Tiffoney (81) – Ryan (68)
Super sub Scott Tiffoney’s late equaliser rescued a point for Morton yesterday as they drew 1-1 with Dunfermline Athletic at Cappielow.
In what was their first home match in charge of the club, management duo Jonatan Johansson and Peter Houston saw their side fall behind to an Andy Ryan goal on 68 minutes.
But Livingston loanee Tiffoney, who was brought on at the break for an injured Jack Iredale, secured a draw with an 81st-minute strike that swerved beyond the grasp of Pars keeper Lee Robinson.
Iredale was the only change to the XI that drew with Dundee United seven days earlier, the Australian replacing Chris Millar, who missed out with a groin problem following a late fitness test, and playing wide left of a 4-4-2.
Ton made a slow start to the game as a fired up Dunfermline set the agenda in the opening 45 minutes, but the best chance of the half would fall to Iredale in the 13th minute.
The 22-year-old got a second bite at the cherry after seeing his original header from Ross MacLean’s cross from the right blocked and drop back to him, and fired off right-footed snapshot that Robinson did well to push wide.
Former Cappielow custodian Robinson then rather bizarrely presented Ton with a free-kick in a dangerous positon by carrying the ball outside the box in the process of punting up field, for which he was also cautioned.
Top scorer Michael Tidser readied himself to receive Bob McHugh’s lay off and met the touch with a powerful low drive that fizzed wide of the right-hand post after taking a deflection.
Although Ton keeper Ryan Scully had little to deal with in the way of serious efforts on goal, a large portion of the credit for that can be attributed to the way Gregor Buchanan and Lee Kilday defended the home box.
Buchanan, who was later named as man of the match by sponsors Bobby’s Foods, made a superb block to thwart Louis Longridge on 29 minutes.
The Ton central defensive duo then made three vital interventions in rapid succession during a period of sustained Pars pressure to preserve the status quo and send the sides in goalless at the break.
However, the hosts were not as watertight in the second half, and striker Ryan was presented with a hat-trick of chances, one of which Scully did superbly well to block by diving at the hitman’s feet, before opening the scoring.
Louis Longridge was the architect, clipping a pass over the home defence to pick out Ryan peeling away to the left, and the striker made no mistake, rifiling across Scully into the bottom-right corner.
Greenock gaffer Johansson had been forced into the aforementioned half-time change, and also tweaked his system on the hour by bringing on Charlie Telfer for MacLean.
He then reacted to the Pars goal by making his third and final change, bringing on Gary Oliver for McHugh – but it was the first of the substitutions that eventually made the difference.
With nine minutes left and the game seemingly slipping away, Tiffoney worked his way in off the left and let fly with a speculative swerving shot from 22 yards.
Dunfermline goalkeeper Robinson should have dealt with the effort but seemed to lose the flight of the ball and saw it evade his grasp and swerve beyond him into the net.
The goal infused the hosts with confidence and they finished strongly, with only a last-ditch goal-line intervention preventing Denny Johnstone’s downwards header from a Tiffoney cross from snatching a win.
A home victory would have been an injustice in all honesty, and the Ton could be pleased to have taken a point based on their performance over the 90 minutes.
14. Tumilty 2. Kilday 4. Buchanan 25. McKeown
19. MacLean 8. McAlister (c) 12. Tidser 3. Iredale
11. McHugh 9. Johnstone
Subs used: 17. Tiffoney (for Iredale, 46), 6. Telfer (for MacLean, 60), and 18. Oliver (for McHugh, 72).
Subs not used: 5. Waddell, 21. Langan, 22. Armour, 1. Gaston (gk).
Booked: MacLean (43), McKeown (74), Johnstone (90+2).
Dunfermline (442): Robinson; Craigen, Durnan, Ashcroft (c), J. Longridge; L. Longridge. Vincent, Martin, Connolly; El Bakhtaoui, Ryan (Hippolyte, 83).
Subs not used: Beadling, Thomson, Morrison, McCann, Muirhead, Gill (gk).
Booked: Robinson (26), Longridge (42).
Referee: Euan Anderson
⭐️ Star Man: Gregor Buchanan
Image (main): David Bell
Image (inset): Gary Bradley