DAVID Hopkin says he feared Lewis Strapp wouldn’t be allowed back on the pitch before the full-back completed Morton’s remarkable comeback against Ayr United.

Strapp took a heavy knock to the head in a collision with Ton skipper Jim McAlister in the second half and had to receive treatment for a nasty cut under his eye.

The Morton boss worried the knock would rule out the youngster for the final 20 minutes, but he emerged bandaged and scored the winner with two minutes remaining.

Hopkin praised his walking wounded hero and believes the rallying performance shows what the young full-back is made of.

He told the Tele: “I’m delighted for young Lewis who’s come back on with a bandage on his head to score the winner with his head.

“It was a great performance and the work-rate from the players was fantastic and that’s what I’m trying to instil at the football club, a hard-working team who never give up.

“There was a worry if Lewis would make it back on because it’s quite a nasty cut under his eye that he got and I didn’t think the linesman was going to let him back on.

“Anybody that knows him knows that Lewis is a young, fit, fighting, strapping young boy.

“He’s not played over the last few weeks due to an injury, but he’s come back into the team today and scored the winner, which is all I can ask of him.

“The character we’ve got throughout this club is there for people to see, especially in such a young squad, and you can see what we’re trying to build.”

Hopkin admitted that he did not see the turnaround coming and praised his side’s never-say-die mentality as they made it six points out of nine.

He said: “I’ll be honest, I didn’t see a comeback like that happening with that short a space of time left.

“I thought that we played against a very good Ayr United team, full of quality players who could be or already have played in the Premier League and you could see that with their two goals from Cammy Smith.

“In the first half, we paid them way too much respect and — especially in the last third of the pitch — we were given the runaround.

“We went down 1-0 when they had nobody in the box and Lewis has unfortunately scored an own goal.

“I was going to change things at half-time but instead I asked the players to give me a reaction and I certainly got that in the second half, even when we went 2-0 down I thought that we’d get at least one more chance.

“I thought that we had to be patient to get back into the game and thankfully we did by scoring three fantastic goals.

“I’ve got to take my hat off to Gary Oliver for the composure he showed to score the first goal.

“He’s taken it past two players and passes it into the bottom corner and then to Cameron Blues as well who was an unlikely goalscorer.

“He’s been fantastic since he’s come in and now, he’s getting the rewards he deserves.”