If you’ve not been following the save so far, where have you been? It’s been a whirlwind. In season 1, we consolidated our place in the Scottish Championship, qualifying for the playoffs but in the end, falling short. In season 2, we went to the next level, and played our way to the Scottish Premiership, topping the Championship table. And in the last update, you’d of seen that at the half-way stage of season 3, we were sitting in 4th place in the Premiership, exceeding the boards and the bookies expectations of relegation. The season is finished, so how the hell did the mighty Greenock Morton get on?
Scottish Premiership – Pre-Split
In our last game of 2017, we lost to Dundee. After that, we went on an incredible run of form, 9 games unbeaten. The 3 games against Rangers, Aberdeen and Celtic in 7 days really outlined we meant business. The home wins over Rangers and Aberdeen were great games. We stayed firm, played our game to the best of our ability, and really smashed and grabbed both wins in the last 10 minutes. The Celtic game was much the same, a deserved draw with a goal in the 85th minute.
After that, came 4 clean sheets in 4 games. A pretty remarkable turnaround seeing as we were the 3rd highest in the league for goals conceded in the 1st half of the season. The only negative mark on our form there being a 2-1 home defeat against Inverness, we dominated the match but just couldn’t hit our dominance home.
If you aren’t aware, after 33 games in the Scottish Premiership, the league splits into 2 groups of 6. I personally hate it, and want nothing more than the league to be expanded. It just doesn’t feel right. Anyway, after some brilliant results leading up to the split, how were we faring in the league?
Bloody hell. We were top. Just.
The pre-split fixtures sees you play each team once more, so we had tough games against Rangers and Celtic to come. Who was going to come out on top at the end of the season?
Scottish Premiership – Post-Split
So it was Rangers up first, and it was a defeat at Ibrox. The game was heading for a 1-1 draw up until some horrific defending, a mix-up between my centre-back and keeper, saw them snatch the win in the 88th minute. We couldn’t bounce back in the next game, as we fell to another defeat, this time against Aberdeen. It was another late one. This time, an 86th minute winner from a corner. Were we bottling it?
Back on form after that, with 2 wins in 2, and a brilliant 5-0 thumping away at Dundee to get them back for that defeat earlier on in the season. As expected, there was a few twists and turns to be had. After beating us, Rangers didn’t win another game, Celtic had beaten Aberdeen, but drew with Rangers and Hearts, and had lost to Dundee! This left us with the top of the table looking like this going into the final game of the season. A huge title decider! Morton versus Celtic at Cappielow!
We wouldn’t bottle it would we? Did we do it?
We did it!! Morton youth product, Jim McAlister, who’d returned to the club on a free in the summer, put us ahead on 19 minutes. Fulham loanee, Freddy Plumain rattled in a 2nd goal not long after, and the game just boringly petered out. Nothing else of note happened at all, but who was I to complain? Greenock Morton are the Scottish Premiership Champions!
An amazing achievement, and one that I’m actually slightly embarrassed about! We had absolutely no right to even challenge for the league, we were predicted and expected to fight against relegation, but we’re champions. What does this mean for the club? Well for starters…
Champions League football is coming to Cappielow. Hilarious. It hasn’t sunk in. I’ve got absolutely no expectations whatsoever, and would like to apologise in advance to the Scottish European coefficient.
Secondly, the £3m prize money for finishing top of the league comes in very handy and all but secures the club on a steady financial standing, for a short while at least. Although, just to hit it home a bit more, next seasons transfer budget is less than £100k. That’ll be handy for our Champions League campaign.
Normally I’d go into my players of the season, but in the excitement I’ve forgotten to take screenshots so bear with me on that one. I’ll go into that in a follow up post, alongside which, I’ll reveal the tactic that led us to this success.
I still can’t quite believe it…