Match Report: Morton U-20s 0-1 Stranraer U-20s


Greenock_Morton_FC_logo Morton Under-20s 0 – 1 Stranraer Under-20s

     Holland (29 pen)


Morton Under-20s suffered their first home loss of the Development League West season after Stranraer recorded a surprise 1-0 win at Cappielow last night.

The Blues, coached by ex-Ton defender David MacGregor, have been in decent from on their travels and left Greenock with maximum points thanks to Jai Holland’s first-half penalty.

Darren Barr’s side came into the fixture off the back of a fantastic 5-1 win away at Airdrie, and he made three changes to the team that defeated the Diamonds.

Lewis Strapp, making his first 20s appearance since joining Elgin City on loan, came in for Cameron Hayes, while Jack Purdue replaced Scott Tiffoney in the side

The third and final switch saw Nathan Durham drop out and 15-year-old centre-half Ben Docherty make his first start after last week’s substitute debut at Airdrie.

There was also a second successive start for striker Alexander Easdale, and he was involved in a smart exchange with Ben Armour to carve Stranraer open.

Home bow … Defender Ben Docherty made his first start for the Under-20s                     © Gary Bradley

Armour, who was deployed on the right-hand side of midfield, fizzed over a low cross that a visiting defender did superbly well to clear with Purdue ready to pounce.

Ton were on top in the first 30 minutes, and Blair Docherty, big brother of defender Ben, forced a fine save from goalkeeper Max Currie with a powerful drive produced on the stretch.

Despite their command of the opening third of the contest, the hosts fell behind on 29 minutes from a penalty awarded when Ben Docherty, who was otherwise assured throughout, was adjudged to have tripped Holland.

The Stranraer No.9 took charge from 12 yards and stroked the spot-kick down the middle, while goalkeeper Jamie McGowan dived to his right.

Purdue was proving a threat and he will feel he should have equalised on 34 minutes when he manufactured an opening with a sublime first touch that scooped a Darren Hynes pass round the last man.

It sent the attacking midfielder scampering through on goal; he slowed to pull the trigger and elected to go for power, screwing an angled drive inches wide of the left-hand upright.

The 17-year-old did hit the target with a low free-kick shortly afterwards, but keeper Currie did well to claw clear down to his right.

Marching orders … A surprised Blair Docherty is sent off at the death                         © Gary Bradley

Yet it required an incredible reaction stop from McGowan, diverting Cameron Elliot’s close-range shot around the post with his feet, to prevent his side from going in at the break trailing by two goals.

That save and another from a Chris McGowan piledriver early in the second half kept the game alive, and Ton stepped up their search for an equaliser at the midway point.

Substitute Scott Miller went closest to restoring parity, bending a brilliant looping shot over Currie only to see it rebound off the inside of the left post and bounce agonisingly along the line and out into play.

The leveller would ultimately prove elusive, and an exclamation mark was put on a disappointing result when Blair Docherty was shown a straight red card in the third minute of stoppage time.

Midfielder Docherty appeared to be frustrated after he had been nutmegged and turned and committed to a forceful challenge right on the touchline in front of the dugouts.

Barr and Craig McPherson were angered by the decision, to which whistler Stephen Brown responded by stating that the dismissal was due to the challenge endangering the Stranraer player.


Morton (4411)

1. McGowan
2. Hynes 4. Ben Docherty 5. Langan (c) 3. Strapp
7. Armour 6. Eardley 8. Lyon 11. Blair Docherty
10. Purdue
9. Easdale

Subs used: 16. Miller (for Easdale, 64), 15. Hayes (for Strapp, 64), and 14. Duffy (for Eardley, 78).

Subs not used: 12. Anderson, 17. Durham, 20. Carracher

Sent Off: Blair Docherty (90+3).

Referee: Stephen Brown


Image (main): Ross Cameron

Images (inset): Gary Bradley (Full Gallery)