No pain, no gain for Ricki

Unlucky Ricki Lamie told how it was in the process of providing the assist for Morton’s third goal that he injured himself against Ayr United on Saturday.

The defender, who scored his first goal for the club in the 1-1 draw with St Mirren on Hogmanay, surged forward and found Gary Oliver with a disguised angled pass, from which the striker converted.

However, it was in finding his team-mate that Lamie felt the twinge in his knee that eventually caused Jim Duffy to replace him with Mark Russell early in the second half.

This was the second time the 23-year-old has been forced off at Somerset Park after a hamstring problem saw him withdrawn in the 21st minute back in September last year.

Yet despite the negative effect of his assist for Oliver at the weekend, the left-back insisted the fact his pass led to a vital third goal meant the pain proved worth it.

He told “Somerset Park has been cursed for me. The last time down there, the 2-1 game, was the time I came off 20 minutes in when my hamstring went.

“Then I managed to get another injury on Saturday, so it’s not been great fortune for myself. I felt my knee in the first half. It was actually at the third goal when I played it inside to Gary and something’s just twinged in my knee.

“I charged forward and was narrow enough to shoot but at the last minute somebody as stepped out and it’s opened up the pass inside. As I rotated my knee to pass it inside something just went at the back of my knee.

“I was worried at first and thought to myself: ‘Surely it can’t be anything serious?’ I tried to run it off and said at half-time. I came out for second half but it had seized up despite getting treatment and I had to call it a day.

“But I iced it, rested up on Sunday and trained this week. So hopefully it’s nothing too serious I’ll be fine for Saturday – and even if I’m not at least the ball ended up in the net and it was good for the cause.”

Goal joy … Ricki joins in the celebrations after Ross Forbes opened the scoring      © Maurice Morwood

There was, however, a stark contrast between the team’s fortunes in Ayr back at the beginning of the season and the return to Somerset Park for their second visit.

And Lamie added: “Ayr is a renowned hard place to go, as we well know, so it was brilliant to pick up the three points. We were expecting to a tough game, so to go ahead early doors and keep adding to it was ideal, especially in the conditions.

“I had it in my head about the last game down there, and it’s amazing how quickly football can change. We lost 2-1 down there earlier in the season but obviously came back and won 4-1.

“The aspect the gaffer was most pleased with was being clinical. We’ve been critical of ourselves for not being clinical enough in front of goal, so it’s always pleasing to go down there and score four goals.

“I doubt there are many teams who’ll do that against Ayr this season, especially down there, and the quality of the goals made it extra pleasing.”

This past weekend’s 4-1 win was the Ton’s biggest of the season since beating Queen of the South 5-0 at Palmerston Park back on Saturday 15 October.

Lamie, though, says that despite the margin of victory in the last meeting, the Sinclair Street side will not be underestimating their opponents when they make their return to Dumfries this coming weekend.

He concluded: “We’re not under any illusions that would be the case again. I’d be amazed myself. I know we’ve obviously got that in us; we showed it again on Saturday that if we’re on it and we’re clinical we can cause anybody bother.

“But for that to happen, for it to be so convincing two in a row down there, I don’t think anybody would do that. Hibs went down and managed to get the job done at the weekend, but it’s never an easy place to go.

“Looking at the form, they’ve obviously picked up in the last two or three weeks and got back to the form they showed at the start of the season.

“So their tails will be up and they’ll be confident but at the same time obviously so will we. I expect it to be a closer affair this time but we’ll still fancy going down there and causing them problems.”


Images: Maurice Morwood