Langan (90+1) – Akubuine (77)
Ruaridh Langan rode to the rescue for the second consecutive Development League West fixture as Morton Under-20s drew 1-1 with Queen of the South at Cappielow last night.
Skipper Langan struck in the first minute of stoppage time to salvage a share of the spoils against the Doonhamers eight days after netting with five minutes remaining to earn his side a 2-2 draw at East Kilbride.
Coach Darren Barr made four changes to the team that started at K-Park, bringing in Reece Lyon, Ben Eardley, Alexander Easdale, and Blair Docherty for David Anderson, Lewis McGrattan, Jack Purdue, and Scott Miller.
The sides had shared a 10-goal thriller at Palmerston in September – the Doonhamers running out 6-4 winners after an astonishing 90 minutes – but there would be no repeat of that goalfest last night.
Jamie McGowan did produce a wonderful save to tip John Wight’s deflected shot onto the face of the crossbar, while Blair Docherty and Darren Hynes, on the rebound, passed up excellent chances to open the scoring.
But it was a largely uneventful first 45 minutes, lacking in meaningful goalmouth action or scoring opportunites, if not endeavour.
Perhaps emboldened by the fact he had scored in his two previous outings, defender Nathan Durham marauded out of the back four and fired off a left-footed drive that only skidded wide after taking a nick off a Queens player.
The game was starting to open up, and McGowan was required to make two unorthodox yet smart saves in quick succession, repelling similar angled drives from Joe Usher and Jack Winter with his legs.
But the Ton custodian was left with absolutely no chance of preventing Jesse Akubuine from breaking the deadlock on 77 minutes.
The Doonhamers’ midfield man picked up the possession slightly to the left of centre 22 yards out, burst inside and lasered a sensational strike straight into the postage stamp top corner.
Ben Armour thought he had equalised within a minute after challenging with goalkeeper Jack Leighfield and then rolling into an empty net, but the flag was already up for offside.
Langan, on the other hand, would have been wondering how he hadn’t levelled when, on 80 minutes, he swiped at Jack Purdue’s scooped pass and saw the ball run through his legs with the goal gaping.
Just when the game looked like a lost cause, Langan popped up in the right position to hook a volley between the sticks and snatch a draw after the ball had spun up into the air due to a brave Armour challenge on Leighfield.
2. Hynes 4. Ben Docherty 5. Durham 3. Duffy
7. Eardley 8. Langan (c) 6. Lyon 11. Blair Docherty
9. Armour 10. Easdale
Subs used: 16. Purdue (for Blair Docherty, 60), and 12. McGrattan (for Easdale, 76).
Subs not used: Anderson, Miller, Hayes, McMahon (GK).
Referee: Graham Grainger
Images: Gary Bradley