Tiffoney (73) – Walsh (17), Doran (49)
Morton suffered a 2-1 defeat against Inverness Caledonian Thistle at Cappielow this afternoon despite a spirited second-half showing with 10 men.
Jonatan Johansson’s side came into the fixture, their last at home in 2018, on the back of two draws, and the Greenock gaffer made one change to the team that shared the spoils with Falkirk seven days earlier.
Kerr Waddell returned to the starting line-up in place of the injured Gregor Buchanan, but would have a day to forget after his red card left Ton facing a real uphill struggle for 56 minutes.
The hosts actually started brightly and peppered the Inverness box with crosses in the early stages as they flew out of the traps in search of three points.
They tested Mark Ridgers, too, with Bob McHugh teeing up Michael Tidser for a fierce 25-yard drive that forced the Caley keeper to drop to his left to push clear.
However, it was John Robertson’s men who would make the breakthrough against the run of play on 17 minutes when Tom Walsh burst onto a Liam Polworth pass and clipped a deft finish over the advancing Derek Gaston.
The teams then traded chances – Brad McKay sending a free header wide and McHugh bringing out the best in Ridgers with a low strike – before Waddell was dismissed in the 34th minute.
The Dundee loan defender miscued an attempt to head clear and then instinctively pulled back George Oakley to prevent the striker from getting in behind him and onto the ball in front of goal.
Johansson adapted by turning his 4-3-3 into a 4-3-2, in which Charlie Telfer dropped into midfield while Jim McAlister filled in at centre-half – a role he had discussed playing due to the current injury situation.
There was also the matter of a penalty kick to contend with, but the Highlanders failed to fully punish the hosts as Sean Welsh stepped up and fired his spot-kick against the right-hand post.
Ton were still rattled and, a Tidser piledriver that drew another impressive save from Ridgers aside, could consider themselves fortunate to make it to the interval trailing by a solitary goal.
Their hopes of taking something from the game were severly dented just four minutes into the second half, however, when diminutive winger Aaron Doran headed a Walsh cross into the net off the underside of the bar.
The goal really rocked Ton on their heels and only profligate finishing from Walsh, who twice failed to hit the target from promising positions, and Doran prevented Inverness from putting the game to bed.
It was then that Johansson made a double substitution, in which he introduced Scott Tiffoney and Reece Lyon, that helped turn the tide in team’s favour as they finished the final 30 minutes on top.
Livingston loan winger Tiffoney added attacking impetus, and only a brilliant lunging intervention prevented him from turning home from close range after McHugh’s snapshot was parried by Ridgers.
Tidser then teed up Chris Millar with an inventive free-kick from which the veteran midfielder saw a searing drive clip Walsh and fizz narrowly over the crossbar as Ton upped the ante.
They got the goal their efforts merited on 73 minutes thanks to a fine solo run and finish from energetic substitute Tiffoney.
After picking up possession inside his own half, the 20-year-old turned and surged forward down the inside-left channel before checking onto his right foot and tucking a low shot back across his body and inside the left post.
Lyon, too, made his presence felt and saw a glancing header from a Tidser cross agonisingly rebound off the base of the right post in what would prove to be the closest the 10 men came to an equaliser.
14. Tumilty 2. Kilday 5. Waddell 25. McKeown
7. Millar 8. McAlister (c) 12. Tidser
6. Telfer 11. McHugh 10. Thomson
Subs used: 17. Tiffoney (for Thomson, 62), 32. R. Lyon (for Telfer, 62), and 19. MacLean (for Tidser, 84).
Subs not used: 20. Bell, 22. Armour, 38. Eardley, 23. Scully (gk).
Booked: Millar (90+2).
Sent Off: Waddell (34)
Inverness C.T. (4231): Ridgers; Rooney, McKay, Donaldson, McCart; Welsh (MacGregor, 85), Chalmers; Walsh, Polworth, Doran (Trafford, 76); Oakley (White, 46).
Subs not used: Austin, Nicolson, Hoban (gk).
Referee: Steven Reid
⭐️ Star Man: Jim McAlister
Image (main): David Bell
Image (inset): Gary Bradley