Academy spotlight with Cameron Middleton

By Cameron Middleton

Under-18s make it five wins in a row with victory over Fife Elite

Shaun Rodgers bagged a brace and Jonathan Lyon scored from the spot as Morton edged out a stubborn Fife Elite outfit by the odd goal in a five-goal contest.

Fresh off last week’s deserved derby win over St Mirren, Morton Under-18s took to a polar Parklea to face The Fife Elite Football Academy – a team comprising Fife’s four professional clubs and all 19 secondary schools.

Fife started off the better and Ton keeper Andrew Coyle was tested very early on, as Dylan Tait’s fierce strike from outside the box forced a superb right-handed save.

Tait had the ball in the back of the net after five minutes, but, as the players celebrated, the referee called for offside due to a Fife player blocking Coyle’s view from an offside position.

Shot stopper Coyle was having a busy evening and produced a phenomenal reflex save, diving to his left-hand side and flicking the ball away with a strong hand to keep the visitors out.

The young Cappielow outfit eventually started to replicate the high pressing and slick passing that proved so successful in last week’s derby victory and took the lead on the half-hour mark.

Defender Greg Keane delivered a beautiful high through ball from inside his own half to find Rodgers who then placed the ball in to the bottom left-hand corner with a well-taken, first-time effort.

Ton’s lead didn’t last long, though, striker Kieron Bowie equalised right before the break after stealing the ball from Ton defender Ben Docherty and stroking a left-footed effort inside Coyle’s near post.

Sean Crighton’s side began the second half more positively and were awarded a penalty after Jamie Black had his feet taken away from him inside the box.

Jonathan Lyon stepped up and rifled a cool penalty into the bottom-right corner of the net while sending the Fife keeper the wrong way.

Morton made it 3-1 five minutes later, Kieran Brophy, who really came alive in the second half, delivering a looping ball in to the box that was finished off by Rodgers.

The tricky winger judged the bounce brilliantly and placed a clever, right-footed shot to the keeper’s left to score his second of the evening.

There was a late scare for the Ton after Fife’s Liam Newton fired a rebound into the net following another strong save from Coyle.

However, Morton’s fantastic second-half showing was enough for them to take all three points and make it five consecutive CAS League wins.

Morton (3-4-3): Coyle; Stafford, Docherty, Keane; Brophy, Campbell, Black, Gallagher; Rodgers, Duffy, Lyon.

Two-goal hero Rodgers was delighted to bag a brace and said: “Obviously, it feels good to get two goals anytime, especially after last week missing a couple of chances.

“I always knew the next one I would take, and if we start putting more shots away, I think we will start to make our way up the league.”

Next Up:

Friday 19 October: Morton Under-18s v Hibernian Under-18s (Parklea, 7.30pm kick-off)