Greenock Morton 2 - 1 Dundee Utd

League Cup - Quarter Final
Tuesday, September 20th, 2016, 7:45 PM at Cappielow
Attendance: 2,149
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Greenock Morton Dundee Utd

Goalscorers
Jai Quitongo (24)
Thomas O'Ware (31)
Nick van der Velden (55)

Team Managers
Jim Duffy Ray McKinnon

Starting Eleven
Andrew McNeil
Thomas O'Ware
Gavin Gunning
Michael Doyle
Gary Oliver
Ross Forbes
Kudus Oyenuga
Jamie Lindsay
Mark Russell
Jamie McDonagh
Jai Quitongo
Cammy Bell
Paul Dixon
Lewis Toshney
William Edjenguélé
Frank van der Struijk
Stewart Murdoch
Scott Fraser
Nick van der Velden
Blair Spittal
Tope Obadeyi
Cammy Smith

Bench
Derek Gaston
Aidan Nesbitt
Jon Scullion
Caolan McAleer
Scott Tiffoney
Lewis Strapp
Luis Zwick
Coll Donaldson
Jamie Robson
Seán Dillon
Ali Coote
Brad Smith
Simon Murray

Substitutions
Caolan McAleer for Kudus Oyenuga (76)
Aidan Nesbitt for Jai Quitongo (81)
Scott Tiffoney for Gary Oliver (90)
Simon Murray for Scott Fraser (65)
Coll Donaldson for Frank van der Struijk (76)
Ali Coote for Tope Obadeyi (84)

Bookings
Jamie McDonagh (74)
Ross Forbes (90)
Frank van der Struijk (65)
William Edjenguélé (70)
Lewis Toshney (85)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Cammy Bell (GK) 12 apps -
Paul Dixon 201 apps5 goals
Lewis Toshney 12 apps1 goal
William Edjenguélé 4 apps -
Frank van der Struijk 4 apps -
Stewart Murdoch 10 apps1 goal
Scott Fraser 47 apps3 goals
Nick van der Velden 11 apps3 goals
Blair Spittal 78 apps9 goals
Tope Obadeyi 12 apps1 goal
Cammy Smith 11 apps5 goals
Coll Donaldson (sub) 33 apps -
Ali Coote (sub) 5 apps -
Simon Murray (sub) 38 apps13 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Blair Spittal (20 years 281 days)
Oldest Player:Nick van der Velden (34 years 287 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 353 days
Domestic Players:7 (63.64 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Ali Coote (18 years 106 days)
Oldest Player:Nick van der Velden (34 years 287 days)
Average Player Age:25 years 94 days
Domestic Players:12 (66.67 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Milestones

United travelled to Cappielow to face Greenock Morton for the first time in over 20 years for their 15th consecutive domestic cup Quarter-Final. Following on from a disappointing 3-1 defeat away to Falkirk in the Scottish Championship at the weekend, Ray McKinnon made five changes to his starting line-up from the team which had faced the Bairns, although most were enforced through injuries. Willo Flood, Tony Andreu and Charlie Telfer had all picked up knocks on Saturday and dropped out of the squad altogether with Simon Murray and Jamie Robson dropping to the bench. Returning from suspension, Paul Dixon was thrown straight back in at left-back with Stewart Murdoch also reclaiming his spot in central midfield after a short injury lay-off. Also coming back into the starting eleven were Blair Spittal, Scott Fraser and Cammy Smith. There were a couple of familiar faces in the Morton line-up in the shape of Kudus Oyenuga and Gavin Gunning with the latter being singled out for abuse from the travelling United support following his bizarre antics during a match against Inverness CT at Tannadice towards the end of the previous season which had seen the centre-half suspended by the club.

A healthy crowd, by Morton standards, of over 2,000 had turned up at Cappielow for this game, including several hundred travelling Arabs who had made the journey to the west coast for this midweek clash. The match started the way that many would have expected it to, with both sides struggling to settle into the game and the ball spending most of its time in the air rather than on the deck. The closest thing to goal-mouth action in the opening stages were speculative efforts which both goalkeepers dealt with reasonably comfortably. However, the game came to life in the 24 minute when the home side opened the scoring. The United defence were caught flat-footed as Jai Quitongo raced onto a Gunning flick-on and fired an unstoppable effort high into the roof of Cammy Bell’s net from just inside the box. Then, seven minutes later, things went from bad to worse for the tangerines when Thomas O'Ware headed home a corner to double Morton’s lead, sparking wild celebrations amongst the home supporters and leaving United with a mountain to climb. The Terrors did mount some pressure on the Morton goal prior to the interval with Scott Fraser twice having efforts at goal; one which flew high and wide and another which was well saved by McNeil. Boos rung out from the away fans at the sound of the half-time whistle with the travelling Arabs less than impressed with their side’s half-hearted performance.

The mood of the away support did not improve in the opening exchanges of the second half with Jim Duffy’s side starting on the front foot and winning a number of corner-kicks in quick succession which, luckily for United, didn’t pose any real threat to Cammy Bell’s goal. Ray McKinnon’s side then began to assert themselves on the game and began to dominate possession. Unfortunately for the Tannadice side, clear-cut chances were proving elusive and Scott Fraser appeared to be the only player in tangerine who was willing to take on a shot from any sort of distance, although yet again his efforts were wildly off target. However, the midfielder was involved when United did eventually find the back of the net, his header catching the Morton defence ball-watching as Nick van der Velden sprung the offside trap and finished well with a left-footed shot across the face of McNeil’s goal, into his bottom left-hand corner to bring the Terrors right back into the game. Minutes later, almost everyone in the ground thought that van der Velden had levelled the scoring, but his shot hit the inside of the post and in any case the linesman’s flag had gone up for offside. With half an hour left, Simon Murray was introduced in place of Scott Fraser as Ray McKinnon sought an equaliser which his side came so close to getting in the 71st minute. Cammy Smith played Blair Spittal through on goal and from a similar position to where van der Velden had scored United’s first, Spittal was denied by a fantastic save from McNeil who turned his effort just round the post. Frustration was starting to creep into United’s play as they threw everything they had at the Morton defence with the home side trying to disrupt the flow of the game as much as possible. In the end, McKinnon’s side were made to rue missed chances as Morton managed to see the game out relatively comfortably to book their place in their first League Cup Semi-Final in 37 years.

Captain: Paul Dixon
DUFC Archive Match of the Match: Nick van der Velden

Manager’s view: “I’m angry. I’m angry because the first half was just unacceptable. We played with no purpose, always wanting to take easy options, square passes, didn’t have men forward and we didn’t threaten them. For all the possession we had, it was meaningless, meaningless football. You’ve got to be productive at both ends of the park and tonight we weren’t.”

Fan’s view: “Having made a three hour bus journey on a Tuesday night to get to this game, United’s lack of passion, fight and desire was truly infuriating. We had no imagination whatsoever in the first half and yet again we conceded two soft goals which is becoming a common theme. Certain players should really have a look at themselves in the mirror after a performance like that.”

Match report written by Ben Nicholson



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