For any football supporter, having to enter your rivals ground is always an awkward and somewhat uncomfortable experience. As a St Mirren supporter Jamie faced the difficult choice of whether we would 'join the dark side' that was the Morton end or play it safe with the Ross County away section. In the end he opted not to risk it, particularly as he was wearing his regular Groundhoppers uniform - a St Mirren strip. Kieran and I made the short trip down the M8 to a grey and damp Greenock and met Jamie at the away end. Through the turnstiles we had to walk round past the old dilapidated terracing which was closed off with police tape giving it the feel of a Taggart episode.
The Ross County fans were given a section of the main stand but for some reason weren't allowed access to the pie stall. Instead the 100 or so County fans had only a rather dubious burger van to nourish us so Kieran had a burger and I had a bacon roll, Jamie played it safe and just stuck with his chewing gum. We were situated in a stand in which the rows of seats were so close together you had the joy of your knees grazing your chin. The rest of the stadium consisted of a bank of terracing behind the goals and a mixture of seating and terracing on the opposite side. The two teams have experienced differing fortunes in the first few months of the campaign - Ross County's focus on working with youth players paying early dividends with the team competing at the top end of the table. Morton on the other hand have experienced a difficult start having already conceded 16 goals and fired their manager in the first 8 games.
The game was a disappointing affair; Morton sat in far too deep but County were unable to find a killer pass to open them up. Garry Wood came closest in the opening period for County but his shot was parried by Morton keeper Colin Stewart. Morton came out with a more attack minded approach in the 2nd half and the County defence did look susceptible but it was the away side who grabbed the lead. With just over 20 minutes left Garry Wood swept home following the best build up play of the day. Morton did have their moments to grab a point but their finishing was poor and in the end County just about deserved all 3 points.
Moment of the day: As the game reached a nervy conclusion a frustrated County fan behind us cried out: 'Haw County I've got four words for you: keep the ball.'
Journey - 5/10
Pie - 0/10
Bovril - 5/10
Ground - 3/10
Game - 4/10
Kieran: Regarding the pictures - we couldn't actually see a Greenock Morton sign anywhere. We saw a billboard across the street, but no specific sign. So, uh, there's us at the ground instead.