As expected, the starting 11 returned to familiar lines following last week's Challenge Cup game at Buckie. Allan Johnston named 10 of the 11 players who began the last League game at Dumbarton 2 weeks ago, with Nicky Clark replacing Callum Smith.
9' GOAL! Joe Cardle puts Dunfermline 1-0 up
32' Morton's Ross Forbes kicks Jason Talbot in the head with a wild, dangerous challenge in the penalty box. A penalty is given but Forbes unbelievably avoids a red card
33' GOAL! Kallum Higginbotham scores from the spot. Morton 0, Pars 2
47' Callum Morris gifts Morton a goal with a piece of comical defending. Robert Thomson takes full advantage to pull a goal back. Morton 1, Pars 2
72' Gary Harkins scores from a free kick to equalise. Morton 2, Pars 2
88' Morton sub Jai Quitongo balsts over from a few yards out, with the Pars defence in disarray
89' Lee Ashcroft's header is cleared off the line
90' Quitongo gets the better of Lewis Martin and slips the ball into the net. Morton 3, Pars 2
A tale of 2 tweets. Here's what I said at half time from the Pars Review Twitter page:
At fulltime, having witnessed a complete collapse in the second 45 minutes, I posted this tweet:
That pretty much says it all. After Morton wasted a few early half chances with wildy off-target shooting, we took control of the game and went ahead with a great goal from Joe Cardle. Higgy's penalty was almost saved by Gaston in the Morton goal but what preceded the penalty kick was a quite unbelievable decision by referee Kevin Clancy not to send off Ross Forbes after he assaulted Jason Talbot in the penalty box. Talbot had to be substituted with blood covering part of his face.
The second half began with Callum Morris once again drifting into a world of his own and gifting the opposition a goal with ridiculously slack defending. This turned the whole game. Morton suddenly took encouragement from the unexpected goal and attacked the Pars defence, who were like a rudderless ship. At one point Lewis Martin and Lee Ashcroft ran into each other. Morris was clearly rattled. In 72 minutes, a free kick was awarded to Morton then brought forward after Cardle charged out of the wall at the initial kick. Fat substitute Gary Harkins lofted the ball over the wall and past a static Murdoch.
I rarely bother listing every substitution but mention must be made of Johnston's decision to bring on his favourite player, David Hopkirk, as the final sub, leaving Andy Ryan on the bench. It's moments like that when I lose a lot of faith in our manager. It just beggars belief.
With a minute remaining, Jai Quitongo missed a sitter for Morton, and after the ball broke upfield, Ashcroft saw a header from a corner cleared off the line. In added time, Quitongo got the better of Martin, who should have either cleared the ball or Quitongo out of the stadium in such a situation. The Morton sub put the ball past Murdoch for the winning goal.
Tomorrow: match photo gallery & matchday vlog will be posted.
All photos & edits by Pars Review.