Shankland (1,5,56), McMullan (41,80), Chalmers (84)
By Ewan Boyle
Morton were put to the sword against Dundee United on Saturday as they suffered an eye opening 6-0 defeat which included a Lawrence Shankland masterclass.
The Ton had their work cut out for them within the first minute of the game. Former Ton loanee Paul McMullan played a low-driven cross into the box which Peter Grant failed to clear from danger and Lawrence Shankland wad quick to pounce and slot a simple finish past the Danny Rogers to give United the lead.
But before Morton could react to the early goal, Dundee United had doubled their lead and it was the in-form frontman Lawrence Shankland who got the goal on 5 minutes as Peter Pawlett sent a pass across goal from the left side of the box and found the unmarked Shankland who finished it off with ease.
Shankland almost got his third goal of the game to complete his hat trick on 14 minutes as a lobbed pass over to the striker allowed for him to execute an effort from outside of the box however Danny Rogers was able to comfortably save the shot.
Peter Pawlett tried his luck at getting on the scoresheet on 26 minutes as he dribbled into the box and shoot from a tight angle towards goal. Ton shot stopper Rogers was forced into action again, playing the ball out for a corner.
Morton’s first big chance of the game on 32 minutes as Stephen Welsh had a pop from 25 yards out but it deflected to the feet of Nicky Cadden who’s effort on goal smashed off the side netting however the referee had his flag up for offside as the Ton continued their hunt for a goal.
Just as half time was approaching, United furthered their lead as Paul McMullan got his first of the day on 41 minutes as a long ball over the top of the defence saw McMullan sprint towards goal and finish his chance beyond the goalkeeper for United’s third of the day.
Manager David Hopkin made a double substitution at the half time interval with John Sutton and Chris Millar making way for Luca Colville and Cameron Blues as the Ton hoped to get back into the game.
They looked as though they were showing positive signs at the start of the second half as Bob McHugh made his way into the oppostion box and rifled an effort at goal which Benjamin Siegrist was able to save and clear from danger.
It looked like Robbie Neilson’s side had scored their fourth on 54 minutes as a cross in the box was chested in the air by Shankland and the striker’s overhead kick sailed over Danny Rogers and into the net. However the assistant referee had his flag up for offside and the impressive effort was disallowed.
The inevitable hat trick was complete on 56 minutes as Shankland made a run from the half way line and knocked the ball past Jack Baird before striking a shot from the left side of the box past Rogers.
The day went from bad to worse on 80 minutes as Paul McMullan scored his second of the game when his effort from a tight angle was able to slot underneath the goalkeeper’s legs and into the net to continue United’s dominance throughout the match.
Dundee United then scored their final goal of the game on 84 minutes as a cross to the back post from Paul McMullan found substitute Logan Chalmers who was able to header the ball home from around 3 yards out.
This result sees Morton slip out of the playoff places and the Ton will be hoping to learn from the defeat and overcome it at Cappielow on Saturday against Dunfermline.
3. Welsh 30. Baird 5. Grant 16. Strapp
17. Lyon 7. Millar 8. McAlister (c) 19. Cadden
11. McHugh 21. Sutton
Subs used: 16. Cameron Blues (for Millar, 45), 29. Luca Colville (for Sutton, 45), 32. Billy King (for Lyon, 77)
Subs not used: 1. Ramsbottom (gk), 4. McLean, 9. Muirhead, 14. Salkeld
Booked: Strapp (65)
Dundee United (4231): Siegrist; Watson, Brown, Reynolds (c), Smith, Butcher (Stanton, 63), Harkes, McMullan, Pawlett (Chalmers, 71), Sporle, Shankland (for Appere)
Subs not used: Smith, Mehmet, King, Graham
Booked: Watson (40)
Referee: Alan Muir
Attendance: 7,404 (354 away fans)