Team Pd GD Pt
1 Dundee 3 2 6
2 Inverness CT 3 3 5
3 Ayr United 3 1 5
4 Queens Park 3 0 4
5 Partick Thistle 3 0 4
6 Morton 3 0 4
7 Hamilton Academical 3 0 3
8 Cove Rangers 3 -2 3
9 Raith Rovers 3 -2 3
10 Arbroath 3 -2 2
Updated: 13th Aug
Friday January 28th 2022

Greenock Morton 2 – 2 Raith Rovers

WEATHER THE WINNER AS RAITH DRAW

Raith took a point amidst driving wind and rain at Cappielow despite having lead at half-time after a Jamie Gullan penalty and a fine strike from Reghan Tumilty had put Rovers’ noses in front following Gozie Ugwu’s first-half strike.

With the strong wind at Morton’s backs in the second half, Raith were required to mount a rearguard action through-out the second period, as strikers Gavin Reilly and Robbie Muirhead missed a series of chances to give the home side the win after Muirhead’s header had pulled the sides level. While Raith are back on the scoring trail after a long barren run, the draw sees Raith lose further ground on their play-off rivals in the Scottish Championship promotion race.

Having secured progress in the Scottish Cup at non-league Banks o’Dee last weekend, manager John McGlynn returned to the conundrum of how to re-open Raith’s goal-scoring account. Jamie Gullan lead the line, ably supported from midfield by Ethan Ross and Ben Williamson. Tom Lang dropped out, with a three-man central defence of Benedictus, Berra, and Musonda allowing Liam Dick and Reghan Tumilty to attack down the flanks. Gullan lured Brandon into a rash booking on only twelve minutes.

Morton had been revitalised with the installation of Dougie Imrie as manager – following a 5-0 goal win over fellow strugglers Dunfermline, Imrie’s side had been victorious at Somerset Park and lost narrowly to Motherwell in the Cup. Gavin Reilly – scorer of both goals against Ayr United – started upfront, with Robbie Muirhead on the bench.

While the conditions didn’t suit flowing football, the home side were first to settle. Reece Lyon looked to sit tight upon Sam Stanton, with Gozie Ugwu engaging Benedictus regularly in the opening stages. Morton pressed high on the Raith defence and midfield, with Rovers unable to string two passes together. The first chance fell to Morton – Strapp dispossessed Gullan, and within seconds Ugwu fired a snap-shot at MacDonald, although the Rovers keeper was equal to it.

With quarter of hour gone, Raith suddenly had a head of steam. A lovely five-man passing move saw Liam Dick work the ball inside via Williamson and Gullan, before Ethan Ross’ goalbound shot was headed clear by Strapp. From the resulting corner, Cameron Blues hacked off the Morton line as Raith were inches from taking the lead.

Rovers suffered a blow midway through the half with the departure through injury of Christophe Berra – the veteran defender having started all but two of Raith’s games this season, but hobbled down the tunnel early here. Tom Lang slotted straight into the centre of defence.

Morton benefitted from the stoppage, taking advantage to regroup, and within a minute the home side took the lead – defender McLean’s snapshot was blocked by MacDonald but Gozie Ugwu finished sharply from the rebound in front of Musonda, peeling away to take the acclaim of his colleagues.

On the half-hour, again Raith had to scramble away Lewis Strapp’s low centre as Morton had numbers forward. The goal had settled the home side after Rovers’ best spell, and highlighted the contrast in each side’s style: Rovers were passing left and right across midfield and out from defence, while Morton attacked directly and quickly as soon as possession was gained. While Morton defenders Lithgow and McLean had time to assess Raith’s slow build-up, Reilly and Ugwu pressed up quickly, harrying Raith’s defensive trio.

Although Rovers’ build-up was often slow, with ten minutes till the break the tempo increased – Benedictus’ inside ball saw Gullan skip away from McLean, and Tumilty was clear down the right flank, the full-back’s fine centre flashing beyond the far post with Ethan Ross inches away from an equaliser.

