Russell (69), Oyenuga (75)
Morton moved up to third in the Ladbrokes Championship this afternoon with an impressive 2-0 win away at Dumbarton that stretched their unbeaten run to six league matches.
With Raith Rovers inactive, the Ton were presented with an opportunity to leapfrog the Kirkcaldy outfit in the table, and it was one that they grasped thanks to second-half goals from Mark Russell and Kudus Oyenuga.
The first half was almost entirely dominated by the visitors, who absolutely bossed proceedings and monopolised possession of the football but without creating much in the way of goalscoring opportunities.
Their best effort of the opening 45 was one of Andy Murdoch’s own making when, on 20 minutes, the dynamic midfielder burst forward to win a second ball before surging forward and shooting from 25 yards, forcing a smart save from Alan Martin.
Gary Oliver also went close when he accepted a Jamie Lindsay pass in to feet, feigned to shot on his right but span round onto his left and attempted to place a cute placed finish into the bottom corner only to see it slip narrowly wide.
Dumbarton, set up in a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Mark Docherty sat protecting the back four, were content to camp in and look to frustrate the in-form visitors.
Yet they came close to snatching an undeserved lead right on the cusp of half-time, Sam Stanton breaking forward on the counter and just clearing Derek Gaston’s crossbar with a swept shot from the edge of the area.
Despite going in at the break level, there was still a calmness about the Ton, a peace of mind and serenity that if they kept calm the goal would come.
But with that being said, they certainly stepped it up a level in the second half, while injuries to sitting midfielder Docherty and central defender Frazer Wright also perhaps upset the hosts’ gameplan.
Dumbarton goalkeeper Alan Martin, who was later voted sponsors’ man of the match by the Sons Trust, was required to keep them in the game.
The former Leeds United and Scotland Under-21 shot-stopper produced a fine two-handed stop to claw clear a powerful Oliver angled drive in before then plunging intercept the frontman’s pull-back for strike-partner Oyenuga in what was a crucial intervention.
He also scrambled down low to his left to push clear a swerving drive from Russell from 22 yards – but there was nothing he could do to keep out the same player when he tried his luck from an almost identical position on 69 minutes.
Russell – deployed one forward at left midfield with Ricki Lamie behind him at left-back – treated the first attempt as a sighter and caught the follow up sweet as a nut, lasering the ball into the bottom-right corner to break the deadlock.
His virtuoso approach play is also worth further detail, with the 20-year-old expertly shifting inside a challenge off the flank, skating infield and bamboozling a defender by shifting back onto his favoured left side before letting fly with a piercing drive.
Oliver should have doubled their advantage shortly thereafter when he breezed into the box, but he saw his low shot parried and then skewed his rebound wide.
However, the former Queen of the South forward would play a key role in wrapping up the win with a measured assist for Oyenuga on 75 minutes.
With goalkeeper Martin prone after racing out to block on the edge of his box, Murdoch and then Oliver were both coolness personified as the former shifted a pass to the latter before he in turn slipped the ball to the team-mate immediately to his left.
It was the Ton No.9, who started up top with Jai Quitongo struggling with a hamstring injury suffered on international duty with Scotland Under-21s, wrapped his left foot around the ball to whip it past the man on the line and inside the right-hand upright.
Oyenuga lapped up the goal, wheeling around in delight to celebrate right in front of a sizeable travelling support that hailed the hitman with the chant of ‘Kudus! Kudus! Kudus!’ safe in the knowledge three points and third place were now safely in the bag.
18. McDonagh 4. O’Ware (c) 5. Gunning 3. Lamie
8. Forbes 21. Murdoch 10. Lindsay 17. Russell
9. Oyenuga 7. Oliver
Subs used: 2. Kilday (for McDonagh, 90), 12. Tidser (for Forbes, 90), and 16. McAleer (for Oyenuga, 90).
Subs not used: 6. Doyle, 14. Scullion, 24. Quitongo, 20. McNeil (gk).
Booked: Lindsay (31).
Dumbarton (4141): Martin; Smith, Buchanan, Wright (Pettigrew, 60), Harvie; Docherty (Todd, 56); Stirling, J. Thomson (McCallum, 71), Stanton, R. Thomson; Fleming.
Subs not used: Stevenson, Ewings (gk).
Booked: Smith (64), Harvie (67).
Referee: Don Robertson
Images: David Bell