BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Morton defender Ricki Lamie has warned St Mirren that they will be entering a bear-pit at Cappielow this evening, insisting the Refrewshire rivalry is now one of the top derbies in Scottish football.
The fierce foes face each other in league action for the first time in 15 years this evening, with a raucous atmosphere expected under the floodlights in Greenock.
With Celtic and Rangers separated by a division and the Edinburgh clubs in different leagues, this encounter is a welcome addition to the fixture list in the Scottish game.
Lamie reckons it will be an unforgettable night in front of a bumper crowd and TV cameras at Cappielow.
The 22-year-old said: “It’s going to be an absolutely massive game, and the boys know all about the stature and the history of this derby.
“It’s been 15 years years since the last league game between the team and, under the floodlights at Cappielow, it will be a brilliant occasion.
“There’s nowhere quite like it when it is bouncing. I don’t think many team like playing in front of the Cow Shed when its in full voice – it’s an intimidating venue, and I’m sure they’ll be in full voice with St Mirren in town.
“With Rangers and Hibs in the Championship, Scottish football needs as many of these rivalries as possible. In terms of passion and intensity, Morton against St Mirren is definitely one of the best.”
Morton are still waiting for their first Championship victory following their promotion, drawing against Falkirk and suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat against Hibernian.
Lamie knows Ton will again be underdogs against the Buddies tonight – but there will be no inferiority complex from the hosts.
He said: “It’s been a strange one. We’ve not one yet, but it has been really small margins, and I think we can be pleased with the account we have given ourselves.
“Make no bones about it, St Mirren are expected to challenge for promotion and will be favourites tonight. The calibre of players they have brought in – and are still looking to bring in – have shown that.
“However, we are confident and can’t wait for the game – hopefully we do ourselves justice.”