Raith pressed again – Stanton’s angled drive from a corner was pushed away by keeper Hamilton at full-stretch, the power and whip on the shot causing real problems for the former Scotland squad goalkeeper. Seconds later, another lovely passing move saw Stanton escape behind Ledger, with the full-back’s clumsy challenge giving referee Dickinson no option but to point to the spot. Ledger was booked, with Gullan bursting the net from twelve yards to get Raith back on terms.

Ten minutes of attacking pressure had finally seen a deserved breakthough, and there was clear relief flowing through Rovers’ ranks. Stanton burst through midfield moments later, dissecting McLean and Lithgow with a fine ball allowing Gullan a run, although the Morton defence recovered.

Morton have the poorest home record in the Championship, and within a minute, Raith had their second. It was the visitors’ press which drew the error – Ugwu’s clumsy touch saw the ball break in the Morton rearguard; Gullan challenged Ledger, Tumilty nipped in ahead of McLean, rounded captain Lithgow, and thumped past Hamilton from fully twenty yards. Raith’s character had shone through, and it was the visitors whose momentum carried them to the welcome sanctuary of the dressing-room at the half.

With the swirling rain and breeze at their backs, the home side looked to get numbers forward early, with the words of their manager no doubt ringing in their ears. Brandon burst past Liam Dick to earn a corner, Ugwu held off Lang to feed Reilly, and several corners swung dangerously through MacDonald’s six-yard box – an Ugwu header clasped out of the air by a relieved Raith goalkeeper. At the other end, Stanton dragged a shot wide after fabulous close-control in difficult conditions. Reece Lyon’s free-kick whizzed just over.

Morton scented an equaliser. Brandon’s driven cross beat both Lang and Benedictus, with MacDonald beating Ugwu to the cut-back. With the Raith penalty box full of bodies, Lithgow’s flick was stabbed home by Oliver, only for the linesman’s flag to cut short the home celebrations. With a rare sortie into the Morton half, Jamie Gullan nipped in behind McLean and nearly played in Liam Dick at the far post, with the ball just drifting beyond the Raith full-back.

With the home side pressing, Cup goal-scorer Robbie Muirhead was introduced, with full-back Ledger withdrawn, as Morton moved to a 4-3-3, but the next chance fell to Raith – a nice reverse ball from Stanton saw Gullan fire at goal, with Hamilton’s strong right-hand denying Raith a third. Stanton saw yellow seconds later as an escaping Ugwu was felled on half-way.

The swirling wind continued to be a factor. Blowing straight down the park, Strapp’s long throws were becoming a real issue with Morton packing the box at every opportunity. With fifteen minutes to go, there was joy for the home fans as substitute Muirhead rose highest to flick home another angled Strapp delivery, with MacDonald helpless.

Although Raith looked to have the quality to carve out chances, the conditions saw the play naturally drift toward MacDonald’s goal – numerous crosses and throw-ins produced regular moments of drama around the Raith rearguard. There were shouts of handball, as Benedictus rose to head clear another troubling cross. With ten minutes remaining, it was the home side who looked the more likely. A four-on-three chance went a-begging as Cameron Blues headed over from Reilly’s inch-perfect delivery.

With Matej Poplatnik introduced, Raith began to connect with passes through midfield, but Morton continued to press. Ugwu’s audacious backheel required a sharp save from MacDonald – the Morton striker grinning as his former colleague read his intentions. Reilly’s slide-rule pass saw Muirhead charging through the middle, only for the Raith keeper to charge from his line and clear the danger. With the last of a succession of fine deliveries from wide out, Lewis Strapp’s vicious inswinging cross flew inches beyond Reilly sliding in at the far post.

While Raith’s enterprising pass-and-move play had produced the better moments of quality particularly in the first half, the second half was notable for the waves of pressure toward Jamie MacDonald’s goal. With Lewis Strapp’s deliveries a constant source of danger from a Raith perspective, the visitors could look upon this as a point gained and not two points dropped. Raith will look to regroup before next Tuesday’s home League encounter with Queen of the South.


