Morton reserves lost 1-0 to Manchester United’s Under-23 side in a friendly match at Cappielow this afternoon but gave the cream of the Red Devils’ youth crop a real run for their money.
Ricky Sbragia included Zak Dearnley, a striker who’s made the United first-team bench for a Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace, and the 20-year-old’s coolly-taken strike was all that separated the sides.
But a young Ton outfit pushed their illustrious English opponents all the way and will feel a draw would have been a fair outcome on the day.
Wideman Kieran Brophy asked questions of the Old Trafford outfit and showed textbook technique to hit the target with a fierce volley that stung substitute goalkeeper Alex Fojticek’s palms just before the hour mark.
John Sutton’s side was supplemented by trialists Joe Knowles, an Australian forward who has been training with the club whilst turning out for Largs Thistle, Nicky Low and Alex McWaters.
Low and McWaters have been training with the reserves at Parklea, using the facilities to maintain their fitness as a courtesy extended to two local lads.
And former Aberdeen, Dundee, and Derry City midfielder Low went closest to securing a share of the spoils with an audacious 35-yard chip that forced Fojticek to produce an acrobatic save to claw clear and keep the Ton out.
The players sat down together for a meal in the hospitality lounges afterwards, with United boss Sbragia saying he would love to bring his team back to Cappielow in future.
2. Hynes (c) 5. Durham 4. Watt 3. Eardley
7. Brophy 6. McGrattan 8. Docherty 11. Purdue
9. Trialist [Knowles] 10. Easdale
Subs used: 15. Rodgers (for Knowles, 59), 16. Trialist [Low] (for McGrattan, 59), 12. Martins (for Durham, 71), 14. J. Lyon (for Brophy, 71), and 17. McWaters (for Docherty, 71).
Manchested United (433): Woolston (Fojticek, 46); Warren, Poole (c), R. Williams, Tanner (B. Williams, 63), Buffonge (McGhee, 63), Whelan (Puigmal, 63), Hamilton (Sang, 46); Barlow (Traore, 63), Dearnley, Bohui (Mellor, 63).
Referee: Alastair Grieve
Image: Gary Bradley