MORTON versus Ross County
Friday 4 January 2019
Cappielow Park, Greenock
Live on BBC Alba
Morton and Ross County take centre stage tonight as they contest the first SPFL fixture of 2019 in front of the BBC Alba cameras at Cappielow.
Ladbrokes Championship league leaders County are our first foots and arrive in Greenock on an unbeaten run that has seen them win four and draw two of their last six league outings.
Ton, though, have already proven they are capable of besting the title favourites on home turf having inflicted a 2-1 defeat on the Staggies back in August – one of only two league losses this term.
As well as drawing inspiration from that meeting, the pursuit of a positive result will be fuelled by a desire to prove they are better than the 5-0 thrashing suffered in the return fixture in Dingwall last October.
Jonatan Johansson’s side are in a positive frame of mind following last weekend’s 2-1 win over Partick Thistle, and the Morton boss believes his players can shine under the spotlight this evening.
Gaffer Johansson expects to still be without injured pair Denny Johnstone and Gary Oliver but Jack Iredale made a surprise appearance off the bench at Partick Thistle last weekend and is back in contention.
Michael Tidser and Kerr Waddell are both available again after serving one-match suspensions, as are Lewis Strapp and Ruaridh Langan after returning from loan spells with Annan Athletic.
Livingston loan winger Scott Tiffoney plays the last match of his temporary loan stint against the Staggies, and although the Ton boss is keen to extend his stay, no agreement has been reached as yet. Ross MacLean has left the club.
Morton Milestones and Significant Stats
2 – Scott Tiffoney has scored in successive matches, netting in the 2-1 loss to Inverness and the 2-1 win at Partick.
3 – Charlie Telfer scored his third goal of the season to earn Ton all three points against Partick Thistle.
6 – Morton ended a run of six matches without a league win by beating the Jags last Saturday.
7 – The Ton had failed to open the scoring in seven league matches before taking the lead at Firhill.
8 – Striker McHugh is Morton’s top scorer this term with eight goals in 19 starts and six substitute appearances.
10 – Midfielder Michael Tidser is Morton’s top creator with 10 direct assists in 24 starts.
2019 – Tonight’s Ladbrokes Championship encounter is the first competitive senior fixture played in Scotland this year.
Midfielder Michael Tidser spent part of the 2013/14 season on loan with the Staggies, making 16 starts in the Scottish Premiership, while summer signing Reghan Tumilty joined the Ton following two years in Dingwall.
County can count four former Morton players amongst their squad in Michael Gardyne and Brian Graham, who misses out through suspension, and more recent ex-Ton loan stars Declan McManus and Jamie Lindsay.
Head to Head
Tue 13 Mar 2012: Ross County 2-2 Morton (First Division)
Sat 21 Apr 2012: Morton 1-1 Ross County (First Division)
Sat 25 Aug 2018: Morton 2-1 Ross County (Ladbrokes Championship)
Sat 27 Oct 2018: Ross County 5-0 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)
Last Time Round
Morton went down to a heavy defeat in the Highlands at the end of October as Billy McKay helped himself to a hat-trick in Ladbrokes Championship league leaders Ross County’s 5-0 win at the Global Energy Stadium.
The Northern Ireland international opened the scoring after nine minutes with an expertly executed finish before profiting from poor defending to add two more either side of the interval and complete his treble.
Davis Keillor-Dunn danced through the Ton defence to add a fourth on 57 minutes before substitute Brian Graham capped a miserable afternoon in a bitterly cold Dingwall by converting an injury-time penalty.
What made the outcome surprising was the fact Johansson’s side had not only picked up a creditable point in the Highlands weeks earlier by drawing with Inverness Caley but also beat Falkirk in their previous outing.
Referee: Willie Collum
Assistant one: Sean Carr
Assistant two: Jonathan Bell
Fourth official: Craig Napier
Admission prices are:
Adult | Fan Card: £18, Ticket: £20
Concession (Over 65, Student, and Under 21s) | Fan Card: £13, Ticket: £15
Child (12 – 17)^ | Fan Card: £5, Ticket: £5
Child (Under-12)* | Fan Card: £0, Ticket: £1
^Proof of entitlement must be provided for concessionary tickets, while proof of age is required for children between 12 and 17 and those between 18 and 20.
*Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Please note, prices apply irrespective of the day or time of purchase.
Supporters are asked to purchase in advance where possible in order to avoid excessive queues at the ticket office on a matchday.
Briefs can still be bought from the following outlets:
Cappielow – 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm
Smiths of Greenock – During opening hours, 9am – 5.30pm
Sinclair Street ticket office – Saturday matchdays from 5pm to 7.45pm
Tickets can also be purchased in advance online at www.gmfctickets.co.uk or by calling the club on 01475 723571. These can be collected at the ticket office on matchday.
All home fixtures are also available to be pre-loaded onto fan cards via Interstadia’s dedicated club website, www.gmfctickets.co.uk.
Image: Gary Bradley