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Match Report: Morton 4-1 St Mirren

St Mirren were reduced to ten men on the way to defeat by Morton in the first Renfrewshire derby of the season.

Jack Baird's second half sending off was a pivotal moment in the match with the scores level at 1-1 when the defender conceded a second penalty of the afternoon. 

Tidser had scored from the spot to open the scoring before Cammy Smith equalised with a superb strike. Baird's red card soon after the interval allowed Tidser to score again. Bob McHugh and Andy Murdoch rounded off a disappointing afternoon for Saints with two goals in a five minute period to give Morton a 4-1 victory.

Jack Ross named the same starting eleven for the third match in a row with new signing Darryl Duffy on the bench.

But it was a striker who has made over 100 appearances for the Saints that should have opened the scoring for Saints just six minutes into the match. John Sutton rose above the Morton defence and teammate Gavin Reilly to reach a brilliant ball in from Lewis Morgan but headed wide. 

Saints had started well but the home side grew into the game with Ross Forbes almost putting Morton ahead on 14 minutes, sending a free kick just wide. Gary MacKenzie was penalised for a foul 20 yards out with Forbes stepping up to curl it into the side netting just a few moments after he had sent a shot crashing over the bar.

The home side were awarded a penalty on 25 minutes when Jai Quitongo went down under the challenge from Jack Baird as he was bearing down on goal. Craig Samson was infuriated by the decision as he felt striker went down easily and a bit of afters saw both the goalkeeper and Quitongo join Baird in the book. Michael Tidser stepped up after a bit of a delay but made no mistake as he dispatched it low into the left with Samson going the wrong way. 

Morton should have been two goals to the good after a terrific low fizzing ball across the box from Quitongo met Bob McHugh. The striker hit his shot into the ground with Samson doing tremendously well to claw the ball over the bar. From the resultant corner Morton captain Thomas O'Ware sent a header just wide of the right hand post after meeting Forbes' ball in.

Saints made the home side pay for that profligacy on 40 minutes when Cammy Smith scored a peach of an equaliser. It was the forward's third goal in as many games as he picked up the ball and drove forward before spectacularly drilling it into the top corner of the net to take the sides level into the second half.

Half Time: Morton 1-1 St Mirren

Saints got the second half off to the worse possible start as Baird received a second yellow card as he conceded a second penalty less than five minutes after the interval.  

A misplaced pass from MacKenzie was pounced upon by Quitongo before he slipped it to McHugh who got ahead of Baird and charged through on goal. The defender tugged at the striker's jersey and he fell to the ground with Willie Collum quickly pointing to the penalty spot for a second time. 

Once again Tidser stepped up to take and once again he sent Samson the wrong way, this time crashing the ball into the right side of the net to put the Greenock side back in front. 

Morton made their man advantage count as they gave themselves a cushion on 72 minutes. Good work on the right hand side from the effective Quitongo saw him pick out McHugh inside the box and the striker fired it home to ensure the bragging rights would stay in Greenock. 

Ian McShane almost pulled a goal back for Saints with his powerful drive from the edge of the box turned over the bar by Derek Gaston. 

McHugh turned provider five minutes later as Morton further extended their lead. Andy Murdoch peeled off on the right hand side before being slipped in by the striker and slotting the ball beyond Samson to make it 4-1.

That was how it finished as Morton picked up the bragging rights for the first derby of the season. 

Full Time: Morton 4-1 St Mirren

St Mirren: Samson, Irvine, MacKenzie, Baird, Stelios, Smith, McGinn (c), McShane, Morgan, Sutton (Buchanan 50), Reilly (Stewart 64)
Subs Not Used: Stewart, Eckersley, Kirkpatrick, O'Keefe, Duffy

Morton: Gaston, Murdoch, O'Ware, Lamie, Doyle (McManus 76), Forbes (Oliver 85), Quitongo (Harkins 76), Thomson, McHugh, Tidser, Russell
Subs Not Used: McGowan, Tiffoney, Iredale, Strapp, McManus, Harkins, Oliver

Referee: Willie Collum
Assistant Referee: Ralph Gordon
Assistant Referee: Alan MacFayden

Attendance: 4,661

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