent corner from the substitute. In the end, some Morton fans were disappointed that we were happy to keep possession in the corner late on with Killie having been reduced to ten men. Alan Lithgow's second half header gained an unlikely point as the Dougie Imrie era got off to a promising start. (Photo-Gary Bradley) Make no mistake though, those first steps were a point gained, rather than two points dropped. Perhaps there was some light at the end of the tunnel…
  10. Dean, Alan and Craig kick off our season review coverage. In the first of two instalments, the panel discuss summer recruitment, the decision to retain Gus MacPherson and the league campaign under Gus until he was relieved of his duties in December.
  11. Dean, Alan and Craig kick off our season review coverage. In the first of two instalments, the panel discuss summer recruitment, the decision to retain Gus MacPherson and the league campaign under Gus until he was relieved of his duties in December.
  12. Over the next week or so, we will be combining the Forum and the podcast to bring you our season review coverage. Click below to read part one of Russell Gordon's season review. Just One Cornetto's part one will be live tomorrow.
  13. (Photo- Gary Bradley) Out With The Old And In With The New… A Review of Morton’s 2021-22 Season, Part One. By Russell Gordon. After the rollercoaster ride that was season 2020-21, most Morton fans would’ve quite happily accepted a season of mid-table mediocrity with any realistic fears of relegation being extinguished as early as possible, even if there was no real danger of us threatening the play-offs at the other end of the table. Sounds boring on the surface perhaps, but whilst that was exactly what we got, it could hardly have been described as an uneventful campaign. With fans’ group MCT getting their feet under the desk before officially announcing the purchase of the club from an increasingly unpopular Crawford Rae in September, all eyes were on which direction the club would take and what lessons had been learned from the calamitous last few years of the Golden Casket era. It didn’t start well. Having scraped to survival, manager Gus MacPherson was handed a two-year deal as a reward for his “achievement”, which raised many an eyebrow amongst sections of the support who were somewhat underwhelmed by the former Queen’s Park and Queen of the South boss’s performance in failing to avoid the relegation play-offs in the first place. MacPherson’s first signing was to cause even more concern- former Morton trialist Alan Lithgow came in from Livingston on a two-year deal. Whilst Lithgow’s injury record can’t be ignored, the main bone of contention for many was a criminal conviction he attained in his younger days for an offence that a lot of fans found unpalatable. Former Raith striker Gozie Ugwu was charged with the unenviable task of trying to provide the goals for MacPherson's struggling side. (Photo-Gary Bradley) There were of course re-signings and departures again- Robbie Muirhead was handed a new deal, owing in no small part to his play-off heroics, whilst stalwarts such as Gary Oliver, Brian McLean, Cameron Blues, Michael Ledger and club captain Kyle Jacobs came back for more. Former Hibernian and Sheffield United midfielder Stephen McGinn was lured to title favourites Kilmarnock, whilst Ayr United boss David Hopkin decided to raid his former club for some of the stars who brought him so much success in his time at Cappielow. Few tears were shed over the loss of Cameron Salkeld and in particular Sean McGinty, but the losses of Markus Fjortoft and Aidan McAdams to the Honest Men weren’t greeted with the same relief or joy down Inverclyde way. Wingers Aidan Nesbitt and Craig McGuffie departed for League One minnows Falkirk, ultimately contributing to their heroic efforts to avoid the drop to League Two, which was nice for them. Joining Lithgow at Cappielow were Raith Rovers’ forward Gozie Ugwu, who brought a much-needed physical presence to the front line, and former Dundee and Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton- a signing that was perhaps unfairly mocked by many observers. Only time would tell if those calls were fair or not. Former ‘Ton full back Mark Russell would also return, having enjoyed a successful spell at Finn Harps in Ireland. It would be fair to say that in those early weeks of the season, the squad seriously lacked depth and experience, and just to exacerbate that problem, Morton were hit by a COVID outbreak on the eve of the season’s kick off. After a couple of dull pre-season friendlies; a 0-0 draw behind closed doors at Dumbarton and a 2-0 win over Cumbernauld Colts at Broadwood (God, I miss Highland tours), the intention was to start the League Cup campaign with a trip to Stranraer, for a game for which travelling fans were officially banned from attending due to the restrictions. Those who chose not to travel didn’t miss anything- the match was called off on the morning as a result of Morton’s failure to raise a team due to the