Dundee United and Morton fought out a keenly contested 1-1 draw at a sunny Cappielow Park. United will feel they should have taken all three points having struck the woodwork three times in a game they dominated for long spells.
By Stuart Norris
With a play-off place assured, second place remained up for grabs if Falkirk were to slip up at Dumbarton as United kicked off at a sun-drenched Cappielow Park.
Early exchanges were even as both teams attempted to keep the ball on the deck. The splash of tangerine from the United end added colour to the occasion, with the Arabs going through their full repertoire in the sun.
United were looking the more likely and won a series of corners which almost led to the opening goal when Durnan headed goal-ward and Donaldson’s flick was well saved by Halliwell from point blank range. United continued to press, with first Kuate’s shot saved, then Andreu shooting narrowly wide.
Morton’s first and only first half shot on goal came after 22 minutes as United turned attack in to defence following a slack ball from Flood. Oyenuga’s resultant shot was easily saved by Bell.
United almost took the lead on 27 mins. A flowing move led to a Mikkelsen flying header narrowly passing the far post, then the big forward curled a shot which Halliwell touched onto the post for a corner.
United again hit the woodwork on 38 mins, when a powerful drive from Andreu cracked off the Morton bar. United continued to press until halftime, with efforts from Andreu and Coote, but the opening goal eluded a dominant United as the half time whistle blew.
After a low key start to the second half, Morton scored on 58 minutes with their first meaningful move. A cross from the left was met by Oyenuga, whose delicate header beat Bell at the far post.
United hit the woodwork for a third time on the hour mark when a Spittal cross was met by Andreu, but his header shaved the outside of the post.
United’s equaliser came on 62 minutes when this time Andreu played in Spittal who turned and shot from 10 yards, steering it away from keeper Halliwell.
United were back on the front foot and another flying header from Mikkelsen went narrowly wide. Next a sublime pass from Andreu played in Mikkelsen, but was narrowly offside when through on goal.
With 14 mins remaining United almost took the lead with a darting run by Spittal resulting in another good block by Halliwell.
Kuate who had been riding his luck with the referee finally saw yellow after a foul on Oyenuga. He was replaced a minute later by Scott Allardice.
Morton almost snatched victory in the 88th minute when Nesbitt’s shot was touched onto the post by Bell. As full time approached, United had a period of pressure and half chances before the referee blew for full time with honours even in. The two teams will now meet again a further twice in the Championship play-offs.
Halliwell, (McGowan) Lamie, O’Ware, Doyle, Forbes(Tidser), Oyenuga (Nesbitt), Scullion, Russell, McDonagh, Murdoch, Strapp,
Subs, Lindsay, Donnelly, Langan, Tiffoney
Bell, Durnan, Donaldson, Spittal, Murdoch, Flood (Nicholls), Kuate (Allardice), Mikkelsen, Andreu, Coote (Telfer), Robson
Subs- Zwick, Dillon, Dixon
Man of the Match. Hard to see past Tony Andreu. Not his day in front of goal, but as usual demonstrated a cool head and some sublime skills.