MORTON versus Stenhousemuir
Saturday 21 July 2018
Cappielow Park, Greenock
After over an absence of over two and a half months, Morton are back at Cappielow today when they host Stenhousemuir in Betfred Cup Group E.
It has been a summer of change on Sinclair Street since that 3-0 loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the final game of the 2017/18 Ladbrokes Championhip campaign.
A new management team of Ray McKinnon, Darren Taylor, and Graeme Henderson has been installed, and they have worked feverishly to put together a squad after inheriting four signed players.
McKinnon and Co take charge of their first fixture on home turf this afternoon and do so looking for their first win with the club.
Following a goalless draw in a friendly at Forfar, they opened the League Cup section with a 3-1 loss away at Ayr United followed by a 2-1 defeat at Partick Thistle in midweek.
There have, however, been signs of progress at each juncture, particularly during an impressive – and dominant – second half performance at the Energy Check Stadium in midweek.
McKinnon has made it no secret that he has been experimenting in the matches thus far in order to gain a full understanding and appreciation of his player’s capabilities and find the system that suits them best.
But if they can produce a similar display to that which saw them boss the second half against Partick then they should feel confident of kicking off at Cappielow with three points.
Denny Johnstone (knee) and Robert Thomson (hernia) are out until August, while Kerr Waddell is doubtful after suffering a recurrence of a recent ankle injury at Ayr United on Saturday. Kyle Thomson is ineligible.
120 – Lee Kilday could make his 120th appearance for the club.
275 – Jim McAlister could make his 275th appearance for the club.
Defender Lee Kilday enjoyed a short stint on loan at Stenhousemuir in the 2012/13 season, making three Second Division appearances.
Forward Gary Oliver was also farmed out to the Warriors, scoring two goals in 11 starts while on loan from Hearts during the 2014/15 campaign.
Stenny player/assistant manager Colin McMenamin, meanwhile, is a former Cappielow striker. The veteran hitman scored two goals in 11 starts and four substitute appearances for the Ton in 2012/13.
Head to Head
Sat 27 Sep 2014: Stenhousemuir 2-1 Morton (Ladbrokes League One)
Sat 22 Nov 2014: Morton 3-1 Stenhousemuir (Ladbrokes League One)
Sat 10 Jan 2015: Stenhousemuir 2-3 Morton (Ladbrokes League One)
Sat 11 Apr 2015: Morton 3-2 Stenhousemuir (Ladbrokes League One)
Last Time Round
Morton clinched three points in the most dramatic fashion back in April 2015 by scoring three times in the final 12 minutes to turn a 2-0 deficit into a remarkable 3-2 win.
The Ton looked dead and buried and their League One title hopes in tatters with quarter of an hour left to play in their match with ninth-placed Stenhousemuir.
But goals from Peter MacDonald in the 78th minute, Declan McManus in the 87th minute, and Stefan McCluskey in the 90th minute – a bullet header that sparked scenes of celebration that will live long in the memory.
Referee: Colin Steven
Assistant one: Ross Haswell
Assistant two: Blair Fraser
Admission prices are:
Concession (Over 65, Student, and Under 21s): £6
Tickets for our three upcoming Cappielow fixtures are on sale, with supporters asked to purchase in advance where possible in order to avoid excessive queues at the ticket office on a matchday.
Briefs will be available from the following outlets:
Cappielow – During office hours, 9am -12noon and 1pm – 5pm
Smiths of Greenock – During opening hours, 9am – 5.30pm
Sinclair Street ticket office – Saturday matchdays from 11am to 3pm; midweek 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 or posted out, for which there is a £2 charge.
All three home fixtures are also available to be pre-loaded onto fan cards and season cards on Interstadia’s dedicated club website, www.gmfctickets.co.uk.
Prior to kick-off in tomorrow’s Betfred Cup fixture against Stenhousemuir here at Cappielow, there will be a minute’s applause in memory of former chairman Douglas Rae OBE, who sadly passed away on 23 June.
Image: Ross Cameron