MORTON versus Livingston
Saturday 26 August 2017
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Morton and Livingston clash at Cappielow this afternoon in what is the second meeting between the clubs in the space of 11 days.
The previous encounter, staged on Tuesday 15 August, was an Irn-Bru Cup tie that David Hopkin’s Livi deservedly won 2-0 to progress to the second round of the competition.
Bitterly disappointed manager Jim Duffy made his feelings clear after the match, stating that his side got exactly what they deserved from the match – nothing.
However, the Ton boss was more than satisfied with the way his side reacted away at Inverness Caledonian Thistle last weekend as they came from behind to claim a point in the Highlands.
Duffy was particularly pleased with the second-half performance and has called on his team to maintain that form as they look to address that Challenge Cup exit in today’s Ladbrokes Championship encounter.
Jim Duffy told gmfc.net: “Davie Hopkin’s team were terrific and fully deserved to win that game, no doubt about it, so we know what to expect in terms of their commitment and style of play.
“They are very disciplined and understand their roles in the team, which I think is one of their key strengths.
“You always look at each game individually. There is familiarity, of course, but you look at it in isolation as the next game on the calendar.
“However, there are certain elements of the last game that are fresh in your mind, particularly if you don’t do well. You obviously want to try and redress the balance.
“First and foremost, we need to put in a better performance. We need to make sure we’re a lot better and to move the ball a lot quicker than we did in that game.
“Last week, we went up north to Inverness Caledonian Thistle and came back from a notoriously difficult venue with a point.
“We were much more like ourselves in the second half. We were very resilient at the back, created a good number of chances, and finished the game positively.
“Other than a few counter-attacks, we dominated the second half and I suppose when you finish strong, you’re always a little bit frustrated you didn’t get three points.
“But on the balance of play over 90 minutes a draw was a fair result – and a decent result up in Inverness against a side who, let’s not forget, were in the Premiership last year.
“So if we can take that momentum and energy into today’s game then we’ll give ourselves a good chance of getting all three points.”
Captain Lee Kilday is out with a long-term ankle injury. However, fellow defender Darren Barr made his comeback in Tuesday night’s Under-20s fixture against Ayr United and, barring any ill effects, will be available today.
Scott Tiffoney (virus) and Jack Iredale (precaution due to diabetes) were both left out of the squad for that Development League West match at Somerset Park but should return to the matchday squad this afternoon.
Livingston gaffer David Hopkin is a well-known face here at Cappielow having started and finished his playing career with the club, as well as serving on the coaching staff as Under-20s boss, assistant manager, and interim manager.
Tue 1 Mar 2016: Livingston 0-0 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 9 Apr 2016: Morton 2-1 Livingston (Ladbrokes Championship)
Tue 5 July 2016: Livingston 2-2 Morton (Pre-season Friendly)
Tue 15 Aug 2017: Morton 0-2 Livingston (Irn-Bru Cup, first round)
Last Time Out
Morton were brought back down to Earth with a bump after suffering a disappointing 2-0 loss to Livington in the Irn-Bru Cup 11 days ago.
Following a 4-1 league success against rivals St Mirren on the Saturday, goals from Nikolay Todorov and Danny Mullen saw Ton fall at the first hurdle and exit the competition.
The night was succinctly summed up when, after successfully converting two penalties against the Saints, Michael Tidser crashed a spot-kick against the crossbar in the closing stages.
Referee: Euan Anderson
Assistant one: Brian Templeton
Assistant two: Kevin McElhinney
Full entry arrangements and admission prices for this afternoon’s Ladbrokes Championsip clash can be found by clicking here.
Image: Gary Bradley