St Mirren 1 - 1 Morton: Gary Mackenzie on target

St Mirren's Gary MacKenzie, left,  celebrates scoring the opening goal. Picture: SNS

St Mirren's Gary MacKenzie, left, celebrates scoring the opening goal. Picture: SNS

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Ten-man Morton hit Saints with a late sucker punch to ensure an unlikely share of the spoils and that 2016 ended as rottenly for the Buddies as it had always been to leave them still in deep trouble at the foot of the table.

Morton, rightly confident on a run of form that has seen them propel themselves into play-off contention, started better but it was the home team who created the first genuine opening of the game with John Sutton nodding wide.

As the rain bucketed down both teams went hell for leather in pursuit of an opener, Morton’s Michael Doyle having the best opening with a looping header at the back post.

Eventually the breakthrough came, Gary Mackenzie rising highest to meet a Stevie Mallan corner to send Saints into the lead with a downward header which skidded off the sodden turf past Derek Gaston.

Morton rocked momentarily as Sutton again and Kyle Magennis came close, but with only seconds remaining of the half the visitors should have been level, Ricki Lamie battering the bar with a header.

The second period followed a similar pattern until the 59th minute when Morton’s Jamie McDonough was dismissed by referee Nick Walsh for a ludicrous kick at Rocco Quinn as the Saints midfielder lay grounded.

It was a moment of madness that left his manager justifiably fuming, his team-mates up against it ,yet saw Saints mystifyingly decide to sit in with a man advantage. Such tactics were duly punished when Lamie forced home in stoppage time.

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