Rangers loanees James Maxwell and Josh McPake make their competitive debuts for their new sides in last night’s Betfred Cup clash between Queen of the South and Morton in Greenock – and it was Maxwell’s Doonhamers who came out on top in a 4-2 shootout triumph.
The Gers pair were on opposing sides in the Group G tie and it was the hosts who took an early lead through Sean McGinty after 18 minutes at Cappielow.
Morton boss David Hopkin thought his side deserved a penalty early on when his player looked to be brought down by Maxwell but referee Don Robertson was having none of it and waved play on, much to the Rangers youngster’s relief.
McPake had a chance to double Morton’s lead shortly before the break but lost his footing while bearing down on goal.
Former Rangers striker Stephen Dobbie levelled things up with almost an hour played before Aidan Nesbitt restored Morton’s lead 15 minutes later.
Connor Shields then grabbed a 79th-minute equaliser to send the game to penalties and earn the Dumfries side an extra point when Gregor Buchanan slotted home the winning spot-kick.
The two sides are joined in Group G by St Mirren, Partick Thistle and Queen’s Park and will both be hoping to push for qualification to the last 16.
With group games serving as a mini-preseason for some clubs, it’s a real chance for Maxwell and McPake to really show what they can do for their respective clubs.
Both players played the full 90 minutes last night but neither were involved in the shootout – while there were ex-Gers on both sides with Dobbie joined by Rhys McCabe in Allan Johnston’s Queen of the South starting XI and Aidan McAdams between the sticks for Morton.