Arbroath 1 – 2 Morton
Stewart (23); Sutton (12), Sutton (20)
By Ewan Boyle
Morton kicked off the new decade with a very important 2-1 victory against Arbroath in a result which saw the Ton extend their gap from bottom-placed Alloa Athletic with the Ton also having a game in hand.
The solid performance from the Cappielow side is the second time out of three fixtures this season which has ended in a win for Morton against Dick Campbell’s Arbroath side.
Saturday’s result is also Morton’s third away win from their last four away fixtures and is their second win in a row on the road since the beginning of December.
The Ton pressed right from the start of the match with Luca Colville having the first chance of the game on 2 minutes when he sprinted from around 35 yards out into the opposition box but the shot was held by former Morton goalkeeper Derek Gaston.
In quick succession, Morton had another chance on 7 minutes after skills from Nicky Cadden allowed him to play a pass out to Robbie Muirhead on the left side of the box who played a low-driven cross into John Sutton which went just wide of the post.
It wouldn’t be long before Morton’s attacking finally paid off a great ball from Robbie Muirhead from the left side of the box gave John Sutton the opportunity on 12 minutes to header the ball over Derek Gaston and give the Ton the lead.
A moment of quality from Morton saw them double their lead on 20 minutes when John Sutton was able to hold the ball up to give Robbie Muirhead time to run in the box and collect the pass which he scooped through to Luca Colville for a finish into the back of the net.
Shortly after the Ton doubled their lead, Arbroath were able to claw a goal back on 24 minutes when a cross into the box was met by the head of Scott Stewart who sent a bullet header into the goal to give the Licthies a glimmer of hope.
Luke Donnelly then had an effort for Arbroath on 31 minutes but Danny Rogers was able to stand firm in the centre of his goal and save the effort from the former Morton striker.
Arbroath started the second half with almost an equalising goal for them as an effort from David Gold was blocked before reaching the goal as Morton continued to put in a solid defensive performance.
Miko Virtanen’s effort on goal was blocked also on 54 minutes but it seemed an ambitious effort from distance which was stopped before any danger could occur for the Cappielow side.
Morton had a chance to get a third goal on 60 minutes when Lewis Strapp played a magnificent cross to the back post which found the waiting Robbie Muirhead but the target man was unable to direct his header towards goal.
Nicky Cadden had a very ambitious effort on goal on 66 minutes when he had a free kick from around 30 yards out which was hit very well and proved problematic for Derek Gaston but the shot-stopper was able to knock the ball over the bar and out for a corner.
A sublime save from Danny Rogers kept the game at 2-1 as a header from Thomas O’Brien on 85 minutes looked to have been sailing in to the top right corner of the goal before the Morton goalkeeper denied the effort.
The final chance of the match fell to Arbroath’s Gavin Swankie on 90 minutes when his curled effort from just outside the box narrowly missed the post to the delight of the travelling Ton supporters.
The result sees Morton extend their gap from Alloa Athletic who are 10th in the Ladbrokes Championship and a victory in the Ton’s game in hand will see them go a mere 4 points away from the promotion playoff positions.
6. Jacobs 4. McLean 30. Baird 16. Strapp
19. Cadden 7. Millar 8. McAlister (c) 29. Colville
9. Muirhead 21. Sutton
Subs used: 18. Cameron Blues (for Cadden, 81), 12. Kalvin Orsi (for Millar, 83), 5. Peter Grant (for Sutton, 87)
Subs not used: 10. Nesbitt, 17. Lyon, 28. Livingstone, 1. Ramsbottom
Booked: Jacobs (61)
Arbroath (451): Gaston, Stirling, Little, O’Brien (c), Hamilton, Stewart, Virtanen, Wately (Thomson, 73), Gold (Kader, 77), Linn (Swankie, 72), Donnelly
Subs not used: Spence, Jamieson, Doris, Murphy
Booked: O’Brien (65),
Referee: Greg Aitken
⭐️ Star Man: Brian McLean