MORTON versus Dunfermline Athletic
Saturday 9 September 2017
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Morton attempt to topple Ladbrokes Championship league leaders Dunfermline Athletic at Cappielow tomorrow as they return to action following the international break.
The Pars have made a fine start to the season having won three or drawn one of their first four league fixtures and find themselves sat at the summit of the second tier.
By their own admission the Ton have experienced something of a mixed bag, recording a resound 4-1 win against rivals St Mirren and an admirable 1-1 draw away at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
There was also a goalless draw at Dumbarton on the opening day and a 1-0 home loss against Livingston in the most recent outing prior to the weekend hiatus.
Manager Jim Duffy was understandably frustrated with that display, particularly in terms of the attacking play, and says his side will need be on the ball at both ends of the park this time around to claim the win.
Jim Duffy told gmfc.net: “Not having a game last weekend gave us an opportunity to work on one or two things we feel we have to improve upon.
“First and foremost, we’re obviously looking for a level of consistency. Dunfermline have found that having started the season in outstanding form.
“We have been a bit inconsistent. There have been games when the team have played very well, notably against St Mirren and the second half against Inverness.
“However, there have been other games where we haven’t performed. In the last game against Livingston we really didn’t threaten the goal enough.
“You can lose matches while having a really good go at it, but I felt as if, although we huffed and puffed and worked quite hard, we didn’t really have any creative spark.
“There was no calmness or composure in the key moments. You need to play with a real intensity, but you also have to understand there are times you need to put your foot on the ball and calm it down.
“I don’t think we got the balance right. We ran about a lot but didn’t really think too well, and against teams who are organised and disciplined you need to do that even more so.
“And Dunfermline have got all the attributes just now: they’re not losing many goals, they’re defensively very sound and have real firepower and plenty of options.
“So it will be a real test for the players – but that is something that the players should respond to: testing yourself against the best.
“Currently Dunfermline are one of the best in the division, so they’ll come here with real belief that they can get a result and it’s up to us to try and turn the tables.
“What we need is people really competing for places and showing that competitive attitude, and that’s something we still need to work on a little bit.
“We know it’s still early, still the first quarter of the season, but we want to try and find a level of consistency as quickly as we can, and the best way to do it is to win football matches.”
Long-term injury victim Lee Kilday is the only absentee besides Jack Iredale, Lewis Strapp, and Jamie McGowan, all of whom are out on loan.
Ross Forbes made the switch from East End Park to Cappielow midway through the 2014/15 season in a deal that saw striker Andy Barrowman move in the opposite direction.
Frontman Robert Thomson spent a short time with the Pars in the first half of the 2013/14 campaign, scoring one goal in seven starts and one substitute apperarance before joining Brechin City.
Dunfermline boast former Ton loan star Declan McManus amongst their ranks. McManus enjoyed three seperate stints at Cappielow, finishing as top scorer in the League One title winning season with 23 goals.
Sat 17 Sep 2016: Morton 2-1 Dunfermline Athletic (Championship)
Sat 12 Dec 2016: Dunfermline Athletic 2-1 Morton (Championship)
Sat 25 Mar 2017: Morton 0-1 Dunfermline Athletic (Championship)
Sat 29 Apr 2017: Dunfermline Athletic 3-1 Morton (Championship)
Last Time Out
Morton’s final position in the 2016/17 Ladbrokes Championship was confirmed after a 3-1 loss at Dunfermline Athletic in April ensured they would finish fourth in the table.
Lawrence Shankland scored his second goal in successive outings to cancel out Nicky Clark’s opener but Michael Moffat and Rhys McCabe both netted after the break to claim all three points for the Pars.
Ton travelled through to Fife with an outside chance of still climbing above both Dundee United and Falkirk depending on a favourable run of results. However, the defeat ensured a fourth-place finish.
Referee: Kevin Clancy
Assistant one: David Roome
Assistant two: David Doig
See today’s club statement here for tomorrow’s entry arrangements.
Admission prices are as follows:
Adults – £18
Concessions – £15
Children aged 12-16 – £5
Children under 12 (Must be accompanied by an adult) – Free
Image: David Bell