• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Cowdenbeath 1 Morton 1: Drab draw exposes the rough edges of title hopes

Kevin Rutkiewicz wasted little time in setting the record straight as he considered Morton's capacity to win the Irn-Bru First Division title this season, despite faltering in their last two matches.

Morton struggled to break down the Cowdenbeath defence
Morton struggled to break down the Cowdenbeath defence

The defender was asked what it would take for his side to achieve promotion since he had pulled it off once before, while on loan at Dunfermline Athletic in 2011. "I've won two titles," he said, lest anyone forget that he had also lifted the title with St Johnstone.

It was followed quickly with a smile but the errors shown by Morton at Central Park will demand a more serious response. The Greenock side had finished 2012 strongly with wins over both Partick Thistle and Dunfermline but that has been followed by a defeat by bottom side Dumbarton and a drab draw in Fife on Saturday.

It will be viewed as a poor result since Cowdenbeath have not won since September but a point was merited, given the rough edges of their display. The calm passing of Michael Tidser, in particular, was too often by-passed in the first half in favour of un-productive long balls to the front pair of Peters: Weatherson and MacDonald.

"We've obviously lost a bit of form," said Rutkiewicz, whose flick-on set MacDonald up for the equaliser. "We've gone from the highs of playing the top two – and excelling as well, because we played some really good football – to the lows of not performing. It's a typical first division title race this year, it's turning into a right tousy affair."

Cowdenbeath are wary of entering into a scrap of their own as they continue to hover just three points above the relegation play-off place. They have recruited three loan players – goalscorer Liam Caddis from St Johnstone, Kane Hemmings of Rangers and Hibernian midfielder Sam Stanton – to help ease those concerns and each were lively against Morton. Caddis came close to adding to his goal in the second half before and Stanton and Hemmings both had drives saved.

The Rangers striker will be grateful for the chance to stretch his legs having undergone his fourth knee operation in the summer. His return to action has also been curtailed by the presence of Lee McCulloch, Andy Little, Kevin Kyle, Kal Naismith and Francisco Sandaza all ahead of him at Ibrox.

Hemmings could have been forgiven for taking time to find his feet, though, since he has been farmed out from the third division to gain further experience at a side two leagues higher up.

"I've thought about the fact I've gone on loan to a team in a higher division and it's a bit weird, but it's good to go out and get experience wherever you're going to get it, really," said the striker, who has made four senior appearances for Rangers. "It's a weird situation to be in. A lot of my mates were texting me and saying 'you've gone up the divisions'. But it's just down to the stature of Rangers and I'm pleased to go out and play."

Contextual targeting label: 
Sport

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

134090