outbreak at Cappielow, and Morton were forced accept a 0-3 defeat. Incredibly though, Morton were able to field a team against East Kilbride only three days later, on a day of confusion as the club and the Telegraph told conflicting stories about whether the game would or would not go ahead, and whether anyone would be able to attend or not. In the end, the game was played behind closed doors in what was a bit of a public relations faux pas on the club’s part. With Gus MacPherson also in his sickbed, a shadow Morton team toiled to a 0-0 draw with their Lowland League counterparts, prevailing 5-4 on penalties to take the bonus point going into the game with top seeds Kilmarnock. With Morton effectively out of the tournament through very little fault of their own, the trip to Rugby Park, in front of a limited number of home fans brought room for optimism as Morton led for the vast majority of the match- young Lewis McGregor’s fine early strike was only cancelled out in injury time before the hosts went on to take the bonus point in a penalty shoot-out. The curtain came down on Morton’s brief campaign with a 2-1 victory over Clyde at Cappielow, as Robbie Muirhead took up where he left off in May with a double to crush any hopes the Bully Wee may have had of progression to the knock-out phase of the competition. With Morton’s interest in the League Cup meeting a premature end, focus moved onto the start of the league campaign, with much-fancied Dunfermline Athletic visiting relegation favourites Morton on the opening day. In front of a crowd that was again limited only to home fans, Morton could’ve considered themselves unfortunate not to collect all three points, having led through a first half Gary Oliver penalty against his favourite opponents. But in the end it took a Lewis McGrattan cross looping into the Pars’ net to salvage a draw as the Fifers claimed a rare, but memorable Cappielow point. Three points were to follow for Morton the following week at Hamilton, as Gozie Ugwu’s first half strike proved enough to separate the visitors from the newly relegated Accies, in spite of the ordering off of Cammy Blues late in the game. Four points from six, all was well in the world. But Morton being Morton, quickly dispelled any thoughts that we might have been in for a good season by losing 2-3 at home to early strugglers Queen of the South, and rounded off August with a 0-3 trousering at the hands of Partick Thistle in Glasgow. MacPherson had some major surgery to perform on the squad as the month reached its conclusion and the clock ran down on the summer transfer window. To be fair, corrective action was taken, with Mansfield striker Jimmy Knowles, Newcastle winger Tom Allen and centre back Oisin McEntee, and Brentford midfielder Jaako Oksanen (the latter two under-21 internationals for the Republic of Ireland and Finland respectively) came in the door, along with Livingston striker Gavin Reilly, all on season-long loans. Livingston loanee Gavin Reilly endured a difficult first few months of his Morton career. (Photo- Gary Bradley) The Challenge Cup, now known as the SPFL Trust Trophy, returned after a year in abeyance and Morton were handed a trip to Airdrie to face… Celtic B (?) Morton won 3-1, and that’s really all that needs said about such a farce of a fixture. We move on. September wasn’t to prove a vintage month- a respectable performance at Rugby Park saw the ‘Ton fall to a late Rory McKenzie winner for Kilmarnock before falling by the same scoreline to Raith Rovers at Cappielow the following week. Despite the beautiful sunshine that early autumn afternoon, the storm clouds were gathering over Cappielow. The month was rounded off at Somerset Park as Morton were reacquainted with a former boss in the week that we were freed from the shackles of Crawford Rae and finally became a community-owned club. That boss however, was to be Jim Duffy; successor to David Hopkin, who had already been emptied by the Ayrshire club as a result not only of their own slow start to the season, but also of fan mutiny against Hopkin. What we got was one of the worst football matches you’re ever likely to see, between two absolutely horrible teams to watch, which ended goalless. Gus MacPherson and his backroom staff suffer through the turgid 0-0 draw at Somerset Park like the rest of us. (Photo-Gary Bradley) It was becoming increasingly obvious that Morton were going to endure a difficult season- the football was turgid and the support was becoming increasingly impatient with the manager. But whilst the Raith and Ayr games were truly awful, it’s perhaps more concerning when you play well and don’t get your rewards. When high-flying Arbroath came calling, few would have fancied Morton to take anything from a game against the league’s surprise package. With Jack Hamilton being beaten by his brother Colin on the cusp of half-time, Morton could’ve easily retreated into their shell, but an excellent second half performance, with a goal from Gary Oliver seconds after the restart, and a fantastic