Brophy (82), J. Lyon (90+3) – Virtanen (45+1), Robertson (73)
The Morton second string came back from 2-0 down to end the 2018/19 Reserve League One season with a dramatic draw against Aberdeen at Cappielow yesterday.
John Sutton included English shot-stopper Brendan Pearson, Rory McKeown, Dylan Dykes and Bournemouth loanee Keelan O’Connell in his starting line-up as they lined up in a 4-3-3 formation.
An uneventful first half saw both sides struggle to make much of an impression in front of goal until, in the first minute of stoppage time, Dons’ impressive Finnish midfielder Miko Virtanen tapped home a Seb Ross cross.
As well as experiencing the disappointment of conceding so late on, Ton boss Sutton was served another blow when experienced defender McKeown, playing at centre-half, was forced off with a calf injury.
The switch necessitated a reshuffle, with Lewis Strapp moving from left-back into central defence, Ben Eardley moving from midfield to left-back, and Jonathan Lyon coming off the bench to fill his berth in the engine room.
Ton twice went close to levelling things in the early stages of the second period as Alexander Easdale forced keeper Archie Mair to scramble down to his left and Lewis McGrattan flashed a fierce drive wide.
Reds defender Lloyd Robertson would double the visitors’ advantage, however, slammed a close-range volley into the net after an inswinging corner from the right to double their advantage.
At this stage it looked more likely that Paul Sheerin’s side would go on and score again, and only a fine Pearson save, sailing to his left to claw clear, prevented Ethan Ross from doing so.
Yet a resurgent Ton would score twice inside a remarkable final eight minutes of a match watched by first-team managers Jonatan Johansson and Derek McIness to rescue a point.
Winger Kieran Brophy sparked the fightback when he did superbly well to control Eardley’s cross with his right on the run before lashing past shot-stopper Mair with his left foot.
And super sub Jonathan Lyon completed the comeback in the third minute of injury time, curling a sensational first-time shot above Mair into the top corner just under the crossbar, to end the campaign on a positive note.
2. Hynes (c) 5. Watt 4. McKeown 3. Strapp
6. McGrattan 8. Dykes 7. Eardley
9. Brophy 10. Easdale 11. O’Connell
Subs used: 12. J. Lyon (for McKeown, 46), 16. Purdue (for Easdale, 71), 14. Blair Docherty (for O’Connell, 74), and 15. Rodgers (for Dykes, 74).
Subs not used: 17. Garrity.
Booked: Hynes (15).
Aberdeen: Mair, Harrington (Power, 63), MacKenzie (c), Virtanen, Robertson, Roscoe (Turner, 63), Duncan (Mykyta, 63), S. Ross (Barry 78), Shanks, E. Ross, Barron.
Subs not used: Craddock (gk),
Referee: Andy Taylor
Image: Gary Bradley