An elated Ricki Lamie said he could not have possibly picked a more perfect occasion to score his first Morton goal than an injury-time strike against arch rivals St Mirren in a Hogmanay derby.
The defender lashed a loose ball into the back of the Saints net deep into the 92nd minute of Saturday’s New Year’s Eve clash to rescue a draw for 10-man Ton.
It was the first time Lamie had scored since arriving at Cappielow in the summer of 2014 – and the likeable left-back say it was a tremendous feeling to break his duck in such dramatic circumstances.
He told gmfc.net: “You couldn’t quite script it as a way to get off the mark. If you had to pick a game, and time in the game, then this was it. The only thing was that it wasn’t for all three points.
“It’s my first goal for the club and it was a long time coming. It’s obviously deep into my third season so the sweat was coming, and I get reminded of it regularly. The other boys wind me up about it, even in training and that.
“I’ve never been prolific – my only other senior goal came in Scottish Cup tie while on loan at Queen’s Park – so it was good to get off the mark.
“It was one of the best feelings I’ve had in football, especially because I was disappointed in the first half: it was my man [Gary McKenzie] at the corner.
“I got blocked off at the back post and there were just inches in it to getting there, and that wee yard cost me and he got the header. So I was bitterly disappointed.
“I nearly made up for it at the end of the first half with the header off the bar, and Gary [Oliver]’s took a sore one. He was brave, very brave. That was a stonewaller, so we’re unlucky.
“So to score when I did … it’s just sheer elation. You’re kind of caught up in it personally and, with the circumstances, it probably felt like a win.”
Lamie insisted the way in which the Ton kept going until the end underlined their team spirit, and he gave an insight into what was said in the impromptu mid-match huddle in which the team rallied each other.
He added: “Jamie [McDonagh] is bitterly disappointed with himself. But we’ve all been there; it’s just that wee bit of a rush of blood to the head. It could have cost us getting something out of the game, but we kept plugging away.
“The spirit we showed was different class. When we grouped together we just said: ‘Let’s stick together.’ It was nothing over the top. And we did stick together, stayed compact and made it hard.
“In the conditions with the weather and being down to 10 men, everything was going against us. But we kept going – and it just epitomises the team spirit we’ve shown so far this season, and it’s why we are where we are.
“It was a good way to end 2016 and we now go into 2017 and the New Year ready to go again and have a good go at it.”
Images: Gary Bradley