Cammy Blues strike to give Morton the lead, looked to have given us the three points. Lady Luck had other ideas though, and Oisin McEntee was harshly punished for the use of an elbow late on and Michael McKenna duly converted the resultant penalty to deny Morton what could’ve been two valuable points. Our saving grace at this point was Dunfermline’s abysmal start under Peter Grant, but surely that couldn’t go on forever? At least there was a break from league duty though, as the SPFL Trust Trophy campaign continued at Links Park. Whilst the rest of the country were enthralled by Scotland’s incredible late World Cup win over Israel, a hardy band of Morton fans travelled up to Angus to see Morton scrape past Montrose on penalties to book a quarter-final tie against Queen of the South. We were to clock up a fair few miles in October, with trips to Inverness for an insipid 0-2 defeat in which Lewis Strapp, who had spent most of the campaign playing in an unfamiliar left centre back role, reportedly felt the wrath of a furious MacPherson; and another uninspiring 0-0 draw, this time at Palmerston, the only highlight of which being Robbie Muirhead’s effort which was unfortunate to hit the bar. An improved performance at home to on-form Partick garnered yet another 0-0 draw which could’ve been more but was probably seen as a point gained rather than two dropped, before Hamilton came calling. An appalling Morton performance incredibly only saw the hosts a goal down deep into injury time when a high and hopeful Jaako Oksanen free kick was headed into his own net by Accies defender Reegan Mimnaugh to prevent a Halloween horror show for the ‘Ton faithful. Gary Oliver nets a last minute penalty against his favourite opponents to give Morton a 3-1 win at East End Park (Photo- Gary Bradley) But bad news was just around the corner- Dunfermline had finally decided to wield the axe and relieve the hapless Peter Grant of his duties ahead of a relegation six-pointer against Morton at East End Park. It seemed we needn’t have worried at this point however, as Gozie Ugwu’s goal was sandwiched by two from Gary Oliver (who else?) and Morton eased to three vital points against the Pars. They were to appoint John Hughes as Grant’s successor after that Morton defeat though and immediately got a new manager bounce, with a win at Inverness and a home to Ayr, whilst Morton were losing 0-2 at home to promotion-chasing Kilmarnock and 1-2 at Raith Rovers. The defeat in Kirkcaldy was to prove especially chastening, having led early on through Michael Ledger and meekly surrendered their advantage. A bad day was rounded off by the sending off of Alan Lithgow as tensions boiled over in the away stand, with Lithgow being the target of some fans’ frustrations, and squabbles breaking out in the away end. Alan Lithgow's two yellow cards at Stark's Park were to prove one of the season's lowlights. (Photo- Gary Bradley) With Morton celebrating the 100th anniversary of their Scottish Cup win this season, a cup run would’ve been nice- so a draw away to promotion-chasing Inverness was a most unwelcome development. The manager was under pressure, the board were meeting criticisms with a wall of silence, the fans were at each others’ throats, the relationship between players and fans appeared irreparable. If the winter of 2020 was a winter of discontent, we were bracing ourselves for what the winter of 2021 was about to bring…
  14. Happy retirement to Eddie McPhee! Eddie has held a season ticket at Cappielow for over 40 years and is an avid reader of the Forum. Enjoy your retirement!
  15. Dean, Alan and Louise (very, very briefly) reflect on Friday night's game and chat about the play-offs at both ends of the Championship. The panel also give their verdicts on which players they would keep and who they would release.
  16. Dean, Alan and Louise (very, very briefly) reflect on Friday night's game and chat about the play-offs at both ends of the Championship. The panel also give their verdicts on which players they would keep and who they would release.
  17. We are currently seeking a title sponsor. Our sponsorship package includes your company logo being included in the header of every page of our website, a radio-style ad on our podcast and a weekly social media post on all three of our platforms, with a following of over 10,000. If you own a local business and wish to establish, maintain or diversify your customer base in the Inverclyde area, contact TheMortonForum@gmail.com! Our match thread is brought to you in association with Titan Spirits, a local company inspired by Clydeside heritage and Inverclyde's incredible scenery. Their new Titan Spiced Rum is available now! Click here to order Titan Spiced Rum! Our match thread is brought to you in association with the new Clyde Eats app and The Cottage Cafe Bistro. Clyde Eats is a new, Inverclyde-based food delivery app aiming to showcase the very best local restaurants and takeaways. The Clyde Eats app is available to download from Google Play and the App Store now!
