Ross County 2 – 0 Morton
Mullin (55), Graham (78)
by Jonathan McQuillan
Greenock Morton suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat away to league leaders Ross County on Saturday with goals coming from Josh Mullin and former Ton striker Brian Graham.
Morton, on the back of a 1-1 draw with Falkirk, started the game brightly with Jack Iredale looking lively on the left hand side, whipping the ball into the box early on however unable to find anyone to connect with.
Throughout the first half the Ton pressed well, determined not to have a repeat of the last time the sides met in Dingwall as they frustrated County throughout the initial forty-five minutes, not giving the host’s much of the ball.
Their efforts nearly paid off on 25 minutes when Greg Kiltie slipped a nice pass through to Reghan Tumilty on the right hand side whose low cross had to be pushed out for a corner by goalkeeper Scott Fox.
Ross County had their first chance of the game just three minutes later when Declan McManus connected with a cross on the left by Kenny Van Der Weg however the former Ton player’s shot was off target and went wide of the right post.
Although Morton had shown stellar discipline on the ball up until that point, this was a sign that table topping Ross County can punish at any moment.
As it hit the 30-minute mark heavy snow started to descend in the highlands making life difficult for Jonathan Johansson’s side however despite the blustery conditions there was nothing that could split either side.
Defender Kerr Waddell, who netted the winner the last time the two sides met in January, went close to putting the Ton in front just before the break but the Dundee loanee saw his header go wide of the post.
The players came out to clear skies in the second half and it was Morton who had the first chance with a free kick just outside the box which was hit over the bar by Reghan Tumilty.
The deadlock was broken on 55 minutes after a short build-up from County, they managed to swing a ball of their own into the box that wasn’t dealt with properly by the Morton back-line and broke to Josh Mullin who couldn’t miss the open goal, smashing it into the net from close range.
The goal breathed some confidence into the Staggies who started to regain a lot more time on the ball, although Morton continued to press and kept chipping away looking for a way through.
However, former Morton striker Brian Graham put the game beyond the visitors, slotting away a header from four yards out on 78 minutes.
The defeat in Dingwall leaves the Greenock side remaining in 6th place in the Ladbrokes Championship, 6 points off Dunfermline Athletic who sit in 4th position, with eight games to go.
Ton boss Jonatan Johansson spoke to gmfc.net after the game and said: “I was really happy until their goal, for all the possession we had, all the balls we put in around the box we didn’t work the keeper enough.
“That was the one disappointment for me, we couldn’t capitalise on our possession and our chances, a couple of balls just didn’t fall for us.
“We lost the game due to poor defending from crosses, it’s disappointing, you can’t allow that to happen against the best teams in this league.
“I’ll take a lot of positives from the game though, it’s a massive game against Alloa next week and one that we’ll be looking take three points from.”
5. Waddell 4. Buchanan 2. Kilday
14. Tumilty 32. R.Lyon 7. Millar 12. Tidser 3. Iredale
20. Kiltie 10. Thomson
Subs used: 44. Dallas (for Tidser, 61) 6. Telfer (for R.Lyon, 76)
Subs not used: 8. McAlister, 15. Dykes, 17. O’Connell, 18. Oliver 1. Gaston (gk).
Ross County (4411): Fox, Fraser, Gardyne, Lindsay, McManus (Cowie, 77), Mullin, Watson, Spence (Patton, 86), Graham (Armstrong, 83), Van Der Weg, Grivosti
Subs not used: Boyle, Semple, Wallace, Munro (gk)
Booked: Gardyne (38), Spence (72), Fraser (75)
Referee: Greg Aitken
⭐️ Star Man: Greg Kiltie