MORTON gaffer Gus MacPherson believes putting his faith in the club’s youngsters is paying off after they booked a quarter-final place in the SPFL Trust Trophy.

With eight of the starting 11 against Montrose under the age of 25 - five of whom were academy graduates - the Ton manager believes that his colts are being given a good platform to learn the ropes.

Despite having to play away from home in every game in the tournament so far, MacPherson was delighted to see his side set up a clash against Queen of the South at Palmerston in the next round.

He told Telegraph Sport: “We got there in the end which is the main thing, but I think that both goalkeepers had some really good saves over the course of the game.

“It was really end-to-end stuff, they went with three at the back and three up front, so it signalled the intent of both teams and it was a very open game.

“We’re just glad to get through to the quarter-final against Queen of the South.

“It’s tough when you’re away from home, but that’s how it works when you’ve got a premeditated draw. Someone’s got to do it but we just need to get on with it.

“We knew that it would be tough coming up here but we could see that both teams made changes, we made five or six and we had a very young team out there.

“Stewart Petrie made some changes as well with some of his tried and trusted players on the bench coming on towards the end.

“We’re always respectful towards whoever we play irrespective of the division that they play in and Montrose are a very good team.

“We’ve said that from the second we’ve walked in through the door, we’ll give the young players a chance if they’re ready and we’ve managed to do that again.

“They’ll make mistakes but that’s also how they learn.

“That wasn’t passive, it had a competitive edge to it with it being knock-out football and even though they may have made a few mistakes out there they’ll learn from them.

“We had five academy graduates on the park and a few more on the bench and had 10 in the squad against Hamilton.

“It’s a good thing for us going forward.”

The Ton manager was full of praise for English striker Jimmy Knowles who impressed at the top end of the park.

He has backed the 19-year-old to play a big part this season after overcoming Covid-19 and settling into life in Scottish football.

MacPherson added: “Jimmy put in a really good shift and was unlucky not to have scored midway through the second half.

“He led the line really well and he’s developing with us.

“He’s come from a level of football that is different from ours and he’s come up and been frustrated.

“He’s had Covid which has kept him out and he’s getting stronger and better with the more he plays."