Jai: Dunfermline goal was perfect birthday present

A thrilled Jai Quitongo said he could not have asked for a better birthday present than scoring the winning goal for Morton as they beat Dunfermline Athletic 2-1 at Cappielow on Saturday.

The frontman turned 19 last Wednesday and then followed that up by netting a sensational strike in the closing stages of the weekend’s match to secure a vital three points for the Ton.

Quitongo reckons picking up that first league victory of the campaign was massive and said finding the net was the ideal gift as he rounded off a celebratory week.

He told gmfc.net: “We’ve obviously had a few tough results in the last couple of weeks and morale was down. But at training last Monday everybody got together and said: ‘No, do you know what, we need to get going again.’

“We started the season off so well – we went eight games unbeaten – and then we’ve taken a few defeats, but I think today showed what we’re capable of. Everybody worked hard for each other, we pressed as a unit, and got the result.

“When you do those things that’s what happens. The full team were excellent today – excellent – the win was massive for us. It was a relief just to get us off and running in the league.

“I was happy to score. I’d probably say I’m better hitting it on instinct. See when I’ve got time to take a shot that’s where I’m probably not as good and overthink it, whereas if I’m going in instinct my success rate is probably better.

“Just when I saw it has hit the bar and bounced back up and I knew it was in, I was delighted to score and help the boys out with the three points.

“I’ve scored in the cup but it was my first league goal and I was delighted my mum, Sharon, and my pal Michael was here to see it. And I was 19 through the week, so a wee goal was a good birthday present.”

Quitongo goes down under Richards-Everton challenge                                                                                                © David Bell

Prior to popping up with his late winner, the teenager was involved in two controversial incidents, seeing a convincing penalty claim turned down by referee Kevin Clancy before picking up a booking for a challenge on ex-Ton goalkeeper David Hutton.

But Quitongo shrugged off the decisions, explaining: “It was maybe hard for the referee to see the [penalty] incident. The challenge was a 50-50 and I thought I was entitled to go for it.

“Just because he’s a goalkeeper doesn’t mean I can’t challenge him. I’m not trying to go for his face, I’m just going for the ball. It happens in football and at the end of the day we got the three points, I got a goal and the boys are going up the road happy.”

The Ton host Dundee United at Cappielow tomorrow night as they bid to reach the Betfred Cup semi-finals, and Quitongo says anticipation is high amongst the squad.

He concluded: “Today lifts everybody’s morale ahead of a tough game on Tuesday. Dundee United are a strong team with good players, one of the bigger teams in the league, but we have to go out and give a good account of ourselves.”


Images: David Bell