Morton stun top-flight Motherwell in Scottish Cup

9 February 2024 0 By Total Football News

Morton stunned Premiership Motherwell to become the first side through to the Scottish Cup quarter-finals.

The second-tier side from Greenock led when Robbie Muirhead’s corner went in off Motherwell’s Harry Paton.

George Oakley, who had earlier struck the woodwork, doubled the hosts’ advantage with a firm low drive.

The visitors reduced their deficit when Jack Vale’s shot deflected into the net off Darragh O’Connor, but they could not avoid a first defeat of 2024.

The draw for the last eight will take place on Sunday on BBC One Scotland during Sportscene’s coverage of Airdrieonians v Hearts, with the programme starting at 16:30 GMT.

And 1922 winners Morton, who are unbeaten in 13 games, will aim to reach the semi-finals of the competition for the first time since 1981.

Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly avoided early embarrassment when he spilled a free-kick, the Scotland international recovering before anyone could capitalise.

Dougie Imrie’s hosts had another near thing when Oakley latched on to O’Connor’s header and lifted a shot on to the crossbar.

The visitors simply could not get into a rhythm and fell behind from Muirhead’s set-piece. The fierce delivery from the right was palmed by Kelly on to Paton and back over the line.

The second period followed much in the vein of the first. Oakley pounced on a loose ball, bore down on goal and struck through the legs of Calum Butcher to beat Kelly.

A triple change from Motherwell that gave Jili Buyabu his debut and also introduced Adam Devine and Vale was followed by Andy Halliday and fit-again Jon Obika appearing from the bench as manager Stuart Kettlewell tried to engineer a comeback.

And Motherwell rallied. Theo Bair threatened with a header that Ryan Mullen claimed comfortably then Vale curled an effort wide shortly before he collected Devine’s pass and scored via O’Connor’s intervention.

The final few minutes were tense but Morton stood firm.

Player of the match – George Oakley

George Oakley scores for Motherwell against MortonThe striker (number 22) was a persistent nuisance to the Motherwell defence and took his goal well

What they said

Morton manager Dougie Imrie: “I’m absolutely delighted. This is a massive victory for the club. I’m really happy for my players. We managed to get the second goal at the right time.

“The back four handled [Blair Spittal and Theo Bair] very well. We tried to pack the midfield. To a man, my players were outstanding and I’m proud of them. If we can get a home tie and we can get this kind of support, we’ll take anybody.”

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell: “I didn’t think we stood up to the challenges – long throws continually coming into our box, the corner kick we concede from with the first goal.

“We really only tested Morton properly towards the end of the game. We’ve only got ourselves to blame. I’ll always give [Morton] full credit for what they do. They won the game, they deserved to win the game.”

Line-ups

Morton

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Mullen
  • 26French
  • 5Baird
  • 4O’Connor
  • 3StrappBooked at 48mins
  • 20PowerBooked at 67minsSubstituted forQuitongoat 82′minutes
  • 27Wilson
  • 8Blues
  • 14CrawfordSubstituted forMcGrattanat 82′minutes
  • 9MuirheadBooked at 37minsSubstituted forBroadfootat 90+1′minutes
  • 22Oakley

Substitutes

  • 6Waters
  • 10Quitongo
  • 15Broadfoot
  • 17McGrattan
  • 18Garrity
  • 19Bearne
  • 21Gillespie
  • 41Murdoch

Motherwell

Formation 3-4-2-1

  • 1Kelly
  • 5MugabiBooked at 87mins
  • 66ButcherBooked at 90mins
  • 16McGinn
  • 2O’DonnellSubstituted forDevineat 57′minutes
  • 17ZdravkovskiSubstituted forValeat 57′minutes
  • 38MillerSubstituted forObikaat 68′minutes
  • 3GentSubstituted forBuyabuat 57′minutes
  • 12PatonSubstituted forHallidayat 68′minutes
  • 7Spittal
  • 14Bair

Substitutes

  • 9Obika
  • 11Halliday
  • 13Oxborough
  • 15Casey
  • 19Nicholson
  • 20Blaney
  • 21Devine
  • 27Buyabu
  • 28Vale
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
5,167

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Greenock Morton 2, Motherwell 1.

Second Half ends, Greenock Morton 2, Motherwell 1.