Jim Duffy: We were fortunate to draw with Dumbarton

Disappointed Morton manager Jim Duffy said yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Dumbarton was as poor a performance as his team had produced in a long time and admitted they were fortunate to take a point from the match.

A Derek Gaston own goal gave the Sons a deserved lead after 27 minutes, but Ton striker Kudus Oyenuga salvaged a draw by scoring less than two minutes after he was introduced as a substitute on the hour.

Duffy felt his side failed to impose themselves on the game for any real concerted period during the 90 minutes and said they had a lucky escape when Sons midfielder Joe Thomson had a ‘goal’ harshly ruled out for a foul on goalkeeper Gaston in the closing stages.

He told gmfc.net: “It was a disappointing match for us from the first minute really. There was no real authority about our play today, I felt we were very pedestrian and we allowed Dumbarton to get a grip of the game very early on. We never really recovered from it.

“Although we changed it around a half-time and that gave us a little bit more threat and goal-scoring opportunities, in general play we didn’t perform anywhere near the standards that we have done so far this season.

“I think we were fortunate, there is no doubt. The one where the cross came in and Gats [Derek Gaston] punched, I certainly didn’t see any infringement. From our point of view, I think we got away with that one – it was a harsh decision on Dumbarton.

“The only consolation we have from today’s game is that we took a point, because I don’t think we were anywhere near the levels we would expect from the players.

“We played well for the majority of the St Mirren game, the majority of the Falkirk and right through the 90 minutes of the Hamilton game, and even if we had a 20-minute spell today I might have thought: ‘At least we had that.’

“But I didn’t feel we had any control of the game – at all. It is as poor a performance over 90 minutes as I can remember for a long time. We were just off the pace in every department, from the goalkeeper right through.

“No one was near the levels we would want. We have to have a think about that and the players have to think about it and understand that you have to be up for the challenge in every single game, because the opposition certainly will be.

“Last week, as I mentioned, we were disappointed and felt were unfortunate not to gain more against Falkirk. Today, we were definitely fortunate to gain a point, there is no question about that.”

Duffy was pleased to see recent recruit Oyenuga come on and net his first goal for the club but at the same time reckoned the former Dundee United forward should have added to his tally.

He said: “It was good for Kudus to get a goal. Strikers want to get off the mark and it got him off the mark, and from that point of view it was important.

“He’s come in his first couple of games as a sub and he’s scored today, but he probably should have scored another one, or two possibly, certainly the header was an unbelievable chance.

“Jon [Scullion] had a great one too – and he’s a magnificent striker of the ball – and he had another he dragged past the post. In the last five minutes, we probably had four really good chances to score.

“But Dumbarton are maybe sitting a wee bit then frustrated with the chances they’ve missed and thinking ‘we’ll take a point’, and that allowed us to play round about their box for the first time in the whole game really.”

Agony for Oyenuga after he sends a diving header wide                                                                                      © Gary Bradley

The Cappielow gaffer picked out the performance of winger Scott Tiffoney for praise after bringing the 17-year-old back into the team in place of the injured Aidan Nesbitt for his first start since the Betfred Cup Group H fixture against Clyde.

He added: “I’m struggling for something positive to say today. I felt the back four did well as did young Tiff. Any kind of spark we had at the top end of the pitch today came from him. It was pleasing but also a little bit disappointing because I expect more from the other players.

“We understand that Jai [Quitongo] is 18 and Gary [Oliver] just turned 21. They will have their off days and they don’t quite understand when a team is screening them and denying them space. They still have to think about that and work at it; it’s a learning curve for them.

“I just thought generally speaking there was no real link-up play between our midfield and our front players. Overall, it was a poor team performance and I was bitterly disappointed today.”


Images: Gary Bradley