Morton 4 – 1 Alloa Athletic
McHugh (5, 61, 74), Lyon (53); Cawley (22)
by Ewan Boyle
Morton got a well-deserved win on Saturday as the Cappielow side ran out 4-1 winners against Alloa Athletic after a masterclass from Bob McHugh as he scored a memorable hat-trick in the victory.
The Ton got off to a cracking start on 5 minutes as Nicky Cadden collected the ball on the left side of the box and played a driven cross into the box which Bob McHugh was able to nip in front of the Alloa defender and get a foot to the ball which gave Morton the first goal of the game.
A superb team effort gave Morton another chance on goal as passing and moving saw Aidan Nesbitt get an opportunity to have a pop at goal but the ball sailed over the bar and out for a goal kick.
To the shock of the home crowd, an equaliser came for Alloa on 22 minutes as a pass to the edge of the box was met by Kevin Cawley who sent a ferocious shot past Sam Ramsbottom and in turn, got the dreaded equaliser for Alloa.
Sam Ramsbottom pulled off a crucial save on 29 minutes as Kevin O’Hara raced through on goal for a one-on-one opportunity and shot at goal but the Morton goalkeeper was able to remain calm under pressure and save the ball with his right foot and clear the danger.
A huge chance for Alloa came as Lewis Strapp failed to clear the ball on 38 minutes which gave Kevin O’Hara an effort on the half-volley which went well over the bar and ended the threat of Alloa getting their second of the game.
Shortly after half-time, the Ton were relieved to get their second goal as Reece Lyon began the attack just outside of the Morton box as he passed the ball to Bob McHugh who squared it across to Lyon who had ran almost the full length of the pitch to ensure he was there to finish the counter-attack off and score a fantastic goal.
Morton would not stop from this point onwards as Bob McHugh got goal number two on 61 minutes as a cross into the box saw Brian McLean leap up and header the ball back across goal where McHugh was waiting to header the ball into the net for Morton’s third.
The goal saw complaints of a foul by Bob McHugh on an Alloa defender and saw protests from the opposition which concluded with Andy Graham being shown a second yellow card for dissent and saw Alloa go down to ten men.
Bob McHugh had a moment which both himself and Morton fans will remember as he was able to get his first ever career hat-trick when he scored a Rivaldo-esque goal after a cross into the box by Aidan Nesbitt was chested into the air by McHugh which set up a great opportunity for an overhead kick which the striker was able to finish off and round off a 5-star day for the player.
The Ton kept pushing for more as Aidan Nesbitt magically skipped by the Alloa defence and attempted a shot on goal but it was not to be as the ball went just by the post and out for a goal kick.
The perfect day rounded off by a perfect performance as the hat-trick hero Bob McHugh ended the day with three goals and one assist in what will be a memorable day for the Cappielow faithful.
Morton now turn their attentions to a trip to the capital next week in the Betfred Cup against Hibernian at Easter Road and the Ton will be hoping for a cup upset against the Premiership side in Edinburgh.
6. Jacobs 8. McAlister (c) 4. McLean 16. Strapp
18. Blues 7. Millar 17. Lyon
10. Nesbitt 11. McHugh 19. Cadden
Subs used: Kalvin Orsi (for McHugh, 75), Reghan Tumilty (for Blues, 84), Cameron Salkeld (for Nesbitt, 86)
Subs not used: 22. Easdale, 9. Muirhead, 21. Sutton, 3. Van Schaik
Booked: Strapp (52), Blues (58)
Alloa Athletic FC: 1. Parry, 2. Taggart, 5. Graham (c), 4. Deas, 3. Dick, 7. Cawley, 10. Trouten, 11. Flannigan, 6. Hetherington, 9. Buchanan, 17. O’Hara
Subs not used: 20. O’Donnel, 22. Stirling, 18. Malcolm, 31. Henry
Booked: Deas (28), Trouten (41), Hetherington (57), Graham (62), O’Hara (72)
Referee: Gavin Ross
⭐️ Star Man: Bob McHugh
image: Gary Bradley