FIRST Division leaders Morton maintained their eight-point lead over second-placed Partick Thistle as they battled back to earn a 2-2 draw at Cappielow in front of 5,647 fans.
The result felt as good as a win for the Greenock men, who were two down early in the second-half only to respond positively to the prospect of the Jags being within five points with three games in hand.
The Glasgow side, who had interim boss Alan Archibald in charge for the first time since Jackie McNamara moved to Dundee United, took the lead after nine minutes when Chris Erskine slotted home after Aaron Sinclair’s cross had been deflected into his path.
Morton’s Peter MacDonald cracked a free-kick against the bar before Thistle doubled their advantage two minutes into the resumption when Steven Craig headed home a Ross Forbes cross.
Erskine missed a chance to make it 3-0 shortly afterwards and Morton made the most of that reprieve when MacDonald shot home from 30 yards on 57 minutes after Michael Tidser touched a free kick into his path.
MacDonald then levelled the score nine minutes from time from the penalty spot after Hugh Murray had handled and Murray’s day worsened as he was dismissed, for a second time at Cappielow this season, shortly afterwards.
Morton manager Allan Moore said: “I reckon that we will take more from the result than Thistle. We have gained a point whilst they will feel they have lost two. We had a bit of a mountain to climb but we did it.”
Archibald, who restricted himself to a coaching role, added: “Nothing has been won or lost, as there is a really long way to go. If we had gone three up, it would have turned out differently but we didn’t so we will move on.”
Dunfermline’s title challenge took another blow as they lost 1-0 at Falkirk to slip ten points behind Morton. Both sides had chances before Bairns substitute David Weatherston marked his entrance into the game with three minutes left by converting a pass from Sean Higgins.
Livingston cruised past Cowdenbeath 3-0, all the goals coming before half-time, with Iain Russell netting from a tight angle, Anthony Andreu exchanging passes with Russell before scoring and Jesus Garcia Tena knocking in the third.
Raith struck in injury time to defeat Dumbarton 3-2 and ease fears of getting dragged into relegation worries. Allan Walker slid in to net the opener five minutes from half-time only for Bryan Prunty to level before the teams trooped off.
Pat Clarke fired the Kirkcaldy men ahead again only for Prunty to net his second leveller. However, Brian Graham swept home a Jason Thomson cross to win the game.
There was also late drama at Airdrie, where both the Diamonds and the Hamilton scored in injury time in a 2-2 draw. Stevie May lashed Accies ahead at the start of the second-half, but Jordan Moore replied from the penalty spot after Jamie Bain had been fouled.
Bain looked to have won Airdrie’s first home game since August in the fourth minute of injury time, but May popped up to guide the ball home a minute later.