Livingston suffered a shock 3-0 defeat in their second pre-season outing of the new campaign. Ayo Obileye’s own goal and a late brace from Michael Garrity earned former coach Dougie Imrie a victory with his Morton side.
Livingston created the first chance of the game as Trialist’s cross found Stephane Omeonga inside the box, but the Belgian’s volley trickled wide of the post.
On seven minutes, in absolutely bizarre fashion, Morton were gifted the lead. Under no real pressure, Ayo Obileye passed the ball back to Max Stryjek, but put too much on the pass as he watched it roll beyond his goalkeeper and into the back of the net.
The Lions tried to bounce back immediately as Trialist slipped in Nicky Devlin with a quick free-kick, but one on one with Brian Schwake, the skipper was denied.
The first change of the afternoon for the hosts came on 21 minutes as Jack Hamilton limped off. He was replaced by new signing Esmael Goncalves.
Morton came close to doubling their lead moments later. A slack pass from Obileye gave the ball to former Livi midfielder Cameron Blues who raced into the box, but he fired just wide of the post.
The last chance of the half fell to Scott Pittman. Omeonga’s cut back found the midfielder inside the box, but another former Livi man Carlo Pignatiello was on hand to block his effort with a strong tackle.
Half Time – Livingston 0-1 Morton
Manager David Martindale made two half-time changes as Obileye and Omeonga made way for Trialist and Jason Holt.
The Lions continued to dominate possession, and were still creating the odd chance as they went in search for an equaliser, but Morton were resolute and a tough nut to crack.
Cristian Montaño’s chipped ball over the top for Goncalves was controlled well by the striker but he couldn’t convert from close range with a tame shot.
Another chance came on 58 minutes. Trialist beat his man out on the left wing and crossed to the back post for Joel Nouble, but the forward’s header was held by Schwake.
On the hour mark, Livi made three more changes as Montaño, Trialist and Pittman made way for Jackson Longridge, Sean Kelly and Andrew Shinnie.
With 20 minutes to play, the hosts came close to that equaliser. Trialist did well again on the left wing as he beat a few defenders before driving into the box, but he smashed the ball into the side netting with Schwake making himself hard to beat from a tight angle.
Just moments after Jamie Brandon came on for Goncalves, Livi came close again. Shinnie’s shot was blocked inside the box as the home fans claimed for a penalty for handball. The ball then rebounded to the midfielder who looked like he was tripped, but referee Steven McLean denied the claims for another spot kick.
Sean Kelly was next to come close for Livi as he met a corner at the back post, his header flying narrowly wide.
With nothing finding the back of the net, it was looking like it wasn’t going to be the Lions’ day, and that was further confirmed five minutes from time.
Some pressure from Jai Quitongo forced Max Stryjek into a poor clearance, which fell invitingly to Morton sub Michael Garrity. The striker accepted the gift, and calmly slotted beyond the Pole to make it 2-0.
In stoppage time, Garrity again capitalised on another Stryjek error. This time, a quick throw out from the goalkeeper was short, and picked up on the right-hand side. Garrity waited inside the box and was picked out perfectly, adding the finish to seal a brace and put Morton 3-0 in front.
It was one to forgot for Livingston, who will be hoping to bounce back on Tuesday night in another friendly. They welcome Linlithgow Rose to the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Match Report: Calum Brown
Livingston: Stryjek, Devlin, Fitzwater, Obileye (Trialist 45), Montaño (Shinnie 60), Trialist (Holt 45), Trialist (Longridge 60), Pittman (Kelly 60), Trialist, Nouble, Hamilton (Gonçalves 23, Brandon (75))
Subs not used: Konovalov
Morton: Schwake, Pignatiello, Strapp, Baird, King (Hynes 68), Blues, Gillespie, Lyon (Garrity 82), Quitongo, Easdale (McGrattan 57), Trialist (McGregor 68)
Subs not used: Trialist
Goals: Obileye OG (5), Garrity (85 & 90)
Referee: Steven MacLean