  18. Arbroath vs Morton – Match Preview by Dean McKinnon. Morton head north to take on high-flying Arbroath as the curtain falls on the 2021/22 season. Dougie Imrie’s nineteenth game in charge will mark the end of a season in which the former Morton player’s impact cannot be understated. Imrie has hauled a Ton side seemingly doomed to relegation under the tutelage of Gus MacPherson to Championship survival with room to spare. The man who scored the Greenock side’s most famous goal of this millennia has had a rejuvenating effect on Greenock Morton that stretches far beyond the pitch, and will now begin planning next season’s assault on Scotland’s second tier. Photo - GBR Photographs. Squad News Question marks remain over Alan Lithgow’s fitness heading into the season’s encore. The veteran defender pulled up in the warmup before the 1-0 defeat to Hamilton and was absent in last week's defeat to Inverness. Lewis Strapp’s recovery from the knock sustained at Raith was a welcome addition to last week’s side. Dougie Imrie has suggested that there may be some experimentation in his squad for this fixture, so we may see the likes of McGrattan, McGregor, King and Hynes given a significant amount of game time. Current Connections Whilst nobody in the current Cappielow ranks has plied their trade in Arbroath, there are a few former Morton representatives in the Gayfield contingent. Our very own Jack Hamilton is the brother of Arbroath full back, Chris Hamilton. Luke Donnelly had an undistinguished loan spell at Cappielow whilst a young player at Celtic. Nicky Low is a well kent face in the Cowshed as a Morton fan himself. Both Bobby Linn and Derek Gaston’s spells in Greenock resulted in a third tier title win. Linn penned a two-and-a-half-year deal for Jim McInally’s side in January 2007. Despite featuring regularly in the title winning side, he struggled to hit the net and found himself on the periphery of the squad the following season in the First Division. He would be loaned out to East Fife before being moved on. Gaston’s stay in Inverclyde is slightly more memorable. He joined the Greenock side in the summer of 2012 and was a mainstay in Allan Moore’s title challenging season, followed by featuring less regularly the following season as The Ton plunged into League One. Gaston was to prove instrumental to the title win with a number of monumental saves as Jim Duffy led his side back to the Championship at the first time of asking. Gaston joined part time Arbroath in 2019, making forty-six appearances to date for Dick Campbell’s side. Photo - GBR Photographs. Tale of the Tape Goals have been notoriously hard to come by in tussles between Morton and Arbroath in recent times. This trend was bucked earlier in the season as the sides shared the spoils following a 2-2 draw at Cappielow. Gary Oliver and Cammy Blues looked to have claimed a vital three points for the home side before some questionable officiating gave the Red Lichties a penalty in the 87th minute to claim a point. Colin Hamilton scored his second goal of the season past brother Jack shortly after half-time in the second meeting of the sides in December. This match was marred by fog, to the point that supporters in the away end could not see Gary Oliver’s equaliser at the other side of the ground. Parity was, however, short lived as Anton Dowds’ goal in the 80th minute was to prove the winner as all three points stayed in Angus. More normal service was resumed in February as both sides shared a point a piece at Cappielow following a 0-0 draw in which both teams could only muster a single shot on target. Opposition Analysis It’s safe to say that Arbroath are currently riding on the crest of a wave. Despite falling to two late Kilmarnock goals in their title decider a week ago, the part-time side have secured a second-placed finish and will lock horns with a Championship counterpart for the right to take on a Premiership side for a place in the top flight next season. With the club on a sound financial footing, investment being made in the facilities in Gayfield, and a winning team on the park, it seems like Arbroath are going from strength-to-strength at present. I spoke to former Arbroath TV commentator Ewan Smith (@ewansmithpr) ahead of Friday night’s curtain call, who underlined the home side’s ambitions despite losing out on automatic promotion – “Gayfield would have been packed to the gunnels for a title decider against Morton - had they held on for a famous win at Kilmarnock last week. But while the home crowd will still back Arbroath in significant numbers, the focus will now shift to the play-offs. Arbroath will be determined to use this game as a springboard for their play-off semi-final against either Inverness, Partick or Raith. A win will give them momentum going into that game but they could also choose to give fringe players some valuable game time. The likes of Sam Ford - who hasn’t played since the 3-0 loss to Inverness in March - and Lichties legends Bobby Linn and Gavin Swankie could come into contention. Arbroath may also choose to rest ex-Morton keeper Derek Gaston after he picked up an injury in the heart-breaking defeat to Killie. Dale Hilson is also likely to miss