Reserve League Cup v MortonTuesday, 25th Apr 2000
Reserve League Cup Semi Final
Dunfermline Athletic (0) 2 Greenock Morton (0) 0
On a bitterly cold and wet evening, the Pars and Morton looked as if they were going to serve up a game worthy of the weather. No surprise then that the closest fans experienced to fun inside the first fifteen minutes was trying to guess which seat number Brian Reid`s next pass was going to hit. It was a small consolation that the wind did not pick up too much, though ex-Par Brian Rice certainly looked like he was permanently running against it.
Quarter of an hour into play, it looked like we might get a goal when a slip by Jamie Squires landed the ball at the feet of Morton`s Brian Kerr. With one defender still to beat, Kerr elected to shoot rather than pass wide and his weak effort provided Westwater with little trouble.
The dull play dragged on seemingly without end, and the only other half chances fell to the Pars on the half hour mark. Squires put a powerful header just past the post, and a minute later a rare display of good football put McGarty through on goal. His shot from six yards out was at such an angle to trouble Andy Carlin, but the Morton keeper managed an impressive save.
The second half was likewise slow in getting moving, and Morton again had the first chance. McGroarty paused, believing the Pars had successfully sprung the offside trap, but when he was proved wrong it was up to Westwater to pull off a good save and deny the youngster a red face.
Just as it looked like the Pars second string might be missing the midas touch of Colin Nish`s right boot, the first goal finally arrived. In the sixty-fifth minute Morton failed to clear the danger following a Pars corner, the ball dropped in front of Hamish FRENCH and the old pro swung round to steer it past Carlin from ten yards.
French was involved with the second goal as well, just four minutes later. The silver fox bounded through the Morton defence before laying the ball back to recent signing Kevin McLeish, waiting at the penalty spot. The young midfielder, formerly of Raith Rovers, was caught on the wrong foot for a shot, but neatly turned to lay the ball wide. Chris McGROARTY was waiting in acres of space and calmly strolled forward and stroked the ball between the helpless keeper`s legs.
With fifteen minutes remaining, McLeish could have got himself on the score sheet but after completing the more difficult task of dribbling into enough space to let fly, his shot flashed over the bar.
Pars launched a counter attack with ten minutes remaining, which saw David Graham race into the box but his shot from wide on the right was turned past for a corner. Many more such chances came the Pars` way before the end, with Graham winning another corner and McGarty managing a similar feat. The Pars were dominating now, and even fullback Keir Nicol found himself dribbling into space before unleashing a low shot just wide of the target.
Such was the pattern of play in the dying minutes, and it finished two-nil to the Pars, setting them up for the possibility of a reserve league and cup double.
SUBS NOT USED:
YELLOW CARD: McGregor
MORTON: Andy Carlin, Murie, David McGregor, Brian Rice (McDonald 59), Ross Robb, Slaven, Aitken, Walker, Harte, Kerr (Stewart 74), Aitken;
SUBS NOT USED: Trialist
REFEREE: W. Murray
NEXT MATCH: Reserve League Cup Final (away) v Raith Rovers, Wednesday 10th May 2000 at Starks Park
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