Morton v Stenhousemuir at Cappielow Park, Greenock on 22.11.14
SPFL Division One Att 1,315
Morton 3 [Kilday 15,35,S.McCluskey 87] Stenhousemuir 1 [Dickson 68]
After victory over Dunfermline the previous week manager Scott Booth kept faith in the same starting eleven for this game at Greenock against the league leaders. On this occasion though Morton proved to be too strong in the first meeting between the clubs at Cappielow since 2004.
The Warriors were sluggish at the start of the game and this allowed Morton to dictate the early play and they forced Greg Fleming into action in the third minute saving from Declan McManus as they exploited a gap when Alan Lithgow was struggling through injury. Nevertheless Stenhousemuir came close to scoring in the eighth minute when Stewart Greacen failed to make full contact following a Sean Dickson corner and although Derek Gaston saved on the line it would not have counted anyway as the assistant referee had flagged for offside.
Morton were clearly on top though and Fleming saved once again in the 12th minute this time from Andrew Barrowman, but he was unable to prevent the home side going ahead in the 15th minute when Lee Kilday made the most of a couple of Stenhousemuir errors to get into the danger area before firing into the net. Barrowman then struck the crossbar with a clever header in the 23rd minute as Stenhousemuir were struggling to hold on. To be fair they were trying to attack wherever possible but struggling to get anything worthwhile together to threaten the Morton defence. In the 35th minute another Morton attack saw them score their second goal with Kilday once again being the scorer. Once again he took advantage of indecision by Alan Lithgow who hesitated when he had a chance to make a tackle as he could have been sent off if he had mistimed it.
Plaudits go to the referee in this instance as well as he did well to allow Morton to continue the play after he could have easily stopped the play to give them a free kick in the build up.
At half time Josh Watt came on to try and shake things up attacking wise with Gary Oliver moving into a central attacking position with Colin McMenamin substituted. Watt almost had an instant impact after playing the cross into Sean Dickson after a decent build up but Gaston was able to push the shot away to safety.
The keeper was to play no further part in the game as he was subbed within a minute after picking up a strain. Before that happened though Fleming was forced into another save to deny Kilday a hat-trick. There was another let off for Stenhousemuir in the 58th minute when McManus beat Greacen for pace but fired over the bar with only the keeper to beat. The Warriors got a lifeline in the 68th minute of the game when a free kick by Sean Dickson from just inside the right touchline went in at the back post without anyone else getting a touch on it. It looked lucky and it was but the player hit it just right and more importantly on target. Morton were a bit shaky after this and Kieran Millar fired over after McGowan flapped at a Watt cross.
The visitors were looking the more likely team to get the next goal but their endeavours were hampered when they were reduced to ten men after substitute Tom Walsh had to leave the pitch with a hamstring strain after all three substitutes had been used. Morton extended their lead in the 87th minute when they caught Stenhousemuir out as they pushed forward for an equaliser. A Lithgow throw in was not as effective as normal and Morton broke at pace with the final outcome being a goal for Stephan McCluskey who prodded the ball into the net.
Alan Lithgow almost got a consolation goal in the last minute with a free kick from the halfway line that almost sneaked into the net. It was not enough though as the Warriors were punished ultimately for their poor first half performance that always meant that they were chasing the game in the second period.
Morton –Gaston [McGowan 52], Kilday, Russell, O’Ware, Crighton, Milojevic, J.McCluskey [S.McCluskey 79][b90], Pepper, Barrowman, McManus and Crawford [Lamie 88]. Subs not used – Miller, Cairnie, McNeil and Allan.
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, Meechan, Greacen, McMillan [b73], Lithgow, K.Millar, Reid [Eddington 74], Faulds [Walsh 64], McMenamin [Watt h/t], Oliver and Dickson [b90]. Subs not used – Duncan, Fotheringham, Summers and Smith.
Referee – Kevin Graham
Assistants – Sean Carr and Jordan Curran
|November 22, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Cappielow Park, Greenock|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|