Hynes (11), Durham (84), Armour (90+1)
Morton Under-20s eased to a 3-0 win over Highland League outfit Turriff United at Cappielow yesterday to secure safe passage into the fourth round of the Scottish Youth Cup.
For the hosts, Blair Docherty was suspended, Ben Eardley and Daniel Farrell were injured, Jamie McGowan was ineligible due to being overage, while Scott Miller was involved in the Sectional Cup final with Clydebank.
And with Scott Tiffoney and Lewis Strapp having started first-team fixtures 24 hours earlier and our academy’s Under-17s also in action, Darren Barr had a depleted squad from which to choose.
It meant a first start between the sticks for Charlie Carracher, while 15-year-old central defender Ben Docherty retained his spot in the starting line-up for the second consecutive outing.
Right-back Darren Hynes has been named on the first-team bench against St Mirren and Queen of the South, and he continued to enhance his reputation by opening the scoring against the Highlanders.
With just seven minutes gone, the polished full-back breezed infield past a challenge and cut through the ball to send a shot swerving off the outside of his boot into the top-right corner.
Ben Armour and Jack Purdue both forced saves from visiting goalkeeper James Whyte, while Carracher did well to turn a stinging Michael Ironside drive wide at the opposite end.
Whyte was called back into action on 57 minutes to produce a fantastic double save and deny Mitchell Duffy in the first instance before showing lightning reactions to turn Purdue’s rising piledriver over the top.
The Ton teens were really turning the screw at this stage, and the Turriff shot-stopper kept Armour out with a fine reflex save that saw him touch the ball onto the post.
It took until the 84th minute for the Greenock side to press home their advantage, Nathan Durham charging to the front post to meet David Anderson’s inswinging free-kick and plant a thumping header inside the left post.
And Armour, fresh off signing a new first-team contract, rounded off the victory with an instinctive penalty-box finish, in which he drilled a confident low finish under Whyte in injury-time to score his sixth of the season.
2. Hynes 4. Ben Docherty 5. Durham 3. Hayes
7. Anderson 8. Langan 6. Lyon 11. Duffy
Subs used: 12. Easdale (for Purdue, 76), and 14. McGrattan (for Duffy, 76).
Subs not used: Trialist (GK).
Referee: Andy Taylor
Images: Gary Bradley