Dumbarton versus MORTON
Saturday 12 November 2016
Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium, Dumbarton
Morton cross the Erskine Bridge today to take on Clydeside rivals Dumbarton in one of only two fixtures to be staged in the Ladbrokes Championship this afternoon, the other being Hibernian against Falkirk.
The Ton, unbeaten in five league matches, have a reasonable record against the Sons and are currently unbeaten in their last five meetings with Stevie Aitken’s side, albeit three of those contests ended in stalemate, including the 1-1 draw at Cappielow back in August.
With Raith Rovers inactive this weekend, a win would propel the Cappielow club up above them into third place, but three points cannot and will not be taken for granted against a Dumbarton side fresh off a morale-boosting 1-0 win away at basement boys St Mirren to end a run of 10 matches without a win in all competitions.
Jim Duffy told gmfc.net: “We’re looking forward to the challenge. Dumbarton had a terrific result last week and that will give them great confidence going into the game.
“Stevie Aitken is one of the best young managers in the country as far as I’m concerned. He always recruits well and has good players. The job he has done at Stranraer and Dumbarton demands respect, and that’s what we’ll give.
“They played very well against us in the previous game, so it’s going to be another extremely difficult match and one we need to approach the same way we have the last several matches.
“The clubs are in very close proximity, just across the water, so it is a team that is close to us geographically and that always add a bit of extra spice. They perhaps see that as an extra motivation.
“From my point of view we’ve got to look at the game and make sure we do what we’re capable of, and if we do that we’ve shown we can compete against anyone. Last week, on the balance of the game, we were marginally better first half, Falkirk were a decent bit better second half.
“You go to Falkirk and you’re disappointed to be picking up a point at the end of the game, but you can reflect upon it and be honest enough to know that a point was a decent point.
“From our point of view, our effort and organisation was really good, but we needed to show a little bit of composure in the last part of the game and didn’t play as well as we have done recently.
“So if we can get back to that combination of still playing well and keeping that organisation then we’ll prove a test for any team we come across, including Dumbarton. If we play to the levels we can play at then there’s no reason we can’t get a positive result.”
Conor Pepper remains sidelined but is gradually working his way back towards a full recovery and joined in light training this week. He has been joined on the injury list by striker Thomas Orr.
The teenager was forced off injured in last Sunday’s Scottish Youth Cup tie against Banks O’ Dee and left the stadium on crutches with suspected knee damage. He is set to undergo a scan today to determine the extent of the problem.
Winger Aidan Nesbitt suffered an injury in training yesterday. He is rated doubtful and will undergo a late fitness test, as will Jai Quitongo, who suffered a tight hamsting on international duty with Scotland Under-21s.
Midfielder Ross Forbes spent time on loan with the Sons as a teenager during the second half of the 2008/09 season, helping them lift the Third Division title, as did Celtic loanee Jamie Lindsay, who made 28 appearances in last term’s Championship.
Dumbarton boss Stevie Aitken enjoyed eight seasons as a player here at Cappielow, making 97 starts, 34 substitute appearances and scoring five goals.
Sat 12 Sep 2015: Morton 0-0 Dumbarton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 31 Oct 2015: Dumbarton 1-2 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 13 Feb 2016: Morton 2-0 Dumbarton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 2 April 2016: Dumbarton 0-0 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 20 August 2016: Morton 1-1 Dumbarton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Last Time Out
Morton recorded a third successive 1-1 draw on league duty after coming back from behind to take a point against Dumbarton at Cappielow back in August.
In what was a disappointing day for the hosts, a Derek Gaston own goal saw Stevie Aitken’s Sons hold a well-earned lead at the break before Ton substitute striker Kudus Oyenuga scored within two minutes of entering play to restore parity.
Englishman Oyenuga also passed up two excellent chances to earn his side maximum points, but it would, quite honestly, have been harsh on the visitors.
Referee: Don Robertson
Assistant one: Ivan Stankovic
Assistant two: Kevin McElhinney
Admission is pay at the gate and prices are:
Adult – £18
Concession – £9 (proof required)
Parent and child under 12 – £24
Image: David Bell