Match Preview: St Mirren



MORTON versus St Mirren

  Tuesday 2 January 2018

Cappielow Park, Greenock

Live on BBC Alba

Kick-off 3pm


Match Preview

Both Morton and St Mirren have an opportunity to begin 2018 in the best possible way – with a derby day victory when the county rivals face off at Cappielow in tomorrow’s traditional New Year clash.

First-footing Saints will arrive in Greenock as Ladbrokes Championship league leaders – a position they strengthened by beating second-placed Dundee United on Friday night.

Greenock-born Lewis Morgan is undoubtedly Jack Ross’s star man. The in-demand winger made the difference against the Tangerines, scoring both goals, and is a player Ton will need to keep in check.

But Jim Duffy’s side have no reason to head into the meeting nursing any feelings of trepidation having enjoyed positive results in the two head-to-head meetings this term.

Back in August, in their second league outing of the campaign, rampant Morton recorded a resounding 4-1 victory on home turf thanks to a Michael Tidser double and goals from Bob McHugh and Andy Murdoch.

Midfielder Murdoch has developed something of a habit of netting against his local team and also scored a sensational strike in the most recent meeting at the Paisley 2021 Stadium in October.

On that occasion, Ton demonstrated tremendous resilience to twice fight back from behind to take a share of the spoils on enemy territory.

Ian McShane opened the scoring with a penalty in the 67th minute – to which Murdoch responded with a screamer to draw his side level within 60 seconds.

Gavin Reilly fired the hosts back in front and brought Ton down to earth, but former Saint Gary Harkins sparked wild scenes of celebration in the away end again when he converted a cool spot-kick to take a point.

But it is an oft-uttered cliche that when it comes to a derby the form book and results in recent meetings go out the window and it, quite simply, comes down to which side is better on the day.

And based on manager Duffy’s recent words, you can be sure that a primed and fired up Ton squad will be going all out to make sure it’s them.

Manager’s Thoughts

Jim Duffy told “We begin 2018 with a derby against St Mirren. There seems to be an extra focus and spotlight on the New Year derby that gives the game an extra edge.

“I think from the point of view of the players and the supporters it is naturally the game that they look forward to more than any other.

“The BBC Alba cameras will be there and it’s always good to get that spotlight on the division. From our perspective, you want the players to put on a show anyway, but the cameras always add that bit to the game.

“As a manager it makes no difference whether it’s 1 January, 2 January, the first game of the season or the last game of the season: you prepare the game as you would normally.

“St Mirren have been one of the most consistent sides in the league this season, scoring a terrific number of goals.

“It has maybe taken them a couple of seasons to find their feet in the division, but they have certainly done that now.

“But we have enjoyed good games against them so far this season – winning 4-1 and drawing 2-2 away from home – and hopefully if we get the right performance we can enjoy another one on Tuesday.

“Like every derby match, there will be a real intensity about the 90 minutes and we need to make sure we do our jobs and don’t get caught up in the atmosphere and the pace of the game.

“The players need to keep clear heads and play to their capabilities, and if we do that, as I’ve mentioned many times – be it against St Mirren or anyone else – we can get a positive result.”

To read the gaffer’s interview in full, click here.

Team News.

Long-term absentee Lee Kilday and goalkeeper Jamie McGowan remain sidelined, as does Ross Forbes due to inlammation of the knee.

Defender Ricki Lamie is back in the frame after serving a one-match suspension, due to an accumulation of bookings, in the match against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Jack Iredale could make the match squad after his loan deal with Queen’s Park – the last game of which he marked with his first senior goal and a man of the match display against Albion Rovers – expired today.

Celtic goalkeeper Ross Doohan and Falkirk’s Luca Gasparotto are both available for the derby, but the fixture is the last scheduled during the duration of their respective loan deals.

Current Connections

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

In-form Gary Harkins spent the 2013/14 season on St Mirren’s books, making 17 appearances and scoring two goals before spending the second half of the campaign on loan at English League One outfit Oldham Athletic.

Recent Meetings

Sat 31 Dec 2016: St Mirren 1-1 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Tue 11 Apr 2017: Morton 1-4 St Mirren (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 12 Aug 2017: Morton 4-1 St Mirren (Ladbrokes Championship)

Sat 28 Oct 2017:  St Mirren 2-2 Morton (Ladbrokes Championship)

Last Time Out

Morton fought back from behind twice to claim a 2-2 draw and end league leaders St Mirren’s 100 per cent home record in October’s Renfrewshire derby at the Paisley 2021 Stadium.

Following a relatively uneventful first half, the game exploded into life after the break with four goals scored in the space 12 pulsating minutes.

Ian McShane opened the scoring with a penalty in the 67th minute – to which Andy Murdoch responded with a screamer of a strike to draw his side level within 60 seconds.

Gavin Reilly fired the hosts back in front and brought Ton down to earth, but former Saint Gary Harkins sparked wild scenes of celebration in the away end again when he converted a cool spot-kick to take a point.

The draw stretched the Sinclair Street side’s unbeaten run to three matches, following a 1-0 win at Brechin City and the 1-1 home draw with Dumbarton.


Referee: Kevin Clancy

Assistant one: Ralph Gordon

Assistant two: Daniel McFarlane

Supporters Notes

We would like to urge all supporters to please come along to the ground to purchase or collect match tickets as early as possible tomorrow, with the ticket office open from the earlier time of 9am.

Any fixture against our local rivals is guaranteed to be busy, but with a larger than usual crowd anticipated combined with Sinclair Street having to remain open means this advice takes on extra significance.

Fans arriving early will reduce queues both at the ticket office and the turnstiles and ensure speedier entry to the ground for everyone ahead of kick off.

Match tickets can also be purchased online at or by calling the club on 01475 723571.

The fixture can also be pre-loaded onto fan cards at any time on Interstadia’s dedicated club website,


Tickets purchased after 1pm on a matchday are priced at:

Adults – £20*
Concessions – £15
Children aged 12-16 – £5
Children under 12^ – Free

*£2 from each adult admission will be invested directly into our youth development programme.

^ Children under 12 who do not have a season card or fan card will be required to collect a match ticket from our ticket office on the day of the game and must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

However, fans who purchase tickets in advance – prior to 1pm on matchday – will enjoy a £2 discount on the adult ticket price:

Adults – £18
Concessions – £15
Children aged 12-16 – £5
Children under 12^ – Free

Sinclair Street

Please see the following links for important details with regards to Sinclair Street remaining open to traffic before and after matches going forward.

Important car park and traffic information

Important safety advice for entering and exiting Cappielow on matchdays

Away Fans

Due to severe weather conditions and festive opening hours, the board of directors have taken the decision to offer St Mirren supporters a cash gate at tomorrow’s derby. Full details here.

Police Scotland are looking to advise St Mirren fans travelling to Cappielow that there will be a limited Scotrail train service which may impact on travel times and that fans should plan for.

Police Scotland have been in dialogue with Scotrail due to the limited service but can confirm that at this time there will only be the following services to Paisley directly after the match: 4.49pm; 5.54pm.

Police Scotland urges fans to consider the limited availability of trains when making travel plans.


Image: Gary Bradley