Miller (2), Easdale (26)
Morton Under-20s made a winning return to Development League West action last night with a 2-0 victory over East Kilbride at a bitterly cold Cappielow.
Besides the recent Scottish Youth Cup quarter-final tie against Hibs at Easter Road, the Ton teens have been in cold storage since facing Stranraer in Renfrew on 13 December last year due to the mid-season winter break.
But they showed no signs of rust as goals from Scott Miller and Alexander Easdale fired a side taken by director of youth Derek Anderon as the club go through a recruitment process to appoint a new coach to three points.
On a night replete with positives, club captain Lee Kilday made his long-awaited return from injury after 10 months on the sidelines due to an ankle problem that required two separate operations.
It was quickly apparent an encouraging night lay ahead when Easdale cushioned a neat pass through the heart of the East Kilbride defence with his instep to put strike-partner Miller though on goal.
The 18-year-old, who recently joined junior outfit Troon on a development loan, took a touch and slotted a cool finish under the visitors’ trialist goalkeeper.
After having a hand the opener, Easdale himself then netted the second to double his side’s advantage, doing well to find space in the box to sidefoot into the net after Ruaridh Langan picked him out with a precise pull-back.
The hosts continued to put pressure on the away goal, and only a magnificent block from the Lowland League outfit’s shot-stopper prevented Reece Lyon from adding a third just before half-time.
They also had things sewn up at the other end, with Kilday cruising through the game before making way at the break for David Anderson in a pre-planned substitution.
Goalkeeper Daniel Farrell started against Hibs but was making both his first league appearance in Morton colours and his first at Cappielow.
It was a quiet home bow, though, as he had very little to do besides making a smart two-handed save to thwart Declan Hughes at a free-kick.
East Kilbride’s trialist custodian was having a much busier night and kept out Lewis Strapp, Miller, and Jack Purdue in a one-sided second half to ensure there would be no further scoring.
Despite not adding to their tally, a youthful Ton team had impressed over the piece and should take confidence ahead of next week’s trip to Dumfries to play Queen of the South at Palmerston.
5. Hynes 2. Kilday 4. Durham 3. Strapp
7. Eardley 6. Langan (c) 8. Lyon 11. Purdue
9. Miller 10. Easdale
Subs used: 12. Anderson (for Kilday, 26), 17. Rodgers (for Miller, 62), and 14. Brophy (for Eardley, 78).
Subs not used: 15. McGrattan, 18. Watt, 20. Carracher (GK).
Images: Gerry Lafferty