By Ben McNicol
Jamie Gullan’s late goal has allowed Raith Rovers to gain ground on Hearts in the Scottish Championship as they beat Morton 1-0 at Stark’s Park.
The Hibs loanee came off the bench and struck home the winner after 81 minutes as he managed to drill home from a narrow angle. Hearts’ lead at the top is now down to 13 points, Raith Rovers with a game spare in second, Morton remaining eighth.
It was all Raith for large spells. The first opening arrived after 24 minutes when left-back Kieran MacDonald found space down the left-hand side and his fantastic cross into the box found the head of Gozie Ugwu, but his header sailed high over the bar.
The second-half continued in a similar vein, Morton happy to allow Raith possession and essentially saying ‘try to break us down.’ However, as the second-half ticked on, John McGlynn’s side were cracking the Cappielow side defence and the opener looked only a matter of time away.
They should’ve taken the lead shortly after the hour-mark. Daniel Armstrong’s tremendous deep cross from the right landed on the head of Manny Duku and it looked as though Rovers would grab the game’s opening goal before the striker missed.
Morton goalkeeper Aidan McAdams denied Lewis Vaughan next as the final whistle drew closer, but it was another substitute who deservedly opened the scoring in the 81st minute, Hibs loanee Gullan. A corner from the right was headed on by Duku at the front-post and the Hibs talent was on hand to steer the ball home from close-range. Here are three things we learned from the match.
Raith’s promotion push
John McGlynn admitted that Hearts have already won the league, but that’s not stopping Raith’s promotion chase. The Rovers moved themselves up to second place with victory over Morton and with Hearts currently in disarray, it makes you wonder what could have been with a consistent run of results for others
Gullan hits late
On-loan Hibs forward Gullan came off the bench to score the winner, sealing an important three points for Raith in the process. It was his second goal for the Rovers since returning in January and he’ll be hoping that it merits a starting spot in the midweek Fife derby against Dunfermline.
It’s evident to see that Morton have become a more organised side since the recent arrival of MacPherson. For long spells they were defensively sound and frustrated Raith Rovers.
However, there will be slight worry about the lack of chances being created at the other end of the field. That’s three games out of four since his arrival where they’ve failed to score and yesterday afternoon they failed to test opposing keeper Jamie MacDonald, who was a bystander the majority of the afternoon.
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