Stenhousemuir v Greenock Morton on 27.9.14
SPFL Division One Att 692
Stenhousemuir 2 [Grehan32, Dickson 48] Morton 1 [McManus 31]
This was Stenhousemuir’s first league victory since the opening day of the season and for most was an unexpected win against a Morton side that looked to be building momentum as the season progressed.
Although the Warriors played well and indeed were the dominant team in the first half the main discussion after the game in the media was the fact that Morton may have had several penalty claims given in their favour on another day. This will hopefully not deflect from a positive performance by the home team where they fought hard throughout and deserved a share of the spoils at least.
With Tom Walsh and Bryan Hodge unavailable Sean Dickson returned to a three man midfield as the manager went with an attacking 4-3-3 formation and this for the first 50 minutes certainly paid dividends. Jamie Reid also came in to the front three.
Within the first two minutes of the game the Warriors had two chances through passes from Dickson that opened up the away defence and from the latter Gary Oliver saw his effort saved by Derek Gaston. The home side continued to press and Martin Grehan came close with an effort that fizzed over in 15 minutes.
Against the run of play Morton opened the scoring in the 30th minute through Declan McManus who headed a Joe McKee corner into the net despite the presence of Greg Fleming and a defender at the far post. To Stenhousemuir’s credit they didn’t let that affect them too much and they equalised a minute later in a breakaway with Dickson showing good footwork before picking out Grehan who tucked the ball home from six yards.
The Morton defence was being stretched and Gaston came to their rescue when he saved a Dickson effort after Jamie Reid did the spadework. In the last minute of the half though the visitors should have taken the lead when Tom O’Ware headed a McKee free-kick wide with only the keeper to beat. It was Stenhousemuir though that took the lead almost immediately after the resumption when Gary Oliver caused problems down the right flank once again and picked out Dickson in the middle and he headed home. This was followed by a similar cross a minute later but this time Ross Meechan was off target with his effort.
As the game progressed though Morton started to get a strong grip on proceedings and it looked as if Declan McManus was tripped by Greg Fleming in the 53rd minute. The referee Alan Muir thought otherwise and no award was forthcoming. That decision could have been a game changer as Fleming would have been dismissed if found guilty of the misdemeanour. Two minutes later Morton were up in arms after a Connor Pepper cross was blocked by Kieran Millar’s arm as he slid to block a ball.
Once again Mr Muir turned down their claims and it was the same result when Lee Kilday went to ground fallowing a tackle inside the box. The ex-Warrior was cautioned for his efforts. It was real back to the wall stuff though and O’Ware rose well but headed over in 75 minutes and this was followed in the 80th minute by a McManus strike that hit the base of the post.
A mistake by Meechan then let in Mark Russell but Fleming was to deny the sub with a fine save. If it didn’t look to be Morton’s day on the evidence so far it was confirmed just after that when McKee rifled in a shot that looked to be going into the net but struck his own player before the danger was eventually cleared. Just before the final whistle Stenhousemuir had a chance to score their third in a rare breakaway but Colin McMenamin’s effort was saved by Gaston.
Nevertheless the final whistle blew seconds later with the Warriors victorious. Although they rode their luck at times this is sometimes the sort of performance that turns the season around and will certainly build their confidence.
They will know that their second half performance though a gritty one was not on the same level as the first half and that they need to maintain the play of the first 45 minutes for longer in games.
Stenhousemuir – Fleming, Meechan, Summers, McMillan, Greacen, K.Millar, Oliver, Faulds, Grehan [McMenamin 68], Dickson [Fotheringham 83] and Reid [Watt 68] . Subs not used – Duncan, Lithgow, Sludden and Shaw.
Morton – Gaston, Kilday, Lamie [Russell 64], O’Ware, Crighton, Crawford [Scullion 73], McKee, Pepper, Barrowman, McManus and McCluskey. Subs not used – Milojevic, McNeil, Hands, Allan and Caraux. Referee –
Alan Muir Assistants – Ralph Gordon and Colin McDonald
|September 27, 2014||3:00 pm||SPFL Ladbrokes League 1||2014/2015||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|