Oliver (23), McHugh (43, 66), Iredale (55), Tidser (72) – Ntambwe (15)
Morton enjoyed their biggest second-tier league win at Cappielow in close to a decade after coming back from behind to record a thrilling 5-1 victory over Partick Thistle this afternoon.
The four-goal margin was Ton’s highest on home turf at this level of Scottish football since beating Raith Rovers 5-0 on Sinclair Street on 14 November 2009.
Goals from Gary Oliver, Bob McHugh, who bagged a brace, Jack Iredale, and Michael Tidser made for an immense afternoon and completed a sensational seven-day swing.
In the space of a week Ton went from the agony of a 5-0 hammering against Ross County through the exhiliration of a late win at Queen of the South on Tuesday to the ecstasy of Saturday’s Jags conquest.
Manager Jonatan Johansson stuck with the 5-3-2 that proved successful at Palmerston, and made just one enforced change by replacing injured goal hero Reece Lyon with Charlie Telfer.
Although the system would ultimately work to great effect, the strategy was put under the microscope when Brice Ntambwe met Craig Slater’s outswinging corner with a bullet header that crashed into the net.
That 15th-minute setback never looked like derailing the strategy, though, particularly with defender Iredale making a huge impression in the left wing-back role.
Iredale was initially infused with confidence after surging past Christie Elliott and picking out Oliver’s near-post run, albeit the forward saw the ball spin away from him as he attempted to control.
The pair combined again with a successful outcome on 23 minutes, Oliver popping up in the six-yard box to slam the marauding wing-back’s fantastic delivery into the back of the net.
Although they had conceded early on, the hosts were now looking watertight at the back, with warrior-like centre-half Kerr Waddell receiving stitches to a head wound after taken a whack in the line of duty.
Iredale continued to bomb forward from his defensive base, and he was the spark behind the second goal, sending over a floated delivery that hung in the air due to the wind.
McHugh still had a lot to do but did superbly well to generate enough power to beat Partick Thistle goalkeer Cammy Bell with a textbook header just as the ball threatened to drift behind him.
After laying on two goals for team-mates, it was Iredale‘s turn to get on the scoresheet by squeezing the ball into the net on the stretch from a tight angle after Tidser picked out his back-post run with an angled cross.
While the 22-year-old was opening his account for the campaign, on the one hand, team-mate McHugh would take his tally to seven for the season by making it 4-1 with his second of the afternoon.
The prolific frontman is in the midst of a red-scoring streak that has seen him net four in four, as well as sparking gaffer’s son Jonathan junior’s impromptu Bob the Builder tribute.
And it was through his own efforts that he earned the second of his double just after the hour by piling pressure on away defender Elliott, arrowing in on goal and slotting a cool low finish across Bell and inside the far post.
The strike took him to seven for the season and ahead of Tidser at the top of the club’s scoring chart – but only for a brief period.
Catching Bell completely off guard, the playmaker rifled off a tremendous shot from distance to round off the afternoon’s scoring in impressive style and equal McHugh’s goal tally.
Ton’s only real scare of a fantastic second half came off the field when glass on the floodlight tower positioned in the centre of mainstand roof smashed and landed on the pitch.
But after a five-minute delay in which players cleared the debris, the game resumed and McHugh was denied a hat-trick by the width of the woodwork before the final whistle sounded on an immense afternoon’s work.
14. Tumilty 2. Kilday 4. Buchanan 5. Waddell 3. Iredale
6. Telfer 8. McAlister (c) 12. Tidser
18. Oliver 11. McHugh
Subs used: 10. Robert Thomson (for Oliver, 80), and 37. McGrattan (for Telfer, 87).
Subs not used: 15. K. Thomson, 17. Tiffoney, 19. MacLean, 25. McKeown, 23. Scully (GK).
Partick Thistle (4132): Bell; Elliott, Keown, McGinty (McCarthy, 46), Penrice; Ntambwe (Fitzpatrick, 60); Slater, Spittal, Bannigan; Quitongo (Storer, 76), Storey
Subs not used: Erskine, Wilson, Scobbie, Sneddon (gk).
Referee: Steven McLean
⭐️ Star Man: Jack Iredale
Image (main): David Bell
Image (inset): Gary Bradley