Morton 0 - 1 St Mirren: Saints retain Renfrewshire Cup
An explosive strike from Paul McGowan nine minutes from time saw St Mirren extend their stranglehold on the Renfrewshire Cup to a seventh successive season.
The midfielder’s shot from the edge of the 18-yard box struck the underside of the bar and then hit Morton ‘keeper Derek Gaston on the back before McGowan, right, sprinted past him to force the ball over the line. It was always going to take something special to separate the sides and Saints manager Danny Lennon paid tribute to his hosts.
“They’ve improved beyond recognition in the last year under Allan Moore and Mark McNally,” he said. “If I was a betting man I’d be having a look at them for the First Division title.”
Morton began in impressive fashion, with Peter Weatherston agonisingly close to reaching a peach of a cross from Willie Dyer and Craig Samson spreading himself to keep out David O’Brien’s shot after Steven Stirling’s slide-rule pass had left him with only the goalkeeper to beat.
Gaston then made an outstanding save to turn over a 20-yarder from Paul McGowan.
The home ‘keeper also excelled himself to deny Dougie Imrie twice, Veteran Martin Hardie then saw Samson claw away a free-kick but Gaston underlined his man-of-the-match credentials with an outstanding save from Jon Robertson.
O’Brien ought to have broken the deadlock after 62 minutes but headed wastefully wide. Sam Parkin was similarly wasteful after Steven Thompson had nodded Imrie’s delivery back across goal. Fortunately for him, McGowan would get him out of jail.
While team-mates teased him that it was an own goal, the former Celt insisted that he supplied the final touch.
“I was the one who put it over so it’s definitely my goal,” he said. “Scoring more often is something I need to add to my game and it was great to score the winner here. Their fans were giving me stick and singing songs about my mum but that’s just all banter.”
Morton: Gaston; Taggart, Reid, McLaughlin, Dyer; Wallace (Graham 70), Stirling, Hardie (Rutkiewicz h-t), Tidser (Halsman 76), O’Brien (Campbell 84); Weatherson. Subs: O’Ware, Flak.
St Mirren: Samson; McAusland (Barron h-t), Mair; McGregor; Goodwin; van Zanten, Robertson (Teale 63), McGowan, Imrie; Guy (Parkin h-t), Thompson (Reilly 79). Subs: Trialist, Kelly.
Referee: Alan Muir.
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