The game was almost fifteen minutes late in kicking off as the big crowd made its way into the ground. Paterson and Clarkson were restored to the starting eleven while the latest addition to the squad, Vadocz, found himself on the bench.
A magnificent away support
The visitors were the first to show an attacking presence as they tried to force their way through to the goal at the Cooper end from the start. The ball was in the air for much of the time as neither side was able to find the time or space to pass on the ground. Morton came close to the opener when Finlayson outsmarted Murphy in front of the sun bathed East Stand to send a dangerous ball across the six yard box. Craigan and Smith seemed to leave the ball for each other and Templeman came within inches of making goal scoring contact as the ball passed the back post.
That incident served as a wake up call and we were ahead a minute later. Good work from McDonald on the right resulted in a deep cross which was gathered by Darren Smith. His shot was locked and it fell for Kerr at the edge of the box. His sweet effort with the outside of his right foot sailed into the postage stamp corner giving the keeper no chance.
Clarkson had a goal bound effort stopped by Mathers as we pushed for the second but it was not long delayed. Again it followed a dangerous moment at our goal. This time McGowan was challenged at the edge of the box as Smith raced out to cover the threat. He elected to lob our man and the crowd of 9394 held its breath as the high chip floated goalwards. Thankfully it missed and from the resultant goal kick we set up the decisive second goal.
Once again, McDonald was involved as he gathered the ball inside the box and finished, low into the side net. With just over half an hour on the clock we had total control of the game and might have extended the lead with either a cute McDonald lob or with a Clarkson header.
The second half offered little in the way of goalmouth action. To the credit of the second division team they battled away and had most of the second half possession. But they faced a resolute defensive pair in the centre of our defence and it was no surprise to find that the sponsors man of the match award went to the outstanding Mark Reynolds.
McGarry replaced Darren Smith on the hour and later Keegan was given a run as Clarkson was subbed. Despite lots of effort Morton failed to gain a consolation.
The visiting support was superb. Not only did they fill the South Stand but the kept giving their team loud support throughout the game.
The quarter final draw takes place after the remaining fourth round tie on Sunday. We're in the hat and represented by ball number one. Another home tie will do nicely.