Purdue (79) – Wallace (11, 34), MacIver (16, 85), R. Dingwall (21),
Morton reserves conceded four times in a one-sided first half as they suffered a heavy home defeat at the hands of Ross County on Tuesday.
Although the Ton second string gave a better account of themselves in the second period, scoring a consolation through Jack Purdue, the Staggies cruised to a comfortable victory and moved up to second in Reserve League One.
Head of development squad John Sutton named a starting XI that mixed youth with experience, naming first-teamers Ryan Scully, Rory McKeown, and Ben Armour alongside 17-year-old John Gallacher, who was making his first start.
But Scully was left with no chance when, after 11 minutes, James Wallace‘s low drive took wicked deflection and rolled into the middle of the goal with the keeper anticipating the original trajectory of the strike.
Ross MacIver added a second five minutes later, robbing Ben Eardley of possession inside the six-yard box and slotting home after seeing his original header land at the feet of the Ton right-back after coming back off the post.
Ton then lost Alexander Easdale to a back injury suspected to have occured in the warm up, with Under-18s midfielder Michael Garrity introduced off the bench and Purdue pushed up top.
Ross County continued to dominate and made it 3-0 on 21 minutes, Russell Dingwall weaves his way in off the right flank and bends a low shot into the net despite Darren Hynes’ desperate attempt to clear off the line.
Forward Wallace bagged his brace before the break, controlling a through ball inside the box before stabbing past the exposed Scully.
In order to plug the gaps that had been ruthlessly punished by Richie Brittain’s side in the first half, Ton reshuffled their system and moved 4-1-4-1 formaton, in which Lewis McGrattan sat in front of the back four.
It served its purpose, keeping County at bay and giving them the platform offer threat going forward, and Purdue scored a consolation goal on 79 minutes.
The attacking midfielder showed great strength and persistence to force his way into the opposition box before prodding a shot across goal and inside the right-hand post.
The Highlanders would have the last word, though, when in the 85th minute MacIver stretched to meet Wallace’s low cross from the left and planted the ball in the bottom-left corner with a precise flick.
2. Eardley 4. Hynes (c) 5. McKeown 3. Gallacher
11. Docherty 6. McGrattan 8. R. Lyon 7. Purdue
10. Easdale 9. Armour
Subs used: 15. Garrity (for Easdale, 15), and 16. Campbell (for McGrattan, 70).
Ross County: Munro; Kelly, Reid, Johnstone, Murray, Dykes (Hughes, 78), T. Dingwall, R. Dingwall, MacIver, Wallace, Keillor-Dunn (Gallagher, 75).
Subs used: Fraser, Wright, Williams (GK).
Referee: Craig King
Image: Gary Bradley