Jinky's boots. Photo by David Geddes. Jimmy Johnstone ended his playing career at Elgin City.
Morton host Elgin City in Round One of the League Cup.
Elgin City, The Black and Whites, wear a kit alarmingly similar to St Mirren's.* They were founded in 1893, and are 14-time Highland League champions, plus once when they won but were stripped of the title. They joined the SFL in the year 2000 and have yet to gain promotion to the third tier. They have never done better than Round Two of the League Cup. They have never done better than the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup. They have never done better than Round Four of the Scottish Cup. Morton are more illustrious.
Today is only the sixth time in history that these two clubs have met in a competitive match. They were together in Division Three in 2002-03, when Morton took three wins and a draw. Morton eliminated City from the 1968-69 Scottish Cup. Do you hear what I'm telling you? Elgin City have never beaten Greenock Morton.
Some other matches. Livingston and Clyde meet for the second time in two weeks. Livingston won last week's match. [And again today, 1 - 0.] There's a Fife derby: Dunfermine [5 - 1] Cowdenbeath. There's a South of Scotland derby: Annan [3 - 4] QoS. There's a Rovers reunion: Raith Rovers [3 - 0] Albion Rovers.
Have Morton ever faced the same club in the first round of both the League Cup and the Challenge Cup? No.
Have Morton ever been knocked out of both the League Cup and the Challenge Cup in the first round in the same year? No. But in 1993-94 they were eliminated from the Challange Cup in the first round by St Mirren, and they had a bye to the second round of the League Cup, where they were knocked out by Rangers.
How have Morton fared in League Cup play in the 21st Century?
2000-01: Round One.
2001-02: Round One.
2002-03: Round One.
2003-04: Round Two.
2004-05: Round Two.
2005-06: Round One.
2006-07: Round One.
2007-08: Round One.
2008-09: Round Three.
2009-10: Round Two.
2010-11: Round Two.
2011-12: Round Two.
2012-13: Round Two.
2014-15: Round Two.
There's some gradual improvement there. You'd think Morton might make Round Three this year.
The Premiership clubs get a bye through this round and start their league play today. For the purposes of the League Cup St Mirren are still a Premiership club, but they're not playing in the Premiership anymore, so today they travel to Yorkshire to visit Sheffield Wednesday, The Owls. Hearts play in the First Round of the League Cup, despite being in the Premiership, which just screws up the schedule. Expect this anomaly to be remedied by next year. [Owls win 5 - 0.]
There was a rumour going round a month or so ago that Morton would play Spanish side Getafe CF on July 29th, but nothing came of it. Getafe, who were 15th in La Liga last season, are holding their training camp in Cheshire.
Morton have signed Romario Sabajo formerly of FC Lienden of the Netherlands' Sunday Topklasse. Can he make the transition to Saturday football?
Striker Denny Johnstone formerly of Celtic, Birmingham City, Macclesfield Town, Cheltenham Town, and Burton Albion has been signed on loan.
[Morton win 5 - 0. Goals by McCluskey, Johnstone, Scullion (2) and Forbes.]
UEFA Champions League and Europa League 3Q first leg action this week:
Celtic 1 - 0 Qarabağ of Azerbaijan
Kairat Almaty of Kazakhstan 2 - 1 Aberdeen. But the next day Almaty lost out to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The Penshaw Monument in Sunderland, England, is a replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens and was built in honour of John Lambton, Ist Earl of Durham, Governor General of British North America in 1838-39 and author of the Durham Report, which said the French Canadians had no history of their own. He died in this date in 1840.
The Lion Monument or Löwendenkmal in Lucerne was hewn in 1820-1 to commemorate the Swiss Guards killed during the storming of the Tuileries Palace in 1792. For an expression of 19th-century Romanticism you can't do much better, and it received praise from Thomas Carlyle and Mark Twain. All abandoned quarries should finish off this grandly. Photo.
The Scottish Challenge Cup, the challenge being to drink out of it without poking yourself in the eye. Source.
It's Morton versus Dumbarton at Cappielow, a Clydeside derby. Morton and the Sons are both members of the 2015-16 Championship, so today's match is a preview of what is to come this season.
Morton have not lost a cup game against Dumbarton since 1960. But, on paper, Dumbarton are the stronger side. After all, they are the ones who were in the Championship last year. In the pre-season Dumbarton have defeated Edinburgh City, Hearts, and Clydebank. Yes, Hearts, 2 - 0.
It feels as if Morton draw Dumbarton in the Challenge Cup a lot. In fact it has been precisely three times in the 21st century. Who have the Ton played most often in the history of this cup? Queen of the South and Ross County at five times each.
In 24 Challenge Cups, Dumbarton have exited in the first round 21 times, the second round twice, and the third round once. Morton have eliminated them three times.
Years in which Morton were knocked out in the first round of the Challenge Cup, and who knocked them out: 1993-94 (St Mirren); 1995-96 (Livingston); 2004-05 (Forfar); 2013-14 (Annan).
Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken played for Morton from 1993 til 2001. I should have mentioned that last season when he managed Stranraer.
Which former Challenge Cup winners are in contention this year? Falkirk, Queen of the South, Alloa, Airdrieonians, St Mirren, Livingston, Raith Rovers, Stranraer, Stenhousemuir.
Which former Challenge Cup winners are ineligible for this year's competition by reason of being in the Premiership? Ross County, Hamilton Academical, Dundee, Inverness CT, St Johnstone.
Which current Championship clubs have never won the Challenge Cup? Rangers, Hibs, Morton, Dumbarton. Two of them will be out after this round.
Which clubs have eliminated Rangers from the Challenge Cup? Queen of the South, Raith Rovers, Alloa Athletic.
Which SPFL clubs have never competed for the Challenge Cup? Celtic, Aberdeen, Motherwell.
In additition to the clubs of the Championship and Leagues One and Two, the Challenge Cup competition includes the winners of the Highland and Lowland Leagues, Brora Rangers and Edinburgh City. Winning one of the fifth-flight leagues qualifies you for: the pyramid playoffs, the Challenge Cup, and a bye to Round Two of the Scottish Cup. Last season apart from Highland League and Highland League Cup play, Brora took part in four playoff games, three Scottish Cup games, and two Challenge Cup games. Brora [0 - 1] Alloa. Edinburgh City host Queen's Park. [Queen's Park win on penalty kicks.]
The Challenge Cup is currently on a run of eight different winners in eight years: St Johnstone, Airdrie United, Dundee, Ross County, Falkirk, Queen of the South, Raith Rovers, Livingston.
Other games to watch:
Hibs vs Rangers. Just like last year. I'm sure the SPFL would have preferred this to be the final. [Rangers win emphatically, 2 - 6.]
QoS [2 - 0] Stranraer. A South of Scotland derby.
Cowdenbeath [0 - 1] Raith Rovers. A Fife derby.
Forfar [1 - 0] Montrose. An Angus derby.
[Dumbarton win 2 - 3. Morton goals by Kilday and MacDonald. Morton are out of the Challange Cup.]
UEFA Champions League and Europa League 2Q second leg results this week:
Stjarnan 1 - 4 Celtic. Celtic advance.
Astra Giurgiu 0 - 0 Inverness CT. ICT are out.
Aberdeen 2 - 2 Rijeka. Aberdeen advance.
UCD 1 - 5 Slovan Bratislava. UCD are out.
Yesterday a Morton XI played Greenock Juniors in a friendly at the newly refurbished Ravenscraig Stadium and won 3 - 0.
Today is the first day of league play in the Highland League.