Greenock Morton will play Scottish Championship football next season after winning their play-off final with Airdrieonians 4-0 on aggregate.
Robbie Muirhead’s stunning opener and second half tap-in alongside Gary Oliver’s header sealed a 3-0 win at Cappielow in the second leg of the Championship play-off final. Morton held a 1-0 lead from the first leg in Airdrie and coasted to victory in the second as they remain in Scotland’s second-tier.
600 fans were in attendance at Cappielow as Morton welcomed fans back to the stadium for the first time since football was put into shutdown in March 2020. They were treated to a spectacular opener in the early stages, Muirhead chesting the ball and volleying it before it hit the ground, finding the top corner from around 25 yards.
Airdrie looked deflated and Morton piled on the pressure in search of a crucial second goal, having a penalty appeal waved away shortly after scoring. Cameron Salkeld and Cameron Blues went close as Ian Murray’s side looked to get in at half-time – perhaps fortunately – just 1-0 down.
It wasn’t to be as Oliver broke on a loose ball at the back-post to head home two minutes before the break, all but ending the play-off final as a contest. Muirhead missed a chance early in the second, as did Markus Fjørtoft, with Morton looking to rub salt in their opposition’s wounds.
Sean Crighton made Morton keeper Scott Fox work in a rare Airdrie opening but the header was saved comfortably by the Motherwell loanee. Morton hit the net again before the final whistle, Stephen McGinn’s effort palmed into the path of Muirhead who had an easy finish. Here are three things we learned.
Morton dig in
There were genuine fears of League One football when Morton lost 2-1 to Montrose in the play-off semi-final first leg. But since then, they have battled their way to safety, showing quality as fans returned to help secure their safety with ease. The game was done in the first half as an extended stay in League One awaits Airdrie.
Murray’s side never looked like winning this. Airdrie appeared to be feeling the effects of losing a stoppage-time goal to Morton in the first leg as they didn’t start the second well. Morton took advantage and Murray will be gutted his team couldn’t give a better account of themselves.
Semblance of normality
While not a full house, the 600 Morton fans in attendance certainly made plenty of noise to cheer their team over the line. It seemed to take Airdrie by surprise during their slow start and voices only got louder as Morton put on plenty of pressure. After a horrible 14 months, this felt like a great step on the road back to normality.
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