Goals from Michael Gardyne and Richard Brittain had seemed certain to give Derek Adams’ side the cushion they craved ahead of Saturday’s visit of closest championship rivals Falkirk.
The Dingwall club still made it 25 games unbeaten and equalled their record best points tally of 56 in the First Division.
Adams went with the same starting line-up and bench for the fifth game running as they sought to enhance their advtange on Saturday’s opponents Falkirk. Morton fielded veteran Alan Combe after signing the ex-Kilmarnock and Dundee United goalkeeper as an emergency short-term signing.
The hosts slowly found their rhythm – and surged ahead with their first incisive move after 32 minutes. Iain Vigurs showed excellent control and poise near the bye-line to the left of the box and swept across to Gardyne.
The Dundee United-bound frontman took a touch and then hammered hard and low into the corner of the net from eight yards for his 12th goal of the season. County created a two-goal cushion after 58 minutes after a brilliant free-kick from Richard Brittain. Marc Smyth was penalised for a challenge on Stuart Kettlewell just outside the area and the County skipper swept a fine free-kick beyond Combe’s reach for his ninth of the season.
Brittain might have put the game beyond Morton’s reach moments later but skewed a header wildly off target.
Gardyne then missed a howler in front of goal, and when substitute Archie Campbell drilled in low from the egde of the box County had work left to see out the victory. In the third minute of injury time, Scott Boyd handled Smyth’s strike in the box and Peter Weatherston tucked away the penalty.