Scottish Championship
MortonGreenock Morton1AyrAyr United1

Greenock Morton 1-1 Ayr United

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland at Cappielow
Craig Moore scores for Ayr United against Morton
Craig Moore rasped home to earn Ayr United an important point in Greenock

Morton secured a Scottish Premiership promotion play-off berth with a home draw against Ayr United.

Lawrence Shankland and Craig Moore scored a goal apiece in the final 10 minutes of the first half, earning a valuable point for both sides.

Defeats for Queen of the South and Dunfermline mean Morton can no longer be caught in fourth place in the Championship, with two games remaining.

While bottom side Ayr move within two points of St Mirren.

The Saints failed to take anything against Dundee United, and slipped back into the relegation play-off position.

At Cappielow it was an afternoon for on-loan Premiership strikers.

Aberdeen's Shankland arrived at Morton after spending the first half of the season at St Mirren and notched his third goal for the Ton in clinical style.

Gary Oliver's effort from the corner of the box looped up off a defender and fell nicely for Shankland to despatch past Greg Fleming.

But this was a Morton side that had failed to win in their last seven outings, and their lead lasted less than 10 minutes.

Motherwell's Moore has had an injury-plagued season on loan at Somerset Park yet made up for lost time by burying a rising shot in the top corner after being teed up nicely by Mike Rose in first-half added time.

Overall, it was a fairly insipid match. Ayr's Paul Cairney blocked Thomas O'Ware's goal-bound header on the line when the game was still goalless and Shankland had spurned a couple of earlier opportunities as well.

Had a visiting player been able to get on the end of Nicky Devlin's cut-back near the end, then Ayr might have taken all three points.

Morton assistant manager Craig McPherson: "We're delighted to get the fourth place secured. It's a fantastic achievement and you've got to look over the nine months of the season.

"The boys have been really consistent and have hit a wee bit of poorer form from our usual standard but everyone hits a spell like that."

Ayr United manager Ian McCall: "A draw was a fair result and that point could be crucial.

"It gave us a lift with Craig Moore scoring a great goal and we were on the front foot for most of the second half. Our final ball at times wasn't quite good enough.

"We're a point closer to St Mirren and we'll see how Raith Rovers do against Hibs [on Wednesday]."

Line-ups

Morton

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Gaston
  • 6Doyle
  • 2Kilday
  • 4O'Ware
  • 3Lamie
  • 8Forbes
  • 21Murdoch
  • 12TidserSubstituted forLindsayat 90+1'minutes
  • 11NesbittSubstituted forRussellat 82'minutes
  • 16ShanklandSubstituted forMcDonaghat 73'minutes
  • 7Oliver

Substitutes

  • 9Oyenuga
  • 10Lindsay
  • 17Russell
  • 18McDonagh
  • 19Donnelly
  • 20Halliwell
  • 39Strapp

Ayr

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Fleming
  • 2Devlin
  • 22Balatoni
  • 18MeggattBooked at 75mins
  • 3Boyle
  • 10ForrestSubstituted forMcDaidat 86'minutes
  • 23Docherty
  • 5RoseBooked at 87mins
  • 14CairneySubstituted forMcGuffieat 73'minutes
  • 12HarkinsBooked at 84mins
  • 9Moore

Substitutes

  • 4Gilmour
  • 6Murphy
  • 11McDaid
  • 15El Alagui
  • 19Hart
  • 21McGuffie
Referee:
Steven Kirkland
Attendance:
2,390

Match Stats

Home TeamMortonAway TeamAyr
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home17
Away13
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away4
Fouls
Home3
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Morton 1, Ayr United 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Morton 1, Ayr United 1.

  3. Post update

    Attempt saved. Craig McGuffie (Ayr United) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Morton. Jamie Lindsay replaces Michael Tidser.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Rose (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Lee Kilday.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Declan McDaid (Ayr United) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

  8. Booking

    Michael Rose (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Andy Murdoch (Morton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Michael Rose (Ayr United).

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Ayr United. Declan McDaid replaces Alan Forrest.

  12. Booking

    Gary Harkins (Ayr United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  13. Post update

    Michael Doyle (Morton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Gary Harkins (Ayr United).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Morton. Mark Russell replaces Aidan Nesbitt.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Alan Forrest (Ayr United) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ross Forbes (Morton) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Ayr United. Conceded by Aidan Nesbitt.

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Thomas O'Ware (Morton) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Morton. Conceded by Ross Docherty.