KUDUS OYENUGA, the Morton striker, cannot shake the feeling he was destined to emerge as the match-winner against Falkirk after revealing his girlfriend predicted he would mark his birthday with a goal.
The former Dundee United front-man, who turned 24 on Saturday, was the unlikely hero for Jim Duffy's side, climbing from the bench in the second half to convert a looping header beyond Danny Rogers after meeting a super Aidan Nesbitt cross.
Given Oyenuga had not found the net since a 2-0 win over Dumbarton in November, his intervention could be considered a surprise. Indeed, prior to this weekend, the only team he had scored against this season was Dumbarton.
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However, Oyenuga had a feeling serendipity was on his side after a pre-match pep talk from his other half, Grace.
"That's the best birthday I've had," smiled Oyenuga. "My missus actually said 'I think you've got a birthday goal in you today', so I thought, if I got on, then I would score.
"She predicted it! Luckily enough my wish came true - it was a great birthday present.
"I was just happy to get on the pitch and do my bit to help the boys and contribute again. The gaffer has a great squad, and plenty of options to come on, and we are all desperate to play.”
The victory moved Morton level on points with the Bairns in second spot in the Championship, while they are only seven behind Hibernian - with a game in hand and two fixtures against the capital club in the next three weeks.
While a tall order for the unfancied Greenock side an unlikely tilt at the title is not out of the question, especially given Hibs’ habitual slips against lesser opponents.
Oyenuga, however, has more modest aims, insisting several months battling a persistent hamstring complaint have left him hungry to simply play for than five minutes at a time.
He was afforded 25 minutes on Saturday and richly repaid Duffy.
"You should have seen me when the gaffer told me to get warmed up on Saturday...I was off like a shot,” he laughed. “Late-December, I pulled my hammy, came back and did the same thing against Dumbarton. It's then just about getting yourself fit and back in the picture.
“I said to the boys the other week 'I just want longer on that pitch!' The gaffer was easing me in with five minutes or ten minutes, but I just wanted longer to get out there and show what I could do. I'm just glad I did the business.”
Oyenuga’s 79th-minute winner ensured Morton were not left to ruminate on Thomas O’Ware’s first-half miss, when the prolific defender volleyed over the bar following a splendidly worked free-kick involving Ross Forbes and Gary Oliver.
The same cannot be said for Falkirk, who will cast rueful glances at a wonderful reaction save from Derek Gaston to deny John Baird on the stroke of half-time and a Nathan Austin header - minutes after Oyenuga had struck - which kissed the inside of the post and bounced to safety.
Baird could do little to hide his despondency after the defeat - which was their first Championship reverse in 10 matches - as they passed up a golden opportunity to move within four points of Hibs with a trip to Easter Road to come next weekend.
“It's just so frustrating, that result is an absolute killer,” Baird said candidly. "It just feels like such a massive chance lost to pull away from Morton and get closer to Hibs.”