By Ross Gordon
After a lack of action for Morton’s number one Aidan McAdams in the first 120 minutes, it was his heroics which inspired Morton to a 6-5 penalty success. The Ton just about edged it, ruining fellow Scottish Championship side Dunfermline’s cup dreams and setting up a tie with League One East Fife next week.
The sides met for the second time in just 10 days, but the prize was different. The difference this time was that a place in the third round of the Scottish Cup was at stake, but neither made many inroads in the first 90 minutes to earn this reward..
Morton looked the more threatening of the two sides but they were pretty wasteful when they got in front of goal. There weren’t many talking points in the game. However, the most controversial part was in the 60th minute, when Morton striker Kazaiah Sterling looked like he was going to get on the end of a misplaced pass after a flurry of miscommunication between the Pars defenders.
Before getting to the ball, he appeared to be dragged down by the last man, but the referee thought there was no foul. The game opened up a lot more in extra time as this is where Dunfermline had their best spell of the game. They came close once by hitting the post, just like Morton did minutes before.
But after the full 120 minutes, going to penalties wasn’t too harsh on either team. McAdams stepped up to be the hero, saving two penalties to seal the Ton’s progression. Here are three things we learned.
MacPherson seeing early improvements
There was a clear change from when the teams played just 10 days ago, which was Gus MacPherson’s first game in charge of Morton. Clearly he has been able to get his points across to his team as they showed plenty of character in this fixture and there seemed to be much more teamwork going on.
They will hope to be able to take this momentum into the league as they face Raith Rovers at the weekend. It is clear that they have a good enough squad to compete with the bigger teams in the league after the last couple of performances.
The final third
Even though the game went right to the wire, if anyone was going to win it sooner, it was definitely Morton. The Ton had a series of chances in the second half and in extra time. There were also several occasions where it looked like they could get in behind the Pars defence and could have ended this before penalty kicks.
Dangerous on the flanks
The majority of Morton’s dangerous attacks seemed to be coming from down the wings. Aidan Nesbit and Craig McGuffie in particular had a lot of success against the full-backs of Dunfermline. But it shows there is definitely promise to work with for MacPherson.
Morton will now face East Fife in the third round of the Scottish Cup, where they are going in as favourites.
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