Saturday 13 August 2011

Greenock Morton 2 - 1 Livingston
HT (1 - 0)

The Lions left Cappielow Park with nothing but pride to show after a distinctive game of two halves.  With home side Morton having the upper hand for most of the first half, the Lions came out all guns blazing in the second half but suffered from poor finishing.  Goals from Tidser and MacDonald cancelled out Russell’s effort for Livingston.

The home side opened brightly in front of a vocal support and their first effort came less than a minute into the game, with Peter MacDonald having a close range effort held by Livingston’s Andy McNeil.  The early pressure continued with several free kicks in by Michael Tidser cleared by the nervous looking Livi defence.  MacDonald continued the onslaught, shooting marginally wide from with 7 minutes on the clock.  The ‘Ton weren’t to be denied for long however, slack defending from a corner led to Michael Tidser finding himself in yards of space 20 yards from goal and his low shot/pass trundled its way past the shocked defence and keeper into the bottom right hand corner of the Livi goal.

The Morton battering didn’t stop there as Livi defended wave after wave of attack, and if it wasn’t for poor shooting and good goalkeeping, the Lions could have found themselves further behind.  McNeil twice came to the rescue, tipping efforts by David O’Brien and Tidser.

The game was so one-sided at this point that it took the travelling side till the 25th minute to have a chance, Kenny Deuchar being just beaten to a well placed Keaghan Jacobs pass by ex-Livi shot stopper Colin Stewart.

The game evened up after this as the game edged towards half time, Craig Barr saw a header from a David Sinclair free kick go wide and Liam Fox volleyed wide from a god position.

Morton continue to threaten and only the hands of McNeil were able to keep out the menacing Tidser as effort after effort flew in.  McNeil once again came to the rescue, touching an effort by Paul Di Giacomo with 5 minutes to go till half time.

Bobby Barr saw a shot deflected away by Stewart with the defence just beating Deuchar and Jacobs to the ball and clearing.

The First half closed 1-0 to the Morton, and if it hadn’t been for the fantastic goalkeeping of recent signing Andy McNeil, the scoring could have been so much higher.  Naturally the travelling support were hoping for one of Gary Bollan’s inspiring half time talks as the team looked out of options.

The 2nd half opened, and this time it was Livingston that started like bullets as Deuchar connected with a Jacobs cross only to see it knocked away by Stewart.  The Lions early second half pressure continued as a Bobby Barr cross was volleyed back into towards the towering Deuchar, but Stewart beat the striker to the ball.

The opening goal almost came in the form of a terrible mistake by Colin Stewart who completely mishandled a Bobby Barr cross, but his defence came to his rescue.  The visitors weren’t made to wait long for the goal however, as Jason Talbot charged into the box only to be felled by Grant Evans and the referee duly pointed to the spot.  Iain Russell converted the penalty on 53mins, sending Stewart the wrong way as he planted it straight down the middle.

The Lions pressure continued, Craig Barr, Russell and Jacobs having further efforts.  The game was however to be ended by a needless foul by David Sinclair inside the Livi box on Tidser and Peter MacDonald made no mistake with the resultant penalty on 64mins.

The game continued with efforts for both sides with Livi having the better of the chances, but failing to get many on target.  Morton threatened with substitute Archie Campbell having an effort held by McNeil.

Eventually the visitors ran out of time and ideas and the game ended 2-1 to the home side.  Livingston had plenty of possession but failed to get enough efforts on target and to really test Colin Stewart.  Hopefully the team will take it on the chin and learn the lessons needed to be taken from this game and come out determined to right some wrongs against Dundee.

Morton: Stewart, McCann (Weatherson 68), Forsyth, Evans, McCaffrey, Tidser, Di Giacomo, Bachirou, MacDonald, Jackson (Campbell 65), O'Brien (McGeouch 69)
Subs not used: Deans, Little

Livingston: McNeil, Brown, Talbot, Sinclair (Boulding 79), C.Barr, Watson, Fox, Kn.Jacobs, Deuchar, Russell, B.Barr (Ky.Jacobs 84)
Subs not used: Jamieson, Travis, McNulty

Att: 2,025

Ref: B Winter

Match report by Chris Naismith