out after breaking his wrist but no matter who plays, Arbroath will still provide a stern task for Ton. They have had an outstanding season and have a host of new admirers after their stunning run to second place. Jack Hamilton has netted five goals in six games and Greenock-based Nicky Low has been pulling the strings from midfield. Tam O’Brien and Michael McKenna have both earned PFA Player of the Year nominations and Arbroath have lost just five of their 35 league matches. A morale-boosting win over Morton would set Arbroath up nicely for their second shot at reaching the cinch Premiership and I’m backing them to win 2-1.” Photo - GBR Photographs. Betting Guide All match odds are provided by McBookie. Odds are correct as of 6am on 28th April 2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling. The hosts head into this match with the advantage, priced at 20/21 to best their Inverclyde counterparts, with the away side ranked at 14/5 to claim all three points, and 23/10 on the draw. Given the two sides propensity for goalless affairs, 7/1 for a goalless stalemate looks to be an incredibly generous price. Gavin Reilly is a notable absence at the top of the goalscorer odds market. The Livi loanee is an impressive 10/1 to score first or 7/2 to score anytime. Match Officials Referee – Matthew MacDermid AR1 – Andy Milne AR2 – Colin Drummond
  19. Away Day Guide - Arbroath (29th April) Photo - Arbroath FC Website Tickets – Click here to buy matchday tickets. Prices are as follows – Adults - £19, Concession (U18s, Students, Over 65s and Disabled Fans) - £12, Parent and U12 child - £22, Parent and 2xU12 children - £24. Disabled Supporters Information – The following is an exert from the Arbroath website – “Gayfield Park, home of Arbroath FC has two enclosed disabled seating areas on either side of the main stand which are reserved for wheelchair users and their assistants / carers. Each area can accommodate up to 3 wheelchairs and 3 assistants/carers. These areas also have wall attached seats which fold down in place for any assistant or carer that is present on the day. Each side is accessible via a smooth flat surface suitable for wheel chairs with a disabled toilet on the opposite side of the stand. Our match day stewards are always on hand to give assistance either into the ground, or to the accessible areas. Unfortunately due to Gayfield’s location we don’t own any parking spaces around the ground, but there is plenty of spaces on either side of the ground to park which is all completely free. If the distance from the main gate to the accessible area is too far, then we are happy to accommodate a vehicle into the ground for a close drop off. In this circumstance we would please ask that you contact the club a day or two before hand and arrive a little earlier than normal. We offer a concession admission for those with a disability and free admission to any assistant or carer present. We are a community club and hope to give all visiting and home fans the same experience as they are welcomed into our ground. If you have any questions we are always there to help Tel; 01241-872157 or email; office@arbroathfc.co.uk” Supporters Buses The Gourock Morton Supporters are running two buses, both of which are currently FULL. Buses will depart from Gourock station at 4pm with pick-ups en route. The cost will be decided on the day, message their page on Facebook or contact Mark on 07847847357 to enquire about availability. The Port Glasgow Morton Travel Club are NOT running a bus. By Train There are two services an hour to Glasgow Central on the low line, departing Gourock :08 and :38 every hour, as well as one train an hour on the high line, departing Wemyss Bay at :57 every hour. Travel to Glasgow Central and transfer to Glasgow Queen Street. From Glasgow Queen Street, there are direct services to Arbroath on the Glasgow-Aberdeen line. There is also the option of travelling to Edinburgh Waverly and transferring onto Aberdeen bound trains from there. To reduce ticketing costs, split your journey as a return from Glasgow Queen Street to Perth, then a return from Perth to Arbroath. The stadium is around a 12 minute walk (0.6 miles) from the train station. Please note that there is no way of making the return journey on Friday evening. All information taken from the ScotRail website. By Car Use the postcode DD11 1QB for the stadium. The estimated journey time from Cappielow to Gayfield Park is around 2 hours 20 mins (122 miles). There is plenty of street parking in the vicinity of the stadium. Pre-Match Photo - Trip Advisor If you are arriving by train, or are arriving in Arbroath with time to spare, The Townhouse Hotel (99 High St, Arbroath DD11 1DP) is a short distance from the train station and offer alternate matchday hospitality packages. Closer to the stadium, Tuttie’s Neuk (Gayfield, Arbroath DD11 1QJ) is a stone’s throw from the Gayfield turnstiles.
  20. Dean, Darren, Ewan and Stephen discuss Saturday's loss against Inverness, the team also pick out their standout players and goals of the season.
  21. Dean, Darren, Ewan and Stephen discuss Saturday's loss against Inverness, the team also pick out their standout players and goals of the season.
