By Calum McCrindle

Greenock Morton put in a dogged performance in Ayrshire as David Hopkin’s side came away with three points after a 2-1 win over Ayr United.

United started the game better than Morton with the Honest Men playing some slick passing football on the freshly drained pitch. The only thing missing from Ayr’s game in the opening minutes was a good final ball. Ayr’s star man, Alan Forrest, was looking lively down the left-hand side, connecting well with veteran Michael Moffat.

Moffat had chances. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Morton struggled early on with most of the team chasing shadows around Somerset Park. The away side struggled to muster anything in a creative sense, launching long balls for the front-line to chase at every opportunity.

It took Ayr 22 minutes to break the deadlock. Mark Kerr’s side carving open Morton and sliding in Conor Malley who calmly dinked a shot over Danny Rogers in the Ton goal. Morton were quick to respond after conceding.


They quickly piled on the pressure, forcing Ayr to defend multiple corners in quick succession. Eventually, they made one count, with Kalvin Orsi poking in after a loose ball in the box to level the game up just after the 30-minute mark.

An equaliser. (Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images)

Morton were the happier side at the break with Ayr guilty of wasting the ball at times where they could have created good chances. Nicky Cadden was Morton’s main threat inside the opening 45 with the former Ayr player producing the occasional moment of quality to carry Hopkin’s side up the park.

Both teams struggled to repeat the good form they had shown in the first half. The weather didn’t help as the heavens opened and drenched the pitch in rain shortly after the break. Ayr had the best chance after the restart with Daniel Harvie breaking forward and crossing the ball in for Moffat who should’ve hit the target from 12 yards out.

For all of United’s dominance it was Morton who took the lead with twenty minutes to go. Cadden was the man to punish Ayr for comical defending at the back. A long ball caused all sorts of trouble for the backline and with Ross Doohan closing him down, Cadden slid one round the United keeper and into the corner.

Cadden netted. (photo by David Young/Action Plus via Getty Images)

Ayr began to pile on the pressure as the clock ticked down, but they couldn’t trouble Rogers in the Morton goal as the keeper made a couple of fine stops at the end of the game. Ayr pushed hard for the equaliser but ultimately Morton came away from Somerset Park with three points. Here are three things we learned.

Ayr need to find consistency

The Honest men have been up and down this season struggling to regain the form that took them into the promotion playoff places last year consistently. In stages against Morton they showed why they have been one of the better teams in the Championship over the past couple of seasons.

United displayed some quick passing football from kick off to keep Morton off their backs. The Ayrshire side then capitulated in the second half and resorted to route one tactics. The performance against Morton is a mirror for how Ayr’s season is going.

Ayr need to find a consistent. (Photo by Robbie Boyd)

Two wins and two defeats in their last five games is the kind of form that could have Ayr fans biting their nails come the end of the season if their promotion play-off hunt comes down to the wire.

Morton could sneak a promotion play-off spot

Morton are now unbeaten in their last five games. The former Livingston manager looked to be under pressure after a bad run of form saw his side sliding towards the foot of the Championship. However, the signing of Cadden has boosted them this season.

The Ton now sit only three points behind Ayr in fourth and if they keep up their current run of form, they could sneak into that last promotion play-off spot. Competition is tight though and they’ll need to watch out for the teams above them and the ones lurking below them.

Outside chance. (Photo by Ewan Bootman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Arbroath and Dunfermline are both capable of pulling out some form and Morton will be hoping they can squeeze past them to ease any lingering relegation fears or even dream of Premiership football next season.

It’s a three-horse race to avoid League One

With teams above them starting to pick up points semi-regularly, things are beginning to look grim for three Championships strugglers. Partick Thistle, Queen of the South and Alloa Athletic now look like they’ll need to fight for the third bottom spot and guaranteed safety.

It could be too close to call as the season heads towards its finale. Thistle and the Queens sit behind Alloa in that all important eighth spot with Thistle languishing at the foot of the table.

Ian McCall’s side are in a scrap. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Both Thistle and Queen of the South both have a game in hand over Alloa and the teams could all end up within a point of each other once they’ve all played the same number of games.

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