St Mirren 2 - 2 Morton: Topsy turvy derby ends level

St Mirren's Ian McShane celebrates his goal. Picture: SNS/Roddy Scott
St Mirren's Ian McShane celebrates his goal. Picture: SNS/Roddy Scott
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These two old foes served an intoxicating derby encounter which produced four goals, two contentious penalty awards and a non-stop supply of no-quarter-asked tackles.

The result will be viewed far more generously by Morton who were second best for large parts against a St Mirren side who despite being off colour of late still lead the Championship as the title race heads into winter.

Controversial is one way of summing up the match. And in the eyes of home manager Jack Ross, referee Steven McLean had a bad weekend.

“I think Steven McLean has had better days,” Ross said. “We were denied an undoubted penalty when Gavin Reilly was brought down late on, and the penalty they got was, having watched the video, a soft decision.”

Morton manager Jim Duffy was full of praise for his team and the game.

“We cancelled each other out to an extent,” he said. “But this was an advert for all that is good about the Championship and for us to come back twice from behind showed great belief.”

Aside from a very early Jai Quitongo chance and a swerving Andy Murdoch strike from distance the first half was nearly played exclusively in the direction of the visiting goal with Lewis Morgan twice coming close for the Buddies along with a plethora of other close calls and outbreaks of penalty box pinball as Morton grimly clung to parity.

Morgan again threatened immediately after the restart and this time only a superb one-handed save from Derek Gaston kept out the winger’s powerful drive.

However, there was a feeling that the opener was in the post, and it was only ever going one way.

Eventually the pressure told and Morgan was hauled down just inside the area by Mikey Doyle.

Ian McShane, pictured, stepped up to convert from the spot once the needless hullabaloo had died down.

Spurred on by what they saw as an injustice Morton wasted no time in levelling matters with an absolute gem of a strike from Murdoch who smashed a low drive into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Saints though aren’t top of the league without merit and they themselves instantly hit back, top scorer Reilly drilling home a cut-back.

By now it was raining goals with Morton again hitting back with a dubious penalty of their own, Gary Harkins keeping his cool to slot home to ensure an unlikely share of the points.