St Mirren overcome fierce rivals Morton to win Communities Cup

St Mirren captain Mark O'Hara holds the Communities Cup with Megan Brown of sponsors Specsavers
-Credit: (Image: SNS Group)


MORTON...0 ST MIRREN...2

Stephen Robinson was able to get another box ticked as Roland Idowu’s first-half brace won the Communities Cup for St Mirren.

The Buddies avenged last summer’s 2-0 defeat on Tuesday night with an assured display in front of 2,262 fans at rain-lashed Cappielow.

Boss Robinson said: “We’ve got a group of boys who apply themselves really well whether it is a pre-season game or not. For us, it’s about getting minutes.

“It’s also about looking at and correcting things and for the new boys it’s about understanding. There was some really good stuff and some stuff that needs to improve.

“We think Roland is a really good player who can play in a number of different positions. We’ve demanded from our outside forward players that they score more goals.”

The Buddies handed starting roles to three of their summer signings with keeper Ellery Balcombe, defender Shaun Rooney and midfielder Idowu getting the nod.

A group of St Mirren fans at the match
St Mirren fans turned out for the game in Greenock -Credit:SNS Group

It may be pre-season but there was going to be nothing friendly about this Renfrewshire derby showdown given the bitter rivalry between Ton and Saints.

And it was the drenched Buddies standing in the open air at the Wee Dublin End celebrating the opening goal inside three minutes.

On-loan Shrewsbury Town midfielder Idowu powered into the box and finished in style as he sent keeper Ryan Mullen the wrong way when finding the bottom corner of the net.

There was a good atmosphere inside the old ground and Zak Delaney almost gave the Ton fans something to cheer in the 13th minute when his effort following a purposeful run flew just over the bar.

Balcombe, on a season-long loan from Brentford, went on to show his worth with smart saves to deny both Lamar Reynolds and Owen Moffat.

Morton's Owen Moffat and St Mirren's Elvis Bwomono battle for the ball
Morton's Owen Moffat and St Mirren's Elvis Bwomono battle for the ball -Credit:SNS Group

Ton perhaps took encouragement from their daring raids in the final third but they were caught cold in the 31st minute as Saints made it 2-0.

Last season’s top scorer Mikael Mandron was the architect of the move as he advanced with menace then laid the ball off for Idowu who stroked home.

Chances were being created regularly on the slick surface. Mullen prevented Idowu notching up his hat-trick while, at the other end, Balcombe smothered shots from Grant Gillespie and Cameron Blues.

Robinson made three substitutions at the interval, and then another six around the hour mark, to ensure most of his squad got plenty of miles in the legs.

In the 70th minute, one of the half-time arrivals, Toyosi Olusanya, unleashed a fierce strike which took a deflection and was swatted away by Mullen.

Mullen was in fine form again as he tipped a rasping drive from Jaden Brown onto the bar with Ton’s Jack Bearne later denied a consolation when he had a shot cleared off the line.

St Mirren (3-4-3): Balcombe (Urminsky 46); Fraser, Gogic (Kenny 61), R Taylor (Bwomono 61); Rooney, Boyd-Munce (Trialist 46), O’Hara (Smyth 61), Tanser (Brown 24); Ayunga (Scott 61), Idowu (Jamieson 60), Mandron (Olusanya 46).

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