MORTON boss David Hopkin faces a search to sign a new goalkeeper after Sam Ramsbottom was axed.

The English shot-stopper has been released by the club and is understood to be searching for a new side back down south.

The former Tranmere Rovers youngster joined the Ton in the summer of last year after impressing with English non-league outfit Alfreton Town.

He had previously worked with Ton goalkeeping coach Dave Timmins and there were high hopes for the young keeper.

Ramsbottom made 15 starts for the Ton over the course of the season whilst vying for the spot between with sticks with now-departed loanee Danny Rogers, who came in from Aberdeen just a few weeks after he arrived at the club.

The 24-year-old Englishman notably kept out two penalties in a shoot-out win over Queen of the South which took Ton into the knock-out rounds of the Betfred Cup and a showdown against Hibernian.

However, he failed to cement his place in the side, with rival Rogers impressing in the winter and eventually nailing down the slot as number one choice.

The big keeper becomes the first player to be freed after player contracts were temporarily extended through July under the coronavirus job retention scheme, with the government covering wages.

Hopkin is also looking for a striker after top goalscorer Bob McHugh decided to quit Cappielow and sign for Queen's Park.

Player of the year Nicky Cadden also opted to leave for Forest Green Rovers.

It's believed more players could follow Ramsbottom out of the exit door this week, with several of them going out-of-contract.

The only 'keeper now left on the books is youngster Chris Wylie, who signed his first professional contract back in January after impressing with John Sutton’s development squad.

The Morton squad will return to training next month in preparation for a restart at the beginning of October.

The Betfred Cup group stages will herald Ton’s return to competitive action, with the Championship kick-off on October 17.

Fixtures for both competitions are expected to be released some time this week, after Hearts and Partick Thistle yesterday saw an arbitration panel decide not to overturn their respective relegations.