  22. We are currently seeking a title sponsor. Our sponsorship package includes your company logo being included in the header of every page of our website, a radio-style ad on our podcast and a weekly social media post on all three of our platforms, with a following of over 10,000. If you own a local business and wish to establish, maintain or diversify your customer base in the Inverclyde area, contact TheMortonForum@gmail.com! Our match thread is brought to you in association with Titan Spirits, a local company inspired by Clydeside heritage and Inverclyde's incredible scenery. Their new Titan Spiced Rum is available now! Click here to order Titan Spiced Rum! Our match thread is brought to you in association with the new Clyde Eats app and The Cottage Cafe Bistro. Clyde Eats is a new, Inverclyde-based food delivery app aiming to showcase the very best local restaurants and takeaways. The Clyde Eats app is available to download from Google Play and the App Store now!
  23. Morton v Inverness Caledonian Thistle - Match Preview by Russell Gordon. The penultimate round of the Championship’s regular season, and Morton’s final home game sees Billy Dodds’ Inverness coming down the A9 to slum it at Cappielow for a third time this season. With the Highlanders guaranteed a place in the promotion play-offs, Morton still require a solitary point, or for either Ayr United or Dunfermline to drop against Partick and Queen of the South respectively to secure our own place in the second tier for another year. For those who can’t make it to Cappielow, Gerry and Andy could well be giving their last ever commentaries for a stream, depending on next season’s ruling, for a very reasonable £14, which can be purchased here. Photo - GBR Photographs. Squad News With last weekend’s late injuries to Lewis Strapp and Alan Lithgow proving pivotal in Morton’s disappointing defeat against Hamilton last weekend, Morton boss Dougie Imrie will be desperate for their return to the fold. There are no other known injuries to speak of. Current Connections There are very few connections between the two squads, with neither having anyone who’s represented their opponents- although the visitors’ defender Wallace Duffy signed for Morton in the summer of 2019 from St. Johnstone, before having his contract cancelled when Caley Thistle approached St. Johnstone to sign him on a permanent deal. Morton Manager Dougie Imrie had a two year spell in the Highlands, playing 70 times and scoring 11 goals for Inverness. Tale of the Tape I don’t know if you could say it’s honours even between the teams this season, having suffered a 0-2 defeat under the Kessock Bridge in October and the 1-6 hounding in December as managerless Morton’s season hit its lowest ebb, but there have been positives against tomorrow’s opponents. Morton’s Scottish Cup campaign seemed doomed to an early end when they were drawn against Inverness away. Gavin Reilly’s late equaliser secured a late 1-1 draw against the odds, and the scoreline was repeated in the Cappielow replay before Jack Hamilton proved the hero as Morton progressed to the next round and subsequently a heart breaking defeat at Fir Park thanks to a 5-4 shoot-out win. The most recent meeting saw a resurgent Morton going north with a point to prove after that 1-6 pasting and coming down the A9 with all three points thanks to a first half goal from Lewis Strapp, as Inverness extended suffered their seventh game of eleven without a victory. Photo - GBR Photographs. Opposition Analysis Consistency isn’t one of Inverness’s strong points. After an excellent start to the campaign, they were to suffer a winter of discontent that I alluded to above, and only a recent good run cemented their place in the play-offs. That recent run saw a convincing 3-0 win at home to title challenging Arbroath, as well as last weekend’s 2-1 win over Kilmarnock, who may well be champions by the time we kick off on Saturday. That run of 5 without defeat met an abrupt end in midweek though as Inverness fell to a Queen of the South side that are playing for snookers in their attempts to avoid slumming it with Falkirk next season. The goals of Shane Sutherland have been crucial in recent weeks, whilst Billy McKay has provided his steady stream of goals in recent weeks, but Inverness’s main threat is perhaps Dundee United loanee Logan Chalmers, who has five in the last five and looks to be hitting form at just the right time with the promotion play-offs looming. Photo - GBR Photographs. Betting Guide All odds are supplied by McBookie. All odds correct as of 7am on 22nd April 2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling. The visitors are the 13/10 favourites with Morton priced at 19/10 and the draw at 21/10. I always try to be optimistic when picking random bets, but can’t ignore Inverness’s firepower, so Morton to win and both teams to score is 21/4 and over 3.5 goals is 10/3. Match Officials Referee- Alan Muir AR 1- Michael Banks AR 2- Kevin McElhinney
×
×
  • Create New...