It was the return of the first division campaign this weekend as Greenock Morton hosted Hamlton Accies. Morton found themselves top of the league whilst Hamilton were hot on their tails.
Morton were missing Stuart McCaffrey and Michael Tidser, two of their most influential players, while Hamilton were missing their old head in Alex Neil.
There was little to talk about in the first half, a Jim McAlister effort was the main highlight as the game struggled to spark into life. Peter Weatherson had a couple long-range efforts, one from a free kick, the other an ambitious 30 yarder.
Both teams struggled to carve out chances, but Douglas Imrie nearly found the top corner when he carefully placed his shot just by the post. The first half came to an end to the relief of both sets of fans and they were then greeted by the Morton cheerleaders. Not that they were grateful of it as it was quite a miserable day.
The first half was pretty much a non-event in terms of a spectacle, but the second half promised more when Peter McDonald nearly broke the deadlock. Paul Di Giacomo did well to get his cross in and McDonald had his header well saved by keeper Tomas Cerny.
From the resulting corner Marc Smyth nearly guided his overhead kick into the top right hand corner, but the crossbar denied him. Morton were beginning to get the better of the game and Paul Di Giacomo had the best chance to open the scoring. Fouad Bachirou burst through the Hamilton half and slipped Di Giacomo through who saw his shot brilliantly parried by Cerny.
Despite Morton’s pressure, it was Hamilton who took the lead. Paul Currie got on the end of Grant Anderson cross, a fine header that went high into the top of the net. There was very little between the teams and Morton would have felt aggrieved to lose the goal.
Things got worse for the Greenock side when Grant Anderson nipped in from a poor Grant Evans pass back and coolly rounded the keeper to score.
Andrew Jackson then found himself clean through, but he could only blast his shot high and wide. Simon Mensing and Mark McLaughlin were in fine form for the away side, as Peter McDonald never got a sniff of the ball.
The win for see’s Hamilton leapfrog Morton in what is a notoriously tight and competitive league. Morton will feel harshly done by although it was not a great match in truth.
Alan Moore was in reflective mood after seeing his side defeated: “Football got a habit of kicking you in the teeth and today was evident of that. The players have got to take credit despite the defeat. We played well today but couldn’t quite get the result we wanted.”
It was an honest assessment from Alan Moore who took the positives out the game despite the defeat.
Billy Reid felt the game was a tight affair but was delighted to take the three points: “There wasn’t a lot in it to be fair. There was a lot of pluses for me to take out the game. To come here and limit Morton to a few chances is pleasing.”
It was a great result for the Accies who now see themselves in second place. Hamilton will be hoping for a speedy return to the premier league and with results like today at Cappielow, they sure are on the right track. Morton meanwhile will have to settle for fourth place but are hopeful of a return to the top of the league.
Morton travel to Livingston next week in what will surely be another tight affair. Hamilton are on their travels as well as they take on Ross County in a top of the league encounter.
Morton: Stewart, Weatherson, Evans, Smyth, Forsyth, Di Giacomo, McCann, Bachirou, O’Brien (Campbell 81), MacDonald, Jackson. Subs Not Used: McGinley, McGeouch, Little, Fulton.
Hamilton: Cerny, Gordon, Mensing, McLaughlin, Hendrie, McAlister, Kevin McBride (Anderson 70), Crawford (Currie 56), Imrie, Spence, Andy Ryan (Paterson 53). Subs Not Used: Hutton, Chambers.
Booked: Gordon, Spence.
Goals: Currie 72, Anderson 77.
Ref: George Salmond