THIS was a tie that Morton could have done without.
The idea of a rearranged William Hill Scottish Cup replay would seem somewhat convoluted at the best of times, most of all in December and just two days after a league game.
A thumping victory – and a trip to face Dundee in the next round – was assured by goals from Peter Weatherson, Michael Tidser and Peter MacDonald but it was achieved with a great deal more determination than the Irn-Bru First Division side will have expected they would need.
Turriff United had earned a night out in Greenock, the initial tie ending in a draw earlier this month after player-manager Mark Simpson had put the Highland League side ahead. He would be denied a similar moment last night but Morton were forced to exert themselves first before they were able to enjoy a procession.
The hosts were not often troubled but they became irked by a side who sought to blur the differences between the sides. That frustration was shown when Allan Moore left his seat in the stand and made his way to the dugout midway through the first half, the Morton manager presumably growing tired of cajoling his side from afar. It was not long before they were ahead, Weatherson exchanging passes neatly with Fouad Bachirou before thumping a shot into the net.
It took until the final moments of the first half before progress was assured. Tidser was felled in the box by Ross Anderson and the midfielder converted with aplomb. The tie was effectively over but Turriff were not willingly subdued. Substitute Steven Gauld showed neat skill on the hour to evade one challenge and his shot might have troubled Derek Gaston had Mark McLaughlin not thrust a leg in the way of his low shot. It would be a final moment of defiance as Morton secured a place in the fifth round.
Tidser scored his second after linking up Weatherson and then set up substitute Peter MacDonald for his first goal of the season. The striker had been sidelined since pre-season with a foot injury and the manner of his celebration suggested it had been an uncomfortable existence.
It allowed Morton to feel at ease as well. Kyle Wilkie was even able to celebrate his wayward control given that Weatherson strode confidently into possession to round Stephen Coutts, the Turriff goalkeeper, and plant a low shot in for his second. The Englishman was then afforded a moment all of his own as he completed his hat trick.