0
Welcome to tonight's game at Cappielow - Greenock Morton v Raith Rovers. Couple of changes to the team who faced Banks O'Dee. Back in are Tumilty and Benedictus. McKay also features on the bench.
0
Raith get the Friday night game underway
0
Stanton gets the ball under control but immediately loses possession. He continues to pressurise but creates a foul
2
Clearance by Musonda
3
Morton are putting pressure on the Raith defence
4
Dick heads back but Berra clears
5
Dick tries to clear but ball deflects off Lyon, throw in Morton
6
Gullan picks up the loose ball but is immediately pounced on by two Morton players and loses possession
8
Ross and Williamson link well with the former trying to get the ball into a forward position but it doesn't quite work
9
Musonda working hard to gain possession on the sideline at the main stand
11
Williamson wins the ball, gets the ball up to Gullan who is fouled by Brandon...the latter booked
12
Ross from the free kick but his effort is a bit wide
13
Benedictus to Liam Dick who gets the ball tight up the line to Gullan but he can't get the ball under control, throw in Morton
15
Play starts with Benedictus who interlinks well with Williamson. Stanton wants the ball but Williamson dispossessed
17
Musonda gets the ball into the Morton box but Raith don't capitalise
18
Free kick Morton after Matthews fouls
18
Raith free kick after Berra fouled
20
Stanton does well as he wins the ball and gets the ball up the park to add pressure to the Morton defence
21
Berra receiving treatment... Lang being stripped
22
Raith forced into an early change as off goes Berra and on comes Lang
23
Tumilty has been booked for a challenge on Strapp
24
Goal Morton...it's Ugwu
25
From the Morton free kick the ball gets in to the Raith box and Ugwu scores against his old club
30
Benedictus thumps the ball upfield but no way Gullan is going to latch on to that
32
Dick thumps the balk upfield but its too much for Ross to do anything with it
36
Oh....play starts with Benedictus and ends with Tumilty playing the ball low across the Morton box it's just wide and Liam Dick can't also get a toe to it
38
From a Raith corner ball is played short and Stanton fires a shot in forcing Hamilton to tip over the bar
40
Stanton gets the ball into the box, he's fouled....ref points to the spot...PENALTY
40
Ledger booked
41
Gullan takes it and SCOOOORRREESSS
44
Stanton with a lovely ball through to Gullan but the latter can't do anything with it
45
GGggooooaaalll raith
45
Fine play from TUMILTY who reacts well to win the ball he takes on the defence and fires honest goal number two for Raith
45
+1 ref blows for half time...Morton 1 (Ugwu '24) Raith 2 (Gullan ' 41 Pen, Tumilty '45)
45
Morton get the game back underway
46
Morton starting off as they played first half and putting Raith under pressure
48
Good play between Tumilty, Williamson and Ross up the right hand side
49
Lang with a timely challenge. Throw in Morton
51
Ross gets the ball but he's muscled off
52
Morton push forward Matthews there to clear
52
From a Morton corner, ball is swung in and MacDonald gets the ball out for another corner
53
MacDonald does well to outstretch on the ground to stop Morton scoring
54
Stanton gets the ball down to Gullan who has a pop, ball blocked
55
Free kick Morton after Stanton fouls Ugwu
56
Morton from the free kick thump the ball and its just over the bar
60
Gullan runs upfield but loses possession
61
Geez....Morton score ....but linesman says offside
63
Free kick Morton after a foul by Stanton
64
Tumilty tries to win possession in the middle of the park
65
Strapp swings the ball into the Raith box but it doesn't trouble MacDonald
65
Gullan crosses the ball low into the Morton box but Raith can't capitalise
66
Morton sub off McLean and bring on McEntee
66
Morton free kick
67
Freekick doesn't come to anything
68
Morton sub off Ledger and bring on Muirhead
68
Free kick Raith after a foul on Matthews by Lyon
69
Gullan thumps a low shot in forcing Hamilton to palm save away, corner Raith
69
Stanton booked after a foul on Ugwu as the latter breaks free
72
Raith sub off Ross and bring on Poplatnik
72
Gullan gets the ball but is pushed off the ball
73
Strapp with another of his long throws into the Raith box...MacDonald eventually collects
74
Goal Morton...Muirhead
74
Ball is placed into the Raith box and Muirhead heads the ball into the net
78
Gullan tries to get the ball to Poplatnik but it doesn't come off
79
Morton close but Blues thankfully doesn't score
80
Strapp gets the ball into the Raith box, it's not cleared efficiently
81
Morton sub off Oliver and Lyon and bring on McGrattan and Russell
83
Tumilty lays the ball on to Williamson but nothing comes ofbit
83
Williamson's cross is wild and way off course
85
Raith threaten the Morton box but they can't slot the ball away
85
Oooft...Ugwu with a back heal catching MacDonald to get down and palm away
86
Raith sub off Williamson and bring on Arnott
87
Long throw from Strapp eventually cleared by Raith
88
Late corner for Morton
89
From the corner Ball cleared
89
Geeeezo...Morton come close ball crossed by Strapp but Morton don't get a toe to it
92
Strapp booked
93
Ref blows for fulltime..Morton 2 (Ugwu 24', Muirhead 74') Raith 2 (Gullan 41'pen, Tumilty 45') a fairly pendulum game. Raith next game at home on Tuesday
Greenock Morton: Hamilton, Ledger, Strapp, McLean, Oliver, Blues, Lyon, Ugwu, Brandon, Reilly, Lithgow

