Match Report: Falkirk 0-1 Morton

Match Report: Falkirk 0-1 Morton
by Jonathan Mitchell

Greenock_Morton_FC_logofalkirkFalkirk 0 – 1 Morton

                           Oyenuga (79)

 

Birthday boy Kudus Oyenuga fired Morton to a massive 1-0 away win at Falkirk in front of the BBC Alba cameras on Saturday evening.

Super sub Kudus came off the bench to head home with just over 10 minutes remaining and moved his side level with the Bairns on 48 points, and to within seven of league leaders Hibs while holding a game in hand.

Both sides spent the majority of the first half-hour feeling each other out in a tentative opening in which there was little in the way of goalmouth action.

The first clear-cut chance took until 28 minutes, and while it was no surprise that the chance came as a result of a Ross Forbes free-kick, the method in which they executed the set-play completely caught out Falkirk.

With the hosts seemingly certain the midfielder would swing the ball into the box from wide on the right, they left Gary Oliver lurking behind the wall unchecked.

Forbes slipped a disguised, reverse pass down the inside right and the returning forward, making his first start since the beginning of February, stood up a perfect cross to the far post.

It found Thomas O’Ware free on the six-yard line, but the 10-goal defender snatched at the chance, steering a volley over the top before sinking to the turf in frustration.

The only other real chance of the first half arrived right on the cusp of half-time, and it required a magnificent save from Derek Gaston to keep his side on level terms.

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Smart stop … Gaston shoots out his left arm to make a vital save                 © David Bell

Showing fantastic reactions, the Ton shot-stopper dropped to his left and shot out an arm to block John Baird’s snapshot after the striker met Lewis Kidd’s cross from the right with a hooked volley.

The visitors were the first to threaten after the break, and once again it was a Forbes free-kick – won by the 28-year-old himself 22 yards out – that posed the problem.

This time Ton’s top scorer went direct and whipped a dipping effort under the crossbar, forcing Danny Rogers to arch back and flip the ball over the top with both hands.

Forbes tried his luck again in open play on 62 minutes after weaving in off the right and feigning to shoot before shifting the ball out from his body and whipping the ball just outside the left-hand post.

It was a game of limited opportunities, though, and so Oyenuga‘s contribution was vital when he popped up at the far post to meet Aidan Nesbitt’s inswinging cross with a looping header back across Rogers into the net.

Kudus-Oyenuga-header-v-Falkirk_925x581_acf_cropped
Birthday boy … Oyenuga heads in the winning goal against the Bairns © David Bell

The Englishman’s wide-eyed and wide-armed celebrations were a sight to behold, and it was matched for passion by the vocal 349 away fans behind the goal.

Only the width of woodwork prevented the away contingent from being brought back down to earth with a bang inside sixty seconds, however.

Left-back Luke Leahy delivered a hanging, diagonal centre that Nathan Austin attacked aggressively, heading down into the ground across goal, off the inside of the post and back into Gaston’s grateful grasp.

It was a real let-off, but Falkirk enjoyed their own escape in injury-time when Oyenuga was sent racing clear by Luke Donnelly’s pass and saw his slotted shot blocked by Rogers before slicing wide at the second attempt.

The miss proved irrelevant in the end, though, and the hitman celebrated his 24th birthday as Morton’s matchwinner, his solitary strike earning an exceptional three points on the road.

 

Morton (4411)

1. Gaston
2. Kilday (c) 4. O’Ware 3. Lamie 17. Russell
8. Forbes 21. Murdoch 10. Lindsay 11. Nesbitt
7. Oliver
16. Shankland

Subs used: 9. Oyenuga (for Shankland, 64) and 19. Donnelly (for Oliver, 78).

Subs not used: 12. Tidser, 14. Scullion, 18. McDonagh, 30. McGowan (gk).

Falkirk (442): Rogers; Kidd, Gasparotto, Grant, Leahy; Aird (Craigen, 75), Taiwo, Kerr (c) (Hippolyte, 65), Sibbald; Baird (McHugh, 72), Austin.

Subs not used: Muirhead, Miller, Shepherd, Thomson (gk).

Booked: Kerr (53), Craigen (82).

Referee: Alan Muir

Attendance: 4,584 (349 away fans)

Images: David Bell