MORTON versus Dundee United
Saturday 19 November 2016
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Morton and Dundee United meet for the third time this term when third and second in the Ladbrokes Championship go head-to-head at Cappielow tomorrow afternoon.
They are currently on a level footing, having each won their home fixture 2-1 in matches played back to back over the space of four days towards the end of September.
Jim Duffy’s men recorded a monumental victory in the Betfred Cup to reach their first national semi-final since 1981 before the Tangerines gained a measure of revenge by reversing the scoreline on home turf on league duty.
The Ton actually performed admirably at Tannadice that afternoon and it was only the lethal finishing of £1million loan star Tony Andreu that proved the difference on the day.
Since then Ray McKinnon’s side have gone on a strong run, though, racking up a nine-game unbeaten run in which they have won eight matches, with seven of those in succession.
Similarly, Morton are also in a rich vein of form. As well as winning seven of their last 10 outings in all competitions, they are also unbeaten in six league matches, and of that half dozen, five have been victories.
And so despite the fact Dundee United go into the match as strong bookie’s favourites, the hosts can be optimistic they are capable of recording a positive result.
Jim Duffy told gmfc.net: “Dundee United are similar to ourselves in that they are one of the form teams in the league. We are already familiar with each other having played two games already this season; we won one in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup and lost one narrowly in the league at Tannadice.
“They have some terrific players and I don’t think it was unexpected that they maybe took a couple of games to find their feet, but they have now won seven in a row. So, they are on a fantastic run of form, are defensively very, very solid, and have real quality on the goal-scoring front.
“This is one of the few games at home that we’re not favourites – them and Hibs will be the teams fighting it out for promotion – so we’ve got to be at our best to have any chance of getting a result.
“But we’re going into the game on good form with a bit of belief. We won back-to-back home game against Ayr United and St Mirren, then followed that up with a draw at Falkirk, which although disappointing because we conceded late on was still a valuable point, and a win at Dumbarton on our travels.
“Those results built on a strong October, for which we were recently recognised with myself and Thomas O’Ware picking up the Championship Manager and Player of the Month awards.
“These are always nice to receive and is recognition that we are performing well as a team, and what we will attempt to do is maintain the standards we have set against Dundee United today.”
Conor Pepper took his recovery to the next level on Tuesday afternoon with a 45-minute run-out in the Under-20s’ 3-0 win over Airdrie but is still short of match fitness after nine months out.
Jamie McDonagh is suspended for one match after passing through the disciplinary points threshold when he picked up his sixth league booking in the derby against St Mirren and sits this one out.
Striker Thomas Orr is out for a minimum of a month after suffering a medial ligament strain in a Scottish Youth Cup tie against Banks O’ Dee, while Jon Scullion is a doubt due to a foot injury.
Loanee Aidan Nesbitt missed last week’s match at Dumbarton due to a foot problem. He played for Celtic in a friendly against Norwich City in midweek and will be assessed before tomorrow’s match.
Defender Gavin Gunning and forward Kudus Oyenuga, who scored in last Saturday’s 2-0 win against Dumbarton, both had spells on the books at Dundee United in recent years.
Sat 4 May 1996: Morton 2-2 Dundee United (First Division)
Tue 23 Sep 2003: Dundee United 3-1 Morton (League Cup, second round)
Tue 20 Sep 2016: Morton 2-1 Dundee United (League Cup, quarter-finals)
Sat 24 Sep 2016: Dundee United 2-1 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Last Time Out
Morton and Dundee United experienced a role reversal at Tannadice as Ray McKinnon’s men recorded a 2-1 victory just four days after being on the receiving end of the same scoreline in the Betfred Cup quarter-final at Cappielow.
On loan Norwich City ace Tony Andreu missed out through injury in the midweek match and he made the difference in the City of Discovery when he set the Tangerines on course for three points with a second-half brace.
Substitute defender Sean Dillon turned home a Ross Forbes free-kick in the fourth minute of stoppage time to give Ton a sliver of hope, but there was no real time left for them to rescue the point they will have felt was the least they deserved for their efforts on the day.
Referee: Crawford Allan
Assistant one: Joseph Lawson
Assistant two: Ross Menzies
Entry is pay at the gate and admission prices are:
Adult – £18
Concession – £15
Parent and child under 16 – £18
Child aged 12 to 16 – £5
Child under 12 accompanied by an adult – Free
Supporters should note that in order to manage the administration of entry at the turnstiles, the club are asking that fans arrive early to the ground to avoid last- minute queueing, which could mean missing the start of the game, and where possible have the correct change to ensure speedier entry.
The turnstiles are marked adult, concessions and parent/child and it is important that the correct turnstile is used. Stewards will be on hand to offer advice on which gate is to be used.
With regards to concession turnstiles, the operator will require proof that a concession is applicable. Photographic identification will therefore be required and there can be no exceptions.
We have been making significant changes in recent times in order to improve and streamline our processes, which will, in turn, benefit everyone associated with the club, especially our loyal supporters. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.
Image: David Bell