Subs: McEntee, Jacobs, Muirhead, Russell, Hynes, McGrattan, Easdale, King

Raith: MacDonald, Tumilty, Dick, Musonda, Berra, Benedictus, Matthews, Gullan, Stanton, Williamson, Ross

Subs: Thomson, Connolly, Zanatta, Lang, McKay, Arnott, Mitchell, Young, Poplatnik

Photo Gallery will appear here shortly

John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after the draw at Cappielow:

After getting back to winning ways against Banks O’ Dee at the weekend, Raith Rovers will be looking to carry that momentum into the league campaign as they travel to Greenock to take on a resurgent Morton side on Friday evening.

New ‘Ton boss, Dougie Imrie has made a bright start to his managerial career, with a 5-0 win over Dunfermline, and a win and a draw against Ayr and Kilmarnock respectively, as well as a narrow defeat to Motherwell in the Scottish Cup last weekend.

Those league wins have helped lift Morton off the foot of the table and they now reside in eighth place, out of the danger zone, but only two points ahead of bottom side Queen of the South.

Rovers on the other hand, will be hoping that three points here can lift them level on points with second placed Inverness, and within three points of leaders Arbroath, with the rest of the division all playing a day later on Saturday.

This will be the clubs third meeting this term, and Rovers have won on both previous occasions. Indeed, Rovers have now won six in a row against the Greenock side, with Morton’s last win coming in 2017.

Rovers won 1-0 in September when the clubs last met at Cappielow, with Dario Zanatta scoring the only goal.

It was similarly close in the return fixture in November, with Michael Ledger giving the visitors an early lead, but goals from Aidan Connolly and Ethan Ross ensured Rovers would again take the win.

As you’d expect from the glut of wins in recent seasons, Rovers have a good record in this one, with seven wins and three defeats from the last 10 contests.

Friday night’s match referee will be David Dickinson.

Head-To-Head Away Record:

Morton Wins: 34

Raith Rovers Wins: 18

Draws: 12

Morton Goals: 115

Raith Rovers Goals: 60

Current Form:

Morton: L-L-D-W-W-L

Raith Rovers: L-L-D-D-L-W

Top Scorers:

Morton: Robbie Muirhead 6, Gary Oliver 6

Raith Rovers: Dario Zanatta 9, Ethan Ross 6

Match Odds:

Morton: 19/10

Raith Rovers: 13/10

Draw: 21/10