Scottish Championship
Morton0Dundee Utd0

Greenock Morton 0-0 Dundee United

Greenock Morton's Andy Murdoch and Dundee United's Simon Murray
Greenock Morton's Andy Murdoch and Dundee United's Simon Murray

Dundee United lost ground on Championship leaders Hibernian as they failed to break down a stubborn and lively Morton side.

It was second versus third at Cappielow, and there was very little between the two teams.

Morton threatened through Jamie Lindsay and Mark Russell, but neither could beat United goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

Tony Andreu and Jamie Robson came closest for the visitors, but the breakthrough remained elusive.

Both sides would have been expecting an exacting test, since Morton were on a run of six consecutive league wins while United had won their last seven games.

The players might have been brimming with confidence, but the upshot was an encounter that quickly fell into a stalemate.

United were the more assertive at the outset, and midfielder Charlie Telford rifled an early shot just over. Morton are capable of being dogged, though, and their defence was built on the solid foundations of Thomas O'Ware and former United centre-back Gavin Gunning.

The home side's resurgence was also reliant on the clever movement and direct running of their front men, Gary Oliver and Jai Quitongo. Both were capable of alarming the United defence, and the latter would have been the reason why a number of scouts were due at the game.

As well as his strength and purpose, the first-half also saw evidence of his temper, as he threw the ball at United defender Mark Durning after a heavy challenge, prompting a yellow card from referee Crawford Allan.

United were marginally more incisive, with Blair Spittal - from a header - and Simon Murray, who finished tamely, both registering attempts on goal before the break.

As a cold rain fell ever more heavily, the game seemed stuck in its ways. The two sides even traded similar chances, with Morton midfielder Jamie Lindsay breaking through the United defence but shooting straight at goalkeeper Cammy Bell.

Then Scott Fraser found himself in a near-identical situation at the other end, and his effort was saved by Morton goalkeeper Derek Gaston.

He had to look lively again moments later, when Charlie Telfer slipped through Andreu and the United midfielder swept a shot on target that the goalkeeper saved.

Both sides pushed hard for a breakthrough, and United almost secured all three points in the closing stages, but Gaston was alert enough to block Robson's shot from the back post with his legs.

Greenock Morton's Gavin Gunning (left), Andy Murdoch (right) and Dundee United's Simon Murray
Greenock Morton's Gavin Gunning (left), Andy Murdoch (right) and Dundee United's Simon Murray

Manager reaction

Morton's Jim Duffy: "For the first hour we played well. In the last half-hour, Dundee United got a grip of the game and started causing us problems. Derek Gaston had two or three fantastic saves, but in the first hour we probably just edged it.

"Dundee United might think they had clearer chances, and they probably did, but in the first half I thought we were slightly better. In the second half, they were better, so a decent point for us.

"Dundee United will be expected to challenge for the title. We're not at that level but in any given game we're tough opponents. Without being brilliant, we still made it tough for Dundee United and gave them a real competitive match.

"We needed a bit more composure in the first half when we had chances, and at set pieces we normally attack the ball better and we didn't capitalise on one or two opportunities. But in the last 20 minutes in particular, Dundee United had two or three great chances and one goal would probably have won it.

"It's November, it's far too early [to talk about making the play-offs] and far too many things can happen. Teams can start well and fall away and it can happen the other way around. At this moment in time, get as many points on the board, see where you are at the turn of the year and then we'll take it from there."

Dundee United's Ray McKinnon: "It was [frustrating], it's a tough place to come, Morton are on a good run and you can see why. They work extremely hard, but overall on chances we're disappointed not to take the three points.

"As the game goes on, it opens up and we played some nice football until that final third, when we just couldn't get it in the goal. On another day we probably would have won the game, but it's a difficult place to come, they're a good side, well organised with some dangerous players.

"Over the 90 minutes, we probably deserved to win the game [but] football's not like that, you don't always get what you deserve.

"In the last 30 minutes especially, [the players] really wanted to win that game and they gave everything. I'm pleased with that, I can't always get the result that I want, but I can get the attitude and the desire. We definitely had that today."

Line-ups

Morton

  • 1Gaston
  • 6Doyle
  • 4O'Ware
  • 5Gunning
  • 3Lamie
  • 8Forbes
  • 21MurdochSubstituted forTidserat 80'minutes
  • 10Lindsay
  • 17Russell
  • 7Oliver
  • 24QuitongoBooked at 28minsSubstituted forOyenugaat 74'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Oyenuga
  • 11Nesbitt
  • 12Tidser
  • 16McAleer
  • 20McNeil
  • 39Strapp

Dundee Utd

  • 1Bell
  • 20van der StruijkSubstituted forToshneyat 62'minutes
  • 4Durnan
  • 14Edjenguele
  • 24Robson
  • 16Flood
  • 12Telfer
  • 7Spittal
  • 19AndreuBooked at 51minsSubstituted forSmithat 84'minutes
  • 10Fraser
  • 9MurraySubstituted forvan der Veldenat 71'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Dillon
  • 5Donaldson
  • 6Toshney
  • 11Obadeyi
  • 15Smith
  • 21Zwick
  • 23van der Velden
Referee:
Crawford Allan
Attendance:
2,578

Match Stats

Home TeamMortonAway TeamDundee Utd
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home7
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home12
Away2
Fouls
Home5
Away5

Live Text

Match ends, Morton 0, Dundee United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Morton 0, Dundee United 0.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Jamie Robson.

Gary Oliver (Morton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Lewis Toshney (Dundee United).

Attempt saved. Jamie Robson (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Cameron Smith replaces Tony Andreu.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

Substitution

Substitution, Morton. Michael Tidser replaces Andy Murdoch.

Attempt missed. Blair Spittal (Dundee United) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high.

Attempt saved. Mark Russell (Morton) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

Attempt saved. Tony Andreu (Dundee United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Morton. Kudus Oyenuga replaces Jai Quitongo.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Lewis Toshney.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Nick van der Velden replaces Simon Murray.

Jai Quitongo (Morton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by William Edjenguele (Dundee United).

Attempt missed. Tony Andreu (Dundee United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Ross Forbes (Morton) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Mark Russell (Morton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Charlie Telfer (Dundee United).

Attempt saved. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Dundee United. Lewis Toshney replaces Frank van der Struijk.

Attempt missed. Scott Fraser (Dundee United) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Foul by Thomas O'Ware (Morton).

Mark Durnan (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Jamie Robson.

Foul by Jai Quitongo (Morton).

William Edjenguele (Dundee United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Jamie Robson.

Attempt saved. Jamie Lindsay (Morton) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

Booking

Tony Andreu (Dundee United) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

Second Half

Second Half begins Morton 0, Dundee United 0.

Half Time

First Half ends, Morton 0, Dundee United 0.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Mark Durnan.

Corner, Morton. Conceded by Charlie Telfer.

Ross Forbes (Morton) wins a free kick on the right wing.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian149412671931
2Dundee Utd1484223121128
3Morton146532115623
4Raith Rovers136431813522
5Falkirk146441815322
6Queen of Sth135351519-418
7Ayr134271120-914
8Dunfermline143381624-812
9Dumbarton142571220-811
10St Mirren130491025-154
View full Scottish Championship table

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