Morton 2-0 Queen of the South
Orsi (41, 77)
by Brendan McEleny
Greenock Morton provided the perfect Christmas gift this afternoon as they ran out deserved 2-0 winners against Queen of the South in the Scottish Championship at Cappielow Park.
Interim manager Anton McElhone made just one change to the side that won against Dunfermline Athletic last week with Michael Ledger returning to the squad to replace the injured Kyle Jacobs.
The visitors had the first real chance of the game on 18 minutes when Aidan McAdams denied James Maxwell after the defender met an in-swinging free-kick with his head.
McAdams was called into action again a few minutes later, pulling off a strong save from a low driven shot by Aidan Fitzpatrick. The ‘Ton shot stopper could not get the ball in his grips and it fell to Thomas Goss who tapped it in over the line from a few yards out but the linesman raised his flag for offside.
Up the other end of the park’ the ‘Ton had their first chance to break the deadlock on 37 minutes from a free-kick around 20 yards out. Robbie Muirhead stepped up and shot straight at goalkeeper Rohan Ferguson who comfortably collected into his hands.
What was looking like a very eventless first half sprang to life on 41 minutes as the Sinclair Street side’s patience paid off with a well worked goal. Cameron Salkeld showed tremendous strength to reclaim possession on the halfway line and passed the ball into the feet of Josh McPake who danced around two defenders before pulling the trigger on an effort which Ferguson parried out. The loose ball fell to the feet of Salkeld who snapped a shot towards the Doonahmers’ keeper who again made another great save to keep the score level. It was third time lucky though as the ball rebounded back out to Kalvin Orsi who managed to smash the ball through a number of players and into the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Queens came out in the second half looking for that important equaliser and they came close on 50 minutes when Euan East tried his luck from outside the box but McAdams was quick to remove any danger with a solid save to his right.
Orsi nearly had his second goal of the game on 56 minutes after getting on the end of a great long pass up the pitch by Lewis Strapp but the forward, despite beating Gregor Buchanan one on one, couldn’t test Ferguson and his effort went straight into the keeper’s hands.
The ‘Ton continued to search for a crucial second and Josh McPake tried his luck from around 25 yards out on 58 minutes but his effort sailed over the crossbar.
A massive chance for Queens to get level came on 73 minutes after a Rhys McCabe free-kick struck the crossbar which nearly came down over the goal line.
Aidan McAdams made a sensational save a few minutes later to deny Fitzpatrick after the forward was on the receiving end of a cross into the box however the ‘Ton custodian heroically leaped to his right and stopped the ball with his right hand.
The Greenock side maintained their composure and ensured the game was put to bed on 77 minutes when Kalvin Orsi grabbed his well-deserved second of the game. The forward headed home from a few yards out after a perfectly placed cross into the box by Robbie Muirhead.
A terrific result and performance from the players confirmed back-to-back wins as the ‘Ton leapfrogged into 3rd position before their Boxing Day clash against Inverness C.T.
Ledger McLean McGinty Strapp
Salkeld McPake Muirhead
Subs used: 10. Aidan Nesbitt (for Cameron Salkeld, 66), 21. Rabin Omar (for Jim McAlister, 69), 11. Gary Oliver (for Josh McPake, 78)
Unused Subs: Fjørtoft, Nesbitt, McGuffie, Colville, Maciver
Queen of the South: Ferguson, Maxwell, Obileye, Buchanan, Gibson, McCabe, Nortey, Shields, Dobbie (Fitzpatrick, 16), East, Goss (Pybus, 60)
Unused Subs: Leighfield, McKee, Robinson, Joseph, McKechnie
Booked: McCabe (36), Ferguson (42), Fitzpatrick (79)
Referee: Colin Steven
Man of the Match: Kalvin Orsi
Match Sponsor: The Morton Forum
Ball Sponsor: Paul & Laura Robinson
Safe Pair of Hands Sponsor: Rory Love
Image: David Bell