Greenock Morton advanced to the next round of the Scottish Cup after a comfortable 3-0 win over Turriff United. Late goals from Nathan Durham and Ben Armour helped seal the win for the Greenock outfit.
Turriff United got the match underway, kicking off on a crisp Sunday afternoon at Cappielow.
Morton dominated possession in the opening 10 minutes and as a result created a couple of chances early on in the game.
The home side came within inches of opening the scoring after just four minutes following a corner. David Anderson hit the cross from the left, which flashed across goal but no player could get a touch. Any contact would have surely resulted in a goal.
Morton went even closer just a minute later. Left-winger Mitchell Duffy broke down the left and swung in an inviting cross to Jack Purdue. The attacker just got his head to the ball but didn’t make enough contact to trouble Turriff goalkeeper James Whyte.
The Greenock team kept pushing for the opener and spurned an excellent chance following another corner. A short corner from the right was played to Purdue, who turned a floated a cross in to the back post. Central midfielder Reece Lyon met the ball but headed narrowly over.
After 11 minutes, the home side got the goal their play deserved. Right-back Darren Hynes received the ball just outside the box on the right, and blasted a powerful strike at the near post with the outside of his right boot, giving Whyte no chance of stopping it.
Turriff United struggled to get a hold of the ball as Morton dominated possession. United centre-back Matthew Stewart stood out as one of his team’s best performers while for Morton, Duffy looked dangerous whenever he was in possession.
Duffy had a chance to put his team two up after he sprinted down the left wing, beating one defender in the process. He raced through on goal but was denied by the onrushing Whyte, who smothered the ball well.
Whyte was his team’s saviour again just moments later, denying Morton forward Ben Armour. Armour found himself 10 yards from goal and showed neat footwork to get his powerful shot away, but Whyte denied him with a superb stop.
The pressure was building against Turriff as they came close to conceding a second. A wonderful run from midfield from Purdue saw the forward break into the box, beating three men in the process. The striker fired at goal but was denied once again by Whyte.
A rare foray forward for Turriff almost resulted in an equaliser for the Highland outfit. Attacker Angus Grant broke down the right wing before cutting inside, beating his man and shooting from the edge of the box. Unfortunately for Turriff, Grant’s effort was tame and easily saved by Ton keeper Charlie Carracher.
Right-winger Anderson almost doubled his side’s lead with a free kick around the half-hour mark. The free kick was situated in an ideal position – around 25 yards from goal, slightly to the left – but Anderson saw his effort fly narrowly over the bar.
Towards the end of the first half, Turriff grew into the game and could have had an equaliser after an excellent cross from Ryan Stewart. The left-back hit a cross from deep that found Grant lurking at the back post, but the striker’s effort was weak and easily stopped by Carracher.
United’s confidence grew as the half progressed and the chances soon fell for the away side. Striker Michael Ironside did excellently to break down the right and fire a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal, but no-one was at hand to prod the ball home.
Ironside came close again right before the referee blew his whistle to signal half-time. A free kick around 30 yards from goal was played short to him; the forward beat one man before firing at the near post from a tight angle, but Carracher parried the ball behind for a corner.
The referee soon blew his whistle to signify half-time. Both sets of players trudged off the pitch, knowing that the game’s next goal could be decisive.