Keena (4), El Bakhtaoui (42 pen), Craigen (85)
Morton saw their run of success on the road come to a shuddering halt today after suffering a 3-0 defeat against Dunfermline Athletic at East End Park.
Jonatan Johansson’s side had registered some impressive results on their travels by beating Queen of the South and Peterhead either side of a goalless draw with Ladbrokes Championship league leaders Ayr United.
But the Pars put paid to that promising run of away form in Fife this afternoon as the Ton saw their form exerience a dip following the midweek win against the Blue Toon.
Johansson’s side had charted a course for success in the north east by scoring an early goal, and they experienced a role reversal against the Pars.
With less than four minutes played, Irish midfielder Aidan Keena reacted quickest and slammed into the net after striker Robbie Muirhead had struck the post with a fierce angled drive.
It sparked a chaotic opening for the Ton in which they were fortunate not to fall further behind, Keena cracking the post with a free-kick before Daniel Devine directed the rebound off the face of the crossbar.
Goalkeeper Derek Gaston was then called upon on 21 minutes and did superbly well to get down to his left and push Jackson Longridge’s low piledriver clear, especially after a deflection off Gregor Buchanan.
Just when it looked as though the vulnerable visitors might have got off lightly at the interval, they condeded a second in the 42nd minute.
Forward Faissal El Bakhtaoui was tripped by a retreating Buchanan and referee John Beaton had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
After an exchange of views about who would take responsibility between a few Dunfermline players, El Bakhtaoui stepped up and placed a firm spot-kick beyond Gaston into the bottom-right corner.
Ton boss Johansson replaced Kerr Waddell, who had suffered a knee injury, with Charlie Telfer and went to four at the back in a bid to get back in the game.
Despite an improved second half showing in which right wing-back Tumilty saw a reasoinable penalty claim of his own turned down, the Greenock men never really threatened former Ton shot-stopper Lee Robinson’s goal
And they would ultimately concede a third five minutes from time in a disappointingly similar fashion to how the opening goal has been scored.
Rather than rebound off the woodwork, Muirhead’s low drive was parried by Gaston this time, leaving the handily placed James Craigen the simple task of rifling high into the net to put the tin lid on a disappointing day.
2. Kilday 4. Buchanan 5. Waddell
14. Tumilty 7. Millar 8. McAlister (c) 12. Tidser 3. Iredale
11. McHugh 10. R. Thomson
Subs used: 6. Telfer (for Waddell, 56), 17. Tiffoney (for Tidser, 73), and 32. R. Lyon (for Millar, 84).
Subs not used: 19. MacLean, 22. Armour, 25. McKeown, 32, R. Lyon, 23. Scully (gk).
Dunfermline Athletic (442): Robinson; Williamson, Devine, Ashcroft, Longridge; Craigen, Thomson, Vincent, Keena (Beadling, 84); El Bakhtaoui (Hippolyte, 89), Muirhead (McCann, 89).
Subs not used: L. Martin, Morrison, M. Martin, Gill (gk).
Referee: John Beaton
⭐️ Star Man: Reghan Tumilty
Image: David Bell