IT wasn’t quite smash and grab but Morton manager Gus MacPherson admitted that his side could point to a rub of the green for the three points they left Hamilton with yesterday afternoon.

In a game in which Hamilton hustled and harried for goals – one effort came off the woodwork, two were cleared off the line and Morton keeper Jack Hamilton would have been a viable contender for the man of the match – they were left empty-handed despite their efforts.

If that wasn’t enough to irk Accies manager Brian Rice, there was also a suggestion that Dundee United are keen on a move for Scott McMann, just as he is trying to add to his squad numbers.

“That is the first I have heard of that,” he said. “We want to keep all of our good players and Scott is definitely one of them.”

His opposite number was considerably more upbeat. MacPherson picked up a booked from referee Greg Aitken for his vocal criticisms of the whistler’s performance, a number of which appeared justifiable, but it was never going to dampen his afternoon.

Similarly, the late red card for midfielder Cameron Blues for a second yellow card offered a little frustration since the decision cannot be appealed because it came on the back of two bookings but wasn’t sufficient to spoil the day.

“I’m delighted but I’m not going to kid anyone on, it was fortuitous,” he admitted.  “Hamilton must be scratching their heads that they haven’t won the game, never mind take a point from it.

“We’ll take it but we’re realistic enough to know that we’ll have to play better than that. I thought Alan Lithgow was immense at the back in terms of his presence and his organisation. He keeps things so tight.

“Gozie took his goal well. He was a bit behind the rest in terms of his fitness but he’s getting stronger now with every game.”

Accies enjoyed a rousing comeback last weekend against Raith but while they threatened that at times as they tried to take the game to Morton, they lacked a finishing touch in front of goal. They have taken just one point from their opening two Championship games with Brian Rice aware of where the deficiencies lie.

“We had some really good chances,” said Rice. “It is what we said before – you have to be clinical and take your chances. Morton got the first goal and it gave them the chance to sit in and fair play to them, they defended well.
“We have got two weeks now before the next game so it gives us a chance to get some training into their legs and we will try and get a bounce game in there too.”

It was quite the afternoon for Blues who was sent off, almost scored an own-goal and set up Ugwu’s debut strike for Morton.

Robbie Muirhead held the ball up before providing Blue and his long ball down the channel picked out Ugwu. His power enabled him to advance in behind Lewis Spence before steering a low effort into the far corner.

Accies had ample chances to get back into the game, most notably when Ryan’s shot came off the underside of the bar and bounced onto the line before it was scrambled to safety while a George Stanger header was also cleared off the line in the second period.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the home support and it was little wonder that Rice spoke of a willingness to add before the closure of the transfer window at the end of the month.

“There will be another one or two still to come in,” he said.  We have seen three or four flashes but we just couldn’t get the goal but we had plenty of chances and plenty of possession.”