Dumbarton versus MORTON
Saturday 1 April 2017
Cheaper Insurance Direct, Dumbarton
Morton conclude a memorable seven-day period in which they lost their first home game in just under a year before securing a fine point away to Hibs on an eventful evening in Edinburgh with a trip across the water to face Clydeside rivals Dumbarton today.
Although the midweek encounter ended in controversial fashion, with Kudus Oyenuga, Darren McGregor, Jim Duffy and Neil Lennon all sent off in injury time, Ton produced a display to be proud off as they held the table toppers on home turf.
Jim Duffy’s men moved up to second in the Ladbrokes Championship with their draw at Easter Road, and they will traverse the Clyde in confident mood, looking to protect their position by claiming another positive result this afternoon.
Eighth-placed Sons, though, will be eager to make the most of an opportunity to claim maximum points on home turf in their bid to push away from the bottom of the table, where they sit level with Ayr United in ninth on 31 points.
Jim Duffy told gmfc.net: “It’s a really difficult game. Dumbarton are always difficult opponents. As I’ve said all along, Stevie [Aitken] has done an outstanding job there.
“They’ve got good players. Obviously we’ve signed Robert Thomson on a pre-contract and he’s been flying recently, scoring a lot of goals, and I’m sure he’ll be looking to do well.
“The fact is that with St Mirren’s improved form and Ayr United winning last week then it means that area of the league is congested just now, and I think that makes it more difficult for us.
“That’s because Dumbarton have been out of that area for most of the season and they’ll want to continue that, so they’ll be extra determined with St Mirren and Ayr playing in the other game.
“So that makes for an extra degree of difficulty for us. We’ve also played a game in midweek but that’s just the nature of football. You’ve just got to get yourself recharged and go again, and that’s what we expect the players to do.
“We’re not a free-scoring team, so we have to make sure we are difficult to be break down, and that will be the same today.
“We’ve got to make sure we stay organised and stay focused, and hopefully if we do that then we’ll capitalise on any chance that comes our way.”
Long-term injury victims Conor Pepper and Jai Quitongo boss miss out, as does skipper Lee Kilday as he recovers from the ankle injury suffered against Dunfermline seven days ago.
Striker Kudus Oyenuga is also unavailable for selection after receiving an immediate, two-match ban for the straight red card he was shown at Hibernian on Wednesday night.
The paperwork on goalkeeper Bryn Halliwell’s loan from Gartcairn Juniors has been processed and the 36-year-old will be available for selection against Dumbarton this afternoon.
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 at Cappielow, making 97 starts, 34 substitute appearances and scoring five goals.
Sat 2 April 2016: Dumbarton 0-0 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 20 August 2016: Morton 1-1 Dumbarton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 12 Nov 2016: Dumbarton 0-2 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 7 Jan 2017: Morton 2-1 Dumbarton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Last Time Out
Morton strengthened their play-off credentials back at the beginning of January with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Dumbarton that moved them six points clear of fifth-placed Raith Rovers.
A first half own goal from Gregor Buchanan and an emphatic Michael Tidser penalty was enough to grind out a valuable victory against Stevie Aitken’s Sons despite Andy Stirling’s deflected strike setting up a tense closing 20 minutes.
This success was one that a depleted Ton side really had to earn on a miserable day, with Gavin Gunning departed, no Jai Quitongo, Conor Pepper, Ricki Lamie, or Jamie McDonagh, who was out through suspension.
Referee: John Beaton
Assistant one: Ivan Stankovic
Assistant two: David Burns
Admission is pay at the gate and prices are:
Adult – £18
Concession – £9
Parent and child under 12 – £24
Image: David Bell