Ross County spurned the opportunity to move six points clear at the top of the Championship as they went down 1-0 against Morton at Cappielow.
Kerr Waddell’s goal on 66 minutes was the difference between the sides, with Jonatan Johansson’s men capitalising on a number of missed chances by the Staggies in a dominant first half display. County had skipper Marcus Fraser sent off in the dying seconds for a second yellow card.
The result is only County’s third loss of the season – and their second at Cappielow – and it allows second placed Ayr United to claw back the deficit with a victory over Falkirk on Saturday.
County made one enforced change from the side which struck late to defeat Highland rivals Caley Thistle the previous weekend, with Stelios Demetriou out with a hamstring injury and replaced by Tom Grivosti.
County were close to an opener on seven minutes, with Jamie Lindsay’s cross following a short corner picking out Callum Morris, however the defender was unable to guide his effort on target.
Michael Gardyne was denied an excellent solo goal on 17 minutes after he weaved into a shooting position past three Morton players from the left flank, however his effort was blocked by goalkeeper Derek Gaston.
The hosts’ best chance of the first half arrived two minutes later, with Rory McKeown scooping a close-range effort over after being picked out by Jim McAlister.
County continued to threaten however, with Don Cowie seeing an effort nodded off the line by Kerr Waddell after Billy Mckay had latched on to a poor header from defender Gregor Buchanan.
The Staggies were forced to make a double change on the hour mark, with Cowie and Morris both limping off to be replaced by the returning Josh Mullin and Harry Paton. Mullin immediately set up Gardyne for a shot from distance, which was well turned behind by Gaston.
Morton took the lead on 66 minutes however, with former County loanee Michael Tidser swinging in a free kick which Waddell was first to meet at the near post, directing the ball past Scott Fox from close range.