Robert Thomson made a return to action with a half-hour run-out as Morton suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Motherwell in Reserve League One yesterday.
The frontman has been absent for most of the season due to a hernia injury on which he underwent surgery in the summer, making his only senior appearance in an Irn-Bru Cup tie against Dumbarton on 14 August.
But Thomson was deemed fit enough for 30 minutes against the Well second string and came through the outing unscathed after replacing Blair Docherty in the 58th minute.
Unfortunately, despite plenty of grit and determination, the Cappielow kids lost out to a strong Fir Park side that had won eight out of their 10 fixtures across league and cup this term.
On a bright but cold afternoon at Stirling Albion’s Forthbank Stadium, the sides played out a goalless first half in which scoring chances were at a premium.
Docherty had Ton’s best effort before the break, forcing goalkeeper Peter Morrison to dive to his left to save after meeting midfielder Ruaridh Langan’s cushioned lay-off with a controlled volley.
Broque Watson was the hosts’ primary threat, and he was twice denied by shot-stopper Daniel Farrell, who kept a clean sheet on his debut for loan club Largs Thistle at the weekend, in the closing stages of the half.
But the former Celtic kid would make the decisive contribution 10 minutes after the restart when he arrived on cue in the six-yard box to force home Jamie Semple’s low cross from the left.
Targetman Thomson was introduced shortly thereafter, as was 16-year-old midfielder Michael Garrity for his reserve debut, but the visitors could not find the goal required to take a share of the spoils.
Motherwell came close to adding to their lead in the last minute, but Farrell came out on top in a one-on-one with Alfredo Agyeman, touching the Ghana-born forward’s finish around the post.
2. Hynes (c) 4. Durham 5. Watt 3. Strapp
7. Brophy 8. Langan 6. J. Lyon 11. Docherty
Subs used: 15. Thomson (for Docherty, 58), and 12. Garrity (for Langan, 71).
Subs not used: 14. Martins.
Booked: Watt (81), Garrity (87).
Motherwell (433): Morrison; MacDonald, Krones, Armstrong, Livingston (c) (Hussain, 46); Semple (Agyeman, 71), Brown, Cornelius; Watson, Scott, Hastie.
Subs not used: Ferguson, McLaughlin, J. Brown, McKinstry
Booked: Krones (25).
Referee: Peter Stuart
Images: Alastair Reilly