St. Johnstone 3-0 Morton
Booth (4), Davidson (57), May (74)
By Ewan Boyle
Morton’s 2019/20 William Hill Scottish Cup run came to an end on Saturday after what was a flattering 3-0 victory for St. Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.
This was the Saints’ first game back since the winter break with their previous victory being a 1-1 draw at home to Ross County.
For the Ton, it was their second round of this season’s cup in which they have participated and a 3-1 victory after a replay against Brora Rangers saw the team progress into the round where a game against St. Johnstone was on the cards.
Prior to the match, it was a chance for both sets of fans to join in silence and remember a Scottish football legend, Bobby Burns, who was famous for victories such as masterminding a win away at the then-world champions England when in charge of Scotland.
As the whistle was blown for the start of the match, the Ton fans were in full voice as the Saints kicked the game off.
It was a quick start for St. Johnstone who were able to take the lead on 4 minutes when a near-unstoppable shot from Callum Booth sailed into the top corner and put the home team ahead in the match.
But it was nearly a quick reply from the Cappielow side when an exceptional piece of passing play from the Ton gave Luca Colville a chance from just inside the box which he attempted to curl in but the ball went over the bar and out for a goal kick.
Lewis Strapp was unable to control his shot towards goal on 11 minutes when the youngster’s effort just trickled past the post.
Morton goalkeeper Danny Rogers did pull off a great save on 16 minutes when a block from Lewis Strapp looked to have been deflecting and looping over Rogers but the goalkeeper got a hand to it and palmed it over for a corner.
The Ton earned themselves another chance on 24 minutes as they continued to pressure for an equaliser when a corner from Nicky Cadden was swung in the box to find Stephen Welsh who just couldn’t direct the ball towards goal.
Luca Colville was unlucky not to find a teammate on 32 minutes when another one of his great crosses couldn’t find the head of one of his fellow players to knock it home.
But an agonisingly close chance for Morton came shortly after on 34 minutes when a rocket of a shot from Nicky Cadden is saved by Zander Clark and looks to have been dropping for the waiting Reghan Tumilty but the ball hits off his leg and is eventually cleared from danger.
The pressing from Morton just kept on coming as a ball over the top of the Saints’ defence on 36 minutes was just inches too far for the team as Robbie Muirhead was able to get his head to the ball.
As the half-time whistle was blown, Morton would have felt they deserved at least one goal in that first half as the Saints led going into the second half.
A delay of 10 minutes for the start of the second half after a complete failure of all the floodlights in the stadium however this fault was fixed within this time.
Reghan Tumilty was able to send a powerful header towards goal on 53 minutes from just outside the box but Zander Clark grasped the ball and cleared it away from danger.
It wasn’t long after this chance when St. Johnstone doubled their lead as a corner into the box was met by the head of Murray Davidson who was able to send it home to give the Saints their second of the day on 57 minutes.
A corner on 71 minutes almost resulted in a goal as the corner was initially cleared but collected by Murray Davidson who was able to play a pass into the box which found a teammate however the effort on goal was denied by a great reaction stop by Danny Rogers.
The Saints would eventually get their third of the day on 84 minutes when a pass through to Stevie May gave him the perfect opportunity to chip the ball over the goalkeeper in what was near enough the final chance of the match.
Despite continued pressure from Morton and an array of chances in favour of the away side, the flattering result of 3-0 would have been the eventual score and the Ton will feel that the score does not accurately portray how they played in the match.
3. Welsh 4. McLean 30. Baird 16. Strapp
2. Tumilty 8. McAlister (c) 6. Jacobs 29. Colville 19. Cadden
Subs used: 21. John Sutton (for Welsh, 66), 7. Chris Millar (for Colville, 72), 17. Reece Lyon (for Muirhead, 80)
Subs not used: 5. Grant, 12. Orsi, 18. Blues, 1. Ramsbottom
St. Johnstone (442): Clark, Ralston (Duffy, 77), Gordon, Kerr (c), Booth, Wright, Davidson, McCann, Wotherspoon (Tanser, 82), Kane, May (Hendry, 82)
Subs not used: Parish, O’Halloran, Holt, Craig
Referee: Nick Walsh
⭐️ Star Man: Robbie Muirhead
image: Gary Bradley