First Division leaders Morton showed a Dunfermline team that appear to be growing weary of chasing their full wages little sympathy with a 4-1 win at East End Park that all but ended the hope of a Pars return to the SPL.
The Greenock side now sit 13 points clear of the third-placed Fifers with their win being helped by the woodwork.
Peter MacDonald netted the opener from the penalty spot via a post on 31 minutes with Dunfermline having no such good fortune with a spot kick of their own just before the break when Andy Barrowman’s effort came back off an upright and spun over the bar.
Michael Tidser thumped home a second for Morton within seconds of the second half starting, with MacDonald adding a third when he headed home before 50 minutes had been played.
Tidser rifled in another fine effort before Callum Morris gathered a crumb of comfort with a late headed consolation.
A delighted Morton manager Allan Moore said: “Dunfermline had been the better side until the penalties but we had the game won quickly into the second half. We have quite a commanding lead now over them and with the experience we have in our team it will take a lot for us to lose it.”
Dunfermline manager Jim Jefferies said: “Both penalty decisions were soft but they scored theirs and we didn’t. We looked like the team at the top of the league in the first half but somehow went in behind. The players are frustrated with how things are going as they are not highly paid and every penny is important. They have carried on training well but everyone would like the situation resolved.”
Partick Thistle continue to chase Morton hard and they secured their second 1-0 home win in four days when they saw off Airdrie United thanks to Chris Erkine’s second-half goal. The Jags, who remain five points behind with two games to play, as well as the Diamonds both missed chances before Erskine crashed a shot home via the bar from the edge of the box with 13 minutes left.
Falkirk proved too strong for hosts Dumbarton with the Bairns securing their third win in a row thanks to goals from Thomas Grant and David Weatherston in a 2-0 success. Grant converted a Blair Alston cross on 25 minutes and five minutes later Weatherston ignored appeals for offside to score the second.
Hamilton Accies’ Stevie May netted in the dying seconds to grab his side a point in a 1-1 draw with visitors Livingston.
The Lions looked on course for a second win at New Douglas Park this season when Iain Russell forced the ball home 12 minutes from time, however May struck after Andy McNeil could only push an effort from substitute Gary Fraser into his path.
Cowdenbeath substitute Greg Stewart made his presence felt nine minutes from time when he slid the ball home to gain a draw for the Blue Brazil in their 1-1 game with visiting neighbours Raith Rovers.
Brian Graham nodded the Kirkcaldy side ahead three minutes into the second half, however Stewart netted to see the spoils shared after on-loan Motherwell youngster Craig Moore had been denied.