Shields (40, 60, 80), Gallagher (54)
Morton Under-20s had a night to forget as they suffered their first defeat of the Development League West campaign away at Albion Rovers on Wednesday evening.
Not only was it their only loss in their first 13 league matches but they went down to a heavy, four-goal reverse as well as being reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of winger Alex McWaters.
After almost two months in cold storage, Andy Millen’s men struggled to find their usual rhythm in the first half, and the hosts deservedly edged in front on 40 minutes.
Impressive frontman Connor Shields scored the first of a fine hat-trick when he collected a Ryan McManus through ball and calmly slipped the ball beyond Jamie McGowan into the bottom left corner.
Shields was the brains behind their second goal on 54 minutes, picking out Jamie Gallagher with a precise clipped pass that the midfielder controlled on his chest as he burst into the box before expertly flicking into the net on the volley with the outside of his right boot.
The third goal arrived six minutes later, Liam McGuigan pouncing on a sloppy Ton pass and quickly feeding the lethal Shields, who clipped a tidy finish over the advancing McGowan.
At 3-0 it would have been a real uphill struggle to recover and claim anything from the match, but the Ton teens were left with a mountain to climb when McWaters was shown a straight red for a two-footed tackle on 65 minutes.
And Shields, who also scored in the corresponding fixture at Cappielow, would stun the visitors one final time by firing into the net to complete his treble with another controlled finish and round off the scoring 10 minutes from time.
2. Duffy 6. Mitchell 4. Hynes 3. Strapp
10. Tiffoney 5. Anderson 8. Langan (c) 7. McWaters
9. Oyenuga 11. Scullion
Subs used: 12. Orr (for Anderson, 46), 17. Armour (for Oyenuga, 70), and 16. Purdue (for Scullion, 74).
Subs not used: 14. Eardley, 15. Miller, 18. Docherty, 20. Connor (gk).
Sent Off: McWaters (65)
Images: Gary Bradley