The Sunday Post (Inverness)
Results fall kindly to hand Jambos the title
DUNDEE 1 Ashcroft (87) MORTON 1 Nesbitt (78)
Disgruntled Dundee boss James Mcpake hit out at referee Alan Newlands – and insisted he robbed them of a dramatic late winner.
Mcpake poured out his frustration in the wake of Declan Mcdaid’s disallowed goal a minute from time after Lee Ashcroft’s 87th minute equaliser had cancelled out Aidan Nesbitt’s opener for Morton 10 minutes earlier.
The Dark Blues remain third in their quest for a play-off place as Gus Macpherson’s second-bottom side left Tayside with a point in their own fight for survival.
But Mcpake couldn’t contain his anger post-match as they strive for promotion back to the Premiership.
Mcpake said: “I don’t want to keep having a pop at referees but I believe we’ve had a perfectly good goal chopped off again.
“I’ve watched it back. Brian Mclean is a good, big defender who dominates people.
“Osman Sow is a big guy as well who goes for the ball. That’s football – it’s just two big guys going and attacking a ball and trying to do the best for their team.
“The explanation I get is that Osman is fractionally late and then he wins the ball.
“I feel so strongly about this. It’s the inconsistency.
“To not give that goal for Osman Sow basically attacking the ball when Brian Mclean jumps before him is ridiculous.”
Manager of the Month Mcpake took his troops into this clash with confidence high on the back of three straight wins.
The opening exchanges were hardfought with Dundee defender Christie Elliot becoming the first player to be booked for a late lunge on Lewis Strapp in 13 minutes.
Then, in 16 minutes, Max Anderson fed Jason Cummings but the former Hibs star’s shot was blocked by Morton stopper Markus Fjortoft. Neither keeper had been tested up until the 40th minute when Mcdaid tried his luck with a shot from 25-yards which Aidan Mcadams held.
Dundee were still searching for a spark after the break and on-loan Celtic youngster Jonathan Afolabi replaced Cummings in 59 minutes. In 73 minutes, Mcpake threw on Swedish striker Sow for Danny Mullen in the hope he could conjure up the winning goal.
But it was Nesbitt who struck for the visitors in 78 minutes.
Strapp’s 20-yard shot was only parried by home keeper Adam Legzdins, and Nesbitt was on hand to convert the rebound from close-range.
Ashcroft, though, levelled three minutes from time when he latched on to Sow’s flick-on to smash a high finish past Mcadams before Mcdaid’s tap-in was controversially ruled out for a foul by Sow.
Morton boss Macpherson said: “We had a really poor result against Inverness so the most important thing was that we reacted to that.
“We worked for each other, put a shift in so it gives us hope.
“Our keeper only had two saves over the piece. When you look at the firepower Dundee have, I thought we limited them to two or three opportunities.”