Today we make the 127 mile journey East to West to play Morton, relegated from the Championship last season but favourites to go back up in what is possibly the most difficult Match Day 1 we could have gotten. That said we’ve just beaten 2 Championship sides in the Betfred so bring it on!!
Before then we have a week, so a few bits to go through.
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Marky Munro was unhappy with his game time so has gone to Preston Athletic, just round the coast in Prestonpans, until January. TBH Dunsmore is almost the number 1 pick in the team so Munro wasn’t going to get much game time, hopefully he will here, even if it’s 2 levels below our current level.
A very strong U18’s beat Dunfermline U18’s in a friendly 3-1, goals from Lewis Barr and a brace from triallist Alex Stewart (spoiler, he’s not that good…)
PLAYER LEAVING (LOAN)
Liam MacDonald goes to Forres until January, after playing 30 league games for them at a 7.08 last season. Pretty sure I’ll be letting him go at the end of the season, 3* PA at 21… Hopefully these loan spells will help his career.
Just before the Morton game the Board have updated their expectations. They want playoffs… Second Round of the IRN-BRU will be difficult as we have to get past our Senior Affiliate, Championship side Dundee (Season Preview 3rd…) – This will be the 4th Championship side played this season…
So to Greenock we wend our merry way. Morton have a strong squad for this level, lots of 4/5* CA players according to my scouts and are 2-1 on to be promoted with bookies. We however have started very strongly, just that loss to Falkirk in the first Betfred group game. Morton finished 4th in their group (All be it with 3 Premiership teams and a Championship team (Partick Thistle) who they beat on penalties). Expecting a toughy today.
Almost the whole team are natural at their given roles. Connor McManus debuts (He was cup-tied in the Betfred). This is pretty much our best 11. Morton start with a 5-3-2 WB – Lets get the ball out wide!
FT Morton 5 (Johnstone 4, 10, pen 78, McHugh 39, 90+3) Berwick 1 (MacIver 45+1) Att 1,570 (126 Away)
Hoops versus stripes today, and Morton take the lead in the 4th minute, a low cross behind Bow & Neill, Johnstone on hand to score. Poor defending. Morton dominating in the early stage, it was 2-0 in the 10th, Johnstone again, another header. Might need to sit back and make sure this isn’t a drubbing. 2 minutes later MacIver hit the post with a volley, could be one of those days… Berwick looking a bit better, but Morton always majorly dangerous going forward. And it was 3-0 in the 39th, a 20 yarder from McHugh. Disappointing but it shows the difference in wage bills. But maybe some hope, a minute into injury time and MacIver scores, a side-foot at the back post from a lovely Mackie cross. 3-1. And that’s how the half finished. 60% possession to Berwick!! Morton’s forwards are just too clinical.
Morton come out of the traps quickly, Sinclair with a lovely save to deny Johnstone his hat-trick. Cameron McGinn on just after 60 to play as a PF(S). McIntosh on for Leitch, like for like. Going positive for the last 20. Sutherland on for Davidson for our last sub. Sinclair has made some great saves in this 2nd half. 77th minute, Penalty to Morton, Bow pulling back McHugh. Johnstone score the penalty. 4-1. And it was 5 late on, a defensive error allowed McHugh in for his second. Really poor. 5-1 it finished.
Stenhousemuir started life in League 1 brilliantly, 5-2 winners over Edinburgh City. A very open match day.
Quickly before we finish now the 1st game has been played we can look at the wage bills for the clubs in League 1.
Surprised we are 3rd TBH, but those top 2 have 2 to 3 times the wage budget of the mid-table teams. it will be a struggle to get anything better than playoffs I think.
Next up we have Dumbarton at home in just 3 days. See you then.