Match Preview: Queen of the South

Match Preview: Queen of the South
by Jonathan Mitchell

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MORTON versus Queen of the South

  Saturday 14 April 2018

Cappielow Park, Greenock

Kick-off 3pm

Match Preview

Cappielow is the stage for the second huge Ladbrokes Championship fixture in the space of four days for Jim Duffy’s play-off chasing Morton.

Hot on the heels of an emotionally-charged 3-2 victory over Dumbarton, the Sinclair Street side host a Queen of the South outfit that have slipped to the periphery of the race for a coveted top-four spot.

While it is still mathematically possible for Gary Naysmith’s Doonhamers to finish in the play-off positions, they would require a remarkable run of results to finish ahead of the other clubs competing for the prized places.

Gaffer Duffy insists this is irrelevant and fully expects Queens to arrive in Greenock with just as much determination to triumph as they would have had at any other stage of the season.

Ton, too, are currently on the outside looking in, sitting in fifth position two points behind both third-placed Dunfermline Athletic and Dundee United, who are sat immediately above them with a game in hand.

With just three matches of the campaign left to play, there is absolutely no margin for error. Points are now of paramount importance and the Cappielow club will be going all out to claim the win on home turf.

Manager’s Thoughts

 

 

Team News

Jamie McGowan, Ross Forbes, Jai Quitongo and Lewis Strapp miss this midweek encounter to due ongoing injury problems, while Luca Gasparotto (infection) and Gary Oliver (virus) are expected to remain sidelined.

Goalkeeper Derek Gaston has been ruled out by gaffer Jim Duffy after suffering a hand injury against Dumbarton. Although his recent X-ray did not show up any breaks, the shot-stopper is not in a satisfactory condition.

Michael Tidser was also forced off early against the Sons. He is still feeling the effects of a stiff neck and has been rated 50/50 by the Ton boss.

Current Connections

Cappielow stars Gary Oliver and Andy Murdoch both arrived at Cappielow last season on the back of spells with the Doonhamers, while loan striker John Baird spent the first half of the 2014/16 season in Dumfries.

Fellow frontman Bob McHugh enjoyed a loan stint at Palmerston in the second half of season 2013/14, the then-Motherwell man netting five goals in 15 appearances.

In the Queens ranks is former Ton frontman Derek Lyle, who scored five goals in 17 starts and four sub appearances in 2010/11.

Recent Meetings

Sat 11 Mar 2017: Morton 1-0 Queen of the South (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 16 Sep 2017: Queen of the South 1-2 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 4 Nov 2017: Morton 1-2 Queen of the South (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 17 Feb 2018: Queen of the South 1-1 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Last Time Out

Morton came from behind to claim a point away at Queen of the South and push themselves back into the promotion play-off places back in February.

Lethal Ladbrokes Championship marksman Stephen Dobbie weaved through the away defence and slotted past Derek Gaston to open the scoring on 33 minutes.

In-form Ton frontman Gary Oliver equalised 10 minutes into the second half to take his scoring streak to three goals in five matches.

But it also took a brilliant piece of goalkeeping from Gaston to claim a draw against the Doonhamers, clawing Dobbie’s sensational 40-yard effort out before claiming on the turf.

The home fans were left incensed as they felt the ball had clearly crossed the line, but standside assistant Paul O’Neill disagreed, with the Ton eventually stretching their unbeaten run to five matches.

Officials

Referee: Stephen Finnie

Assistant one: Jordan Stokoe

Assistant two: Billy Baxter

Supporters Notes

Supporters are asked to purchase tickets in advance for all home fixtures where possible in order to avoid excessive queues at the ticket office on a matchday, with briefs still available from the following outlets:

 

Smiths of Greenock – During opening hours, 9am – 5.30pm.

Sinclair Street ticket office – Home matchdays, from 11am to 3pm.

Match tickets can also be purchased in advance online at www.gmfctickets.co.uk or by calling the club on 01475 723571. These can collected at the ticket office on matchday.

Tomorrow’s Ladbrokes Championship fixture against the Tannadice outfit can also be pre-loaded to fan cards on Interstadia’s dedicated club website, www.gmfctickets.co.uk.

Admission Prices

Tickets purchased after 1pm on a matchday are priced at:

Adults – £20*
Concessions – £15
Children aged 12-16 – £5
Children under 12^ – Free

*£2 from each adult admission will be invested directly into our youth development programme.

^ Children under 12 who do not have a season card or fan card will be required to collect a match ticket with a scannable barcode from our ticket office on the day of the game and must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

However, fans who purchase tickets in advance – prior to 1pm on matchday – will enjoy a freeze upon last year’s pay-at-the-gate prices and these are:

Adults – £18
Concessions – £15
Children aged 12-16 – £5
Children under 12^ – Free

If you do intend to purchase a ticket at Cappielow after 1pm, please allow for the fact that there may be a queue at the ticket office.

Sinclair Street

Vehicles, on exiting the car park, must turn left and exit under the railway bridge, turn right into Carwood Street if travelling towards Greenock town centre, or the second left into Weir Street if travelling towards Port Glasgow.

Road Closure

Skelmorlie South, 8pm Friday 13 April until 6am Monday 16 April, resurfacing of approximately 1.1km of trunk road. Diversion routes are significant and will add additional time to journeys.

Collection

Marie Curie will be holding a can collection outside the turnstiles prior to the game and supporters are encouraged to support this worthwhile charity if possible.

 

Image: Ross Cameron