Morton’s unlikely push for promotion to the Premiership shows no sign of letting up after they put luckless Raith Rovers to the sword.
Jim Duffy has done a remarkable job with the Greenock club, who are now undefeated at home in 16 games, and this latest win leaves them six points behind Dundee United. Morton have a game in hand, too.
“This keeps us up there in a highly competitive league,” said Duffy. “There is a long way to go so we just have to keep accumulating the points and see where it takes us. There weren’t too many opportunities but I think our goalkeeper has had only one save to make while we were always a threat up front.”
Rovers winger Chris Johnston passed up the best of the few early openings, miscuing a shot straight at David Gaston after Ryan Stevenson had found him in space.
Morton took their time to move through the gears and, when they took the lead, it was more by accident than intention.
Ross Forbes’ inswinging cross from the right touchline was meant for Lawrence Shankland but the striker failed to get his head on the ball and goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert was deceived by its trajectory as it dipped under his crossbar and into the net.
Rovers were more purposeful after the break but failed to convert the openings they created, with Ryan Hardie particularly wasteful when he had been left one-on-one with Gaston only to produce a shot which was more like a passback.
Their profligacy came back to haunt them when Shankland, making his debut on loan from Aberdeen after a stint at St Mirren, headed home from point-blank range after full-back Mark Russell had picked him out with a lofted cross from the by-line.
Gaston then did well to keep out a shot on the turn from substitute Mark Stewart, saving low to his left as Rovers’ barren run continued.
They have now gone nine games without a win and find themselves six points adrift of the play-off positions. Manager Gary Locke felt hard done by, however.
“I feel as if we were mugged because we dominated the game for long spells,” he said. “The first goal they scored sums up our luck at the moment because, while we spoke about the quality of Ross Forbes’ deliveries, it was just a cross which ended up in our net.
“We rallied quite well after that and created a few chances. Ryan Hardie really should have made it 1-1 when he was clean through, but he’s still finding his feet because he’s just come from St Mirren, where he didn’t play a lot of football. At the time of their second goal we were the team who looked most like scoring.”