Match Preview | Albion Rovers



MORTON versus Albion Rovers 

Saturday 28 July 2018
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Kick-off 3pm

Scene Setter

Morton host Albion Rovers in their final Betfred Cup Group E fixture tomorrow looking for a performance and result that would serve as a springboard for the rapidly-approaching league campaign.

Qualification from the section is now out of reach for Ray McKinnon’s men, but the Ton boss has stressed that, as with the three previous fixtures, there is great value to be found in the 90 minutes ahead.

As a newly-installed manager getting to grips with a squad shaped in a short period of time, McKinnon has harnessed the guaranteed fixtures afforded by the League Cup format to analyse his options.

He has assessed three different systems – a 3-5-2 at Ayr, 4-2-3-1 against Partick, and a 4-3-3 in last Saurday’s 2-0 win over Stenhousemuir – and evaluate players in different positions.

McKinnon has hinted that he may go with something entirely new against the Coatbridge club this weekend, as much out of necessity as experimentation.

With no fewer than seven players expected to miss out through a variety of ailments, it will be a makeshift Morton side that will attempt to pick up a momentum-building win ahead of the visit of Queen of the South.

Gaffer’s Thoughts

Team News

Ray McKinnon had seen his squad depleted by injuries. In addition to Denny Johnstone (knee) and Robert Thomson (hernia), Kerr Waddell is still struggling with his ankle while there are four fresh absentees.

Gregor Buchanan (ankle/knee) and Lewis Strapp (broken toe) both suffered injuries against Stenhousemuir and miss out, as does Chris Millar, who came off early in the second half of the same game with tight hamstrings.

Midfielder Charlie Telfer has received an injection to strengthen his ankle but will miss this weekend’s final Betfred Cup group section fixture.

Striker Connor Bell is eligible and expected to play a part in the matchday squad, but midfielder Kyle Thomson is still awaiting international clearance.

Morton Milestones and Significant Stats

1 – Striker Connor Bell could make his first appearance for the club.

4 – Michael Tidser has been involved in all four Morton goals so far this season (1 goal, 3 assists)

10 – Bob McHugh would reach double figures for the club should he score against Albion.

Current Connections

Goalkeeper Derek Gaston made his senior breakthrough with his local club back in 2009 and spent three seasons at Cliftonhill before making the move to Morton.

Ryan Scully joined Albion on loan from Partick Thistle the season after glove-rival Gaston’s departure, spending six months with the Coatbridge club.

Head to Head

Sat 3 Nov 2012: Albion Rovers 1-1 Morton (William Hill Scottish Cup, third round)

Tue 13 Nov 2012: Morton 3-0 Albion Rovers (William Hill Scottish Cup, third round replay)

Sat 28 Nov 2015: Albion Rovers 0-2 Morton (William Hill Scottish Cup, third round)

Sat 16 July 2016: Albion Rovers 0-0 Morton (3-4 pen) Morton (Betfred Cup Group H)

Last Time Round

Morton were held to a goalless draw by Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill back in July 2016 – but were boosted by a bonus point after winning the post-match penalty shoot-out.

Scottish domestic football resumed for the 2016/17 campaign with a round of fixtures in the new Betfred League Cup group section.

As part of the revamp, the SPFL introduced an innovation whereby any fixture that ends in a draw would head straight to spot-kicks, with the winning side picking up an extra point.

Goalkeeper Andy McNeil was the Ton hero, doubling his side’s reward by saving from Alan Reid and Gary Fisher in a 4-3 triumph in the showdown from 12 yards.

Michael Tidser, Scott Tiffoney, Thomas O’Ware and Lee Kilday all converted while Ross Forbes was the only sinner for the Sinclair Street side, seeing his effort pushed clear by Ross Stewart.

The penalties injected an element of intrigue following a numbing 90 minutes that was quickly forgotten besides the fact highly-regarded left-back Lewis Strapp made his competitive bow at 16.


Referee: Steven Reid

Assistant one: Paul O’Neill

Assistant two: Tony Fullerton

Fan File

Admission prices are:

Adult: £12
Concession (Over 65, Student, and Under 21s): £6

Supporters are asked to purchase in advance where possible in order to avoid excessive queues at the ticket office on a matchday.

Briefs are available from the following outlets:

Cappielow – During office hours, 9am -12noon and 1pm – 5pm

Smiths of Greenock – During opening hours, 9am – 5.30pm

Sinclair Street ticket office – Saturday matchdays from 11am to 3pm; midweek matchdays from 5pm to 7.45pm

Tickets can also be purchased in advance online at or by calling the club on 01475 723571. These can be collected at the ticket office on matchday or posted out, for which there is a £2 charge.

All home fixtures are also available to be pre-loaded onto fan cards and season cards on Interstadia’s dedicated club website,


Image: Ross Cameron