Loughran (77) – Purdue (31, 80), Tiffoney (48), Duffy (78)
A Morton XI recorded a comfortable 4-1 win against Greenock Juniors at Ravenscraig yesterday in the annual challenge match organised by sponsors Saveheat.
With the first-team having opened their league campaign at Dumbarton 24 hours earlier, Darren Barr sent out a youthful side on an afternoon that felt more like late October than early August.
Australian defender Jack Iredale started here after dropping out of the senior side’s starting line-up against the Sons, and he played a key role in the opening goal on 31 minutes.
The centre-half’s angled shot squirmed under the body of home goalkeeper Ian Nixon and attacking midfielder Jack Purdue was alive at the far post, sliding in to force the ball over the line.
Under-20s talisman Scott Tiffoney had tried his luck on a number of occasions in the first half, seeing one fantastic free-kick cannon back off the post and another searing strike brush the top of the crossbar.
Keeper Nixon also thwarted him with a fine reflex stop, and looked to have done so again two minutes into the second half when he saved the 18-year-old’s penalty, diving down to his right to block.
However, the ball rebounded straight back into the path of Tiffoney – who made a late substitute appearance against the Sons on Saturday – and he made no mistake second time around, slamming into the net.
Greenock midfielder Gary Loughran was on the books at Cappielow between 2006 and 2008 and made a number of appearances for the reserves in his two seasons with the Ton.
Only a fantastic fingertip save from Jamie McGowan prevented him from scoring against his former club with a brilliant 25-yard free-kick in the first half.
But Loughran would find the net, and in doing so half the deficit, with 13 minutes remaining when he punished an Iredale misjudgment by bursting clear and slipping a cool left-footed finish past the trialist keeper.
The McBookie.com Central First Division outfit were within touching distance for seconds, however, as sub Mitchell Duffy charged straight down the other end and calmly slotted past Nixon to restore the two-goal cushion.
And the scoreline was widened further by Purdue 10 minutes from time when, with little back-lift, he sent a stunning rising strike screaming into the top-left corner from 25 yards after accepting a pass inside from Ton’s trialist left winger.
The match finished 4-1, which was no disgrace for new Nock boss Thomas Molloy’s team, who had beaten rivals Port Glasgow Juniors in the Sectional League Cup the previous day, as well as a valuable workout for Barr’s young development group.
2. Hynes 4. Iredale 5. Durham 3. Strapp
7. Docherty 8. Langan (c) 6. Lyon 11. Tiffoney
Subs used: 19. Duffy (for Tiffoney, 60), 18. Trialist (for Strapp, 60), 20, Trialist (for McGowan, 61), 16. Anderson (for Lyon, 65), and 15. Easdale (for Armour, 65).
Greenock Juniors (442): Nixon; McCann (S. Gozdz, 46), McWilliams, Littler, McLennan; Loughran, McCabe, Gailey (c) (McEwan, 46), Rush (Doherty, 69); Donnelly, Brown (Thomson, 69)
Subs not used: P. Gozdz, McWilliams (gk).
Referee: Blair Comerford
Images: Gary Bradley
Full Gallery: GBR Photos