By Ewan Boyle
Annan 0-5 Morton
Nesbitt (7,83), Cadden (33,43), Muirhead (90)
Morton put themselves in a strong position for qualification from Group E of the Betfred Cup after a resounding 5-0 win over Annan Athletic.
The game began with a quick-fire goal from Morton on 8 minutes as a long throw into the box broke to around 18 yards out where Aidan Nesbitt was waiting to send the ball past the keeper for the first goal of the evening.
Annan’s first chance of the game came on 24 minutes as Kyle Wilkie tried a curled effort from the left side of the box but the ball hit the top netting of the goal and went out for a goal-kick.
Reghan Tumilty tried his luck on 27 minutes as a powerful shot from around 20 yards out looked as though it was heading into the goal but the goalkeeper is able to palm it away for a corner kick.
Morton continued to pounce at Annan on 29 minutes as Nicky Cadden delivered an adventurous cross into the box which Bob McHugh was able to get on the end of however the ball trickled past the post.
The crucial second goal came for Morton on 33 minutes as Reece Lyon went on a fantastic run down the right wing and swung a ball to the edge of the box where Nicky Cadden was there to send a rocket of a shot into the goal for his first of the night.
A huge chance for Morton’s third came on 38 minutes as exceptional footwork from Reghan Tumilty allowed for him to get around the defender for a clear shot at goal however a mishit shot meant the ball was sent well over the ball.
Domination continued from Morton on 43 minutes as Nicky Cadden made some space for himself on the edge of the box and sent another thunderbolt of an effort into the bottom left of the goal giving Morton a solid lead going into the second half.
The second half began with a bizarre moment from Morton as a well-worked corner was on its way to hitting the net however Jim McAlister accidentally stopped the ball on the line and the referee gave offside and stopped Morton’s threat of a fourth.
Chances kept on coming for Morton as Bob McHugh got on the end of a fantastic pass from Nicky Cadden however the frontman was unable to get the goal as the keeper stopped the ball and cleared it away.
There was as second goal-line clearance from Morton on 73 minutes however it was at the right side of the pitch this time as Lewis Strapp was able to leap up and header the ball off the line to deny Annan’s first.
Two efforts in quick succession for Morton came on 74 minutes as Salkeld went on a spectacular run and attempted a chip over the keeper however the ball hit the post and came out for Aidan nesbitt whose effort whizzed past the post.
Top goal-scorer from last season Bob McHugh’s struggle to find the net in the Annan game continued on 83 minutes as an incredible save by the Annan goalkeeper from point-blank range denied the goal for the frontman.
Morton’s fourth came on 83 minutes as a composed Reece Lyon sent through Aidan Nesbitt on goal and perfectly placed the ball down to the goalkeeper’s left.
A proud moment came for Robbie Muirhead on 90 minutes as the striker held his nerve from 20 yards out and sent the ball around the goalkeeper.
The sublime Morton performance came to an end and was needed following the 4-0 defeat away to Premiership side Motherwell.
Morton will face Queen of the South at Cappielow Park on Saturday and will consider themselves in a strong position ahead of the final game of the group stages.
2. Tumilty 8. McAlister (c) 5. Grant 16. Strapp
17. Lyon 6. Jacobs
11. McHugh 21. Sutton 19. Cadden
Subs used: Robbie Muirhead (for Sutton, 67), Cameron Salkeld (for Cadden, 71), Lewis McGrattan (for Nesbitt, 84)
Subs not used: 7. Chris Millar, 15. Dylan Dykes, 23. Darren Hynes, 40. Christopher Wylie
Referee: Steven Reid
Star Man: Aidan Nesbitt