Tommy Wright declared Michael O’Halloran the top performer in Scottish football at the minute after his St Johnstone side saw off lower league Morton 3-1 in the League Cup quarter-final with the help of a smart strike by the attacker.
O’Halloran sent the Perth club on their way to the last four at Cappielow last night with a typically lacerating run and shot that put the visitors 2-1 ahead just after the hour.
The goal followed a penalty conversion by Steven MacLean minutes earlier, with St Johnstone benefiting from a crazy handball by Ross Forbes on the back of Morton having got themselves in front.
The game-changing endowments of O’Halloran had Wright waxing lyrical. “I thought Michael was excellent and he’s getting better and better,” said the Irishman.
“In wee situations you think pass it when where there are three men around him but he gets through it and it’s not luck, it’s skill.
“He’s an exciting player. On that form I don’t think there is anything better in our league.
“There’s no Scottish player playing better than how Michael has been playing for the last couple of months.
“Since he came here he’s done well and he’s getting better and better.”
Wright’s opposite number Jim Duffy could only despair at the inexplicable handball by Forbes that took the tie away from his team.
“I don’t know why Ross did what he did, it was a split-second of silliness,” said the Morton manager..
“It left everyone flat, we were deflated and shell-shocked and in that five minutes they scored a second.
“He is gutted with himself but we have seen some bust-ups within teams recently and our dressing room after the game was not the time to discuss it.”