by Ewan Boyle
Morton kicked off the new season with a narrow 1-0 defeat against Forfar Athletic on Saturday with manager David Hopkin’s first game in charge proving to be a challenging pre-season match for his side.
The Ton team, which included a number of trialists, were able to have a useful fitness test at Station Park as they prepare for the commencement of the Betfred Cup games in the coming weeks.
There wasn’t much to report in the opening 10 minutes of the game with Kalvin Orsi having the first real chance after captain Jim McAlister knocked the ball over the defensive line to which new signing Orsi headed into the Forfar keeper’s hands.
The deadlock was broken on 14 minutes when Forfar were able to pass the ball across goal and allow for an unopposed Jordan Kirkpatrick to send it home from a few yards out.
Connor Coupe of Forfar had an audacious chance on 18 minutes when he attempted a firing effort at goal from 25 yards, the first of many impressive moments throughout his game.
Just before the end of the first half, Jim McAlister went down in the box after what appeared to have looked like contact from the Forfar defender however the protests were waved away by the referee.
New goalkeeper Sam Ramsbottom had a massive save to make in the first two minutes of the second half, doing exceptionally well to pull off a great reaction save on his right and denying a second for Forfar.
60 minutes on the clock was the first opportunity for newly-returning Aidan Nesbitt to have a say in things as he turned the defender and curled an effort at goal but to no success as the ball narrowly flew by the post.
Kalvin Orsi had another huge chance on 68 minutes when Nesbitt found an opportunity to pass across the goal but the forward mistimed his effort and hit wide of the post.
An incredible save from the Forfar keeper Marc McCallum denied Morton an equaliser as another Orsi attempt was denied once again.
It was a game filled with debuts for the Ton as Sam Ramsbottom, Cameron Salkeld, Nicky Cadden, Kyle Jacobs, Robbie Muirhead, Kalvin Orsi, Alexander Easdale and John Sutton all made their respective Morton first team debuts.
Despite their efforts, Morton could not find an equaliser as the game ended in a defeat. However, an improved second half display showed plenty of encouraging signs and proved to be a useful test for the Sinclair Street side.
6. Trialist 5. Trialist 4. Strapp
2. Salkeld 7. Millar 8. McAlister 3. Cadden
11. Orsi 9. Muirhead
Subs used: 14. R. Lyon (Millar, 46), 16. Nesbitt (for McAlister, 46), 12. Tumilty (for Salkeld, 46), 19. Sutton (for Jacobs, 69), 20. McGrattan (for Murihead, 69), 18. Trialist (for Strapp, 71), 15. Dykes (for Trialist, 75), 22. Eardley (for Cadden, 80), 23. Easdale (for Orsi, 80), 21. Hynes (for Trialist, 80)
Referee: Colin Steven
⭐️ Star Man: Kalvin Orsi