Oyenuga (62) Gaston O.G. (27)
Morton recorded a third successive 1-1 draw on league duty after coming back from behind to take a point against Dumbarton at Cappielow this afternoon.
In what was a disappointing day for the hosts, a Derek Gaston own goal saw Stevie Aitken’s Sons hold a well-earned lead at the break before Ton substitute striker Kudus Oyenuga scored within two minutes of entering play to restore parity.
Englishman Oyenuga also passed up two excellent chances to earn his side maximum points, but it would, quite honestly, have been harsh on the visitors.
With Celtic loan winger Aidan Nesbitt going over his ankle at training on Friday, manager Jim Duffy brought in Scott Tiffoney as a direct replacement on the left flank in his only change to the team that drew with Falkirk seven days ago.
In both that fixture against the Bairns and away at St Mirren the previous week, Morton started superbly and controlled the vast majority of the first half on each occasion – but they struggled to get to grips with the Sons in the opening 45 this afternoon.
Ryan Stevenson’s set-pieces were a cause for concern in the early stages, and it was from one of his deliveries, albeit from open play, that Dumbarton took the lead in the 27th minute.
Picking up possession wide on the left, the former Hearts man checked onto his right foot and sent over an inswinging cross that Derek Gaston attempted to punch clear under pressure.
The Ton goalkeeper failed to get a clean connection and the ball sliced off his right glove and span behind him into his own net at the Wee Dublin End.
After surviving a few more goalmouth scrapes, Tiffoney offered his side some respite by driving at the visiting defence and causing problems with his direct play.
Besides those flashes of individual ability, Ton had offered little going forward and struggled for cohesion, particularly between the midfield and attack, in the face of an industrious and energetic Dumbarton display.
Yet they could well have gone in at the break level when Michael Doyle’s low cross found Tiffoney making his way into the box in the 44th minute.
The 17-year-old smashed a first-time shot at goal only to see it blocked by a Dumbarton body – perhaps using the arm – before Jai Quitongo snatched at the rebound, sending it high over the bar from 15 yards.
Morton required a much-improved showing in the second half, and they made an encouraging start. The game, though, turned on the introduction of Oyenuga in place of Jamie Lindsay on the hour.
Within seconds, a Lee Kilday snapshot clipped the striker’s heels and span menacingly towards goal, requiring former Scotland Under-21 keeper Alan Martin to scramble across his line and smuggle wide.
Then, on 62 minutes, Oyenuga opened his Morton account by popping up inside the box and stretching out a leg to divert Michael Tidser’s teasing angled cross from the left into the net.
The 23-year-old hitman was making his presence felt, and Tidser and Gary Oliver combined to present him with an opportunity to double his tally seven minutes later.
But after fastening onto Oliver’s clever flick round the corner and bustling into the box, Oyenuga rushed his shot and fired wide of target with his left foot.
The Ton were pushing hard now, and a panicked Grant Gallagher was fortunate to clip the outside of his own post with a looping header after diving to get a touch to Ricki Lamie’s dangerous cross from deep on the left.
Duffy’s men enjoyed their own slice of luck six minutes from time when referee Mat Northcroft blew for a foul on Gaston just as Joe Thomson had sent the ball sailing back into the goal after the goalkeeper’s punched clearance landed at his feet.
After being let off the hook themselves, Ton unintentionally returned the favour with some profligate finishing in front of goal in the closing stages.
Usually so lethal in similar situations at Under-20 level, sub Jon Scullion met Doyle’s knock-down with a tame volley that bounced through to Martin before dragging an angled shot across goal and wide right at the death.
The best chance fell to Oyenuga, though. Getting himself into a great position to meet Tiffoney’s right-footed cross from out on the left, the former Tottenham man sent a diving header past the post from five yards.
Although the draw meant Morton had extended their unbeaten run to eight matches, a first three points of the league campaign was the objective and the mood in the home camp at full-time was one of disappointment.
6. Doyle 2. Kilday (c) 4. O’Ware 3. Lamie
10. Lindsay 8. Forbes 12. Tidser 37. Tiffoney
Subs used: Oyenuga (for Lindsay, 60), and Scullion (for Oliver, 82).
Subs not used: McAleer, McDonagh, Russell, Strapp, McNeil (gk).
Booked: Forbes (58), Tiffoney (75).
Dumbarton (4411): Martin; Pettigrew, Buchanan, Docherty, Harvie; Todd, J. Thomson, Gallagher, Smith (Stirling, 74); Stevenson; R. Thomson.
Subs not used: Barr, McCallum, Clark, Kassarate, Ewings (gk).
Booked: Buchanan (19), R. Thomson (34).
Referee: Mat Northcroft
Images: David Bell