A dismal Motherwell performance got its just reward with a 2-1 loss to Morton in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
The Championship side easily out-thought and out-fought their Premier league opponents. They seemed to have more attackers, more defenders and more midfielders as their high energy and eager determination swept the supposed favourites aside.
More on show here than on the pitch
With only one change (Lennon Miller for Andy Halliday) from the eleven that started the last three games Motherwell got the game underway. It soon became apparent that Stuart Kettlewell’s side were not going to dominate proceedings. Indeed the home side should have taken the lead after twenty minutes when George Oakley hit the bar when a goal looked likely. The warning was not heeded.
The goal came after the half hour from a corner on Liam Kelly’s left. The in-swinging low ball was delivered just beyond the near post. Kelly failed to hold and pushed the ball against Harry Paton. It bounced back into the net.
Well before the break the boos started to come from the big travelling support behind Kelly’s goal. Ryan Morton had an easy first half in the home goal, no shots to stop.
There was no flow or cohesion evident in Motherwell’s attacks. Easy loss of possession combined with hopeful long punts sent the message to the support that an equaliser was unlikely. Morton grew in confidence and scored a fine second. Oakley cut in on the right and drilled low to Kelly’s far post.
The substitutes soon appeared for the visitors, three before the hour including a debut for Jili Buyabu. Another two subs were thrown on as Kettlewell hoped for another late comeback.
Jack Vale nicked his second goal for the club with five minutes remaining but it was too late.
Morton deserved the win and the claret and amber players will know they fell well below acceptable standards.
Here endeth another cup run.
Morton 2 Motherwell 1
Team: Kelly, Miller(Halliday 68), O’Donnell (Buyabu 58), McGinn, Mugabi, Gent (Devine58), Spittal, Zdravkovski (Vale 58), Butcher, Paton (Obika 68), Bair
Friday 9 February 2024