Match Preview: St Mirren


St Mirren versus MORTON

Saturday 31 December 2016

Paisley 2021 Stadium, Paisley

Kick-off 3pm

Match Preview

There couldn’t be a better way to end the year than by getting one over on your arch rivals in a derby match hours before the Hogmanay celebrations get underway.

That is an opportunity presented to both Morton and St Mirren when the clubs clash at the Paisley 2021 Stadium later today in what is their third meeting of the campaign.

Jim Duffy’s men came out on top in the most recent Renfrewshire derby, winning 3-1 at Cappielow in November to finally end a 17-year wait to taste success against the Saints.

They will be looking to repeat the feat and retain local bragging rights, as well as keeping themselves in third place heading into 2017, when they make the short journey to Paisley this afternoon.

Jack Ross’s side, on the other hand, will be out for revenge after losing in Greenock last time out, and three points would be a valuable boost in their bid to climb off the bottom of the Ladbrokes Championship.

Manager’s Thoughts

Jim Duffy told “We want to try and finish the year on a high against St Mirren. It’s an important match for the fans and important the players try and continue their form. We go to Paisley with a real positive mentality.

“It’s a really tough derby match and the quality of team and players they’ve got will make it extremely difficult, but last time we did perform very well.

“We probably deserved maybe a victory on more than one occasion over the last four or five derby matches, so we were probably due it, and we have to try and build on that again. If we can get another victory that would be terrific.

“But St Mirren have improved under Jack; there’s no doubt about it. He’s now brought in his own style. He’s got a couple of younger boys in the middle of the pitch and he’s slightly changed it and the top end and the back.

“So he’s started to put his stamp on the team, and I know last week up at Dundee United, they were very unfortunate not to get something from the game. And before that they had taken seven out of nine.

“They’ve definitely improved since our previous encounter, but as I said, I can only concern myself with how we play and what we’ve got to do is make sure we have the same desire as we’ve had in the other matches.”

Team News

It has been confirmed that striker Jai Quitongo will require surgery on his knee and faces a significant number of weeks on the sidelines, while Conor Pepper is still out with a long-standing knee problem of his own.

Goalkeeper Derek Gaston is back in contention after missing last week’s win over Queen of the South due to illness, as is Kudus Oyenuga, who is over a hamstring problem.

Current Connections

Development squad goalkeeper Jamie McGowan and forwards Jon Scullion and Thomas Orr all came through the Saints youth ranks while Mark Russell and Scott Tiffoney started out at St Mirren Boys’ Club.

Paisley defender Jason Naismith made three starts and four substitute appearances during a six-month loan stint at Cappielow in season 2012/13. Meanwhile, former Ton forward Stefan McCluskey is training with the Saints.

Recent Meetings

Sat 2 Jan 2016: Morton 0-1 St Mirren (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 16 Apr 2016: St Mirren 3-1 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 6 Aug 2016:  St Mirren 1-1 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Tue 1 Nov 2016: Morton 3-1 St Mirren (Ladbrokes Championship)

Last Time Out

After 17 years of agony, Morton recorded a long-awaited Renfrewshire derby win with a dominant display at Cappielow in November.

You had to go back to the last millennium, 10 April 1999 to be precise, for the Ton’s last competitive victory over St Mirren but goals from Thomas O’Ware, Ross Forbes, and Gary Oliver ended the hoodoo in style.


Referee: Nick Walsh

Assistant one: Kylie McMullan

Assistant two: Calum Spence

Supporters Notes

The match is all ticket but briefs will be on sale outside the North Stand from 1pm:

Adult – £20
Concession – £10
Child under 12 – £5

Image: David Bell