MORTON were held to a goalless draw away to a Dumbarton side desperate to avoid the relegation play-off place.

In the first half, Bobby Barr and Denny Johnstone both forced strong saves from home goalkeeper Jamie Ewings, while Paul Heffernan brought out the best in Derek Gaston.

Ton were the better side over the piece and continued to look the more threatening outfit after the break, going closest to scoring when Ross Forbes struck the post on 81 minutes.

But there would be no breakthrough and the teams would have to settle for a share of the spoils in what was the second 0-0 draw contested by the clubs this term.

It also represented the Ton’s fourth scoreless draw of the campaign and, by coincidence, their first clean sheet since the goalless draw at Livingston a month ago.

In terms of the league table, the point kept Stevie Aitken’s Sons two clear of David Hopkin’s ninth-placed Livi, who drew at home to basement boys Alloa.

For the Cappielow club, the result officially ended their chances of finishing fourth after Raith Rovers drew 3-3 with Rangers.

There was positive news elsewhere, though, as Hibs’ last-minute equaliser at St Mirren prevented the Paisley side from climbing above Ton in the Championship table.

Morton (4-4-2): Gaston; Kilday ©, Gasparotto, O’Ware, Russell; McMullan, McKee, Forbes, Barr; Johnstone, McManus.

Subs used: Samuel (for McManus, 86).

Subs not used: Lamie, Miller, MacDonald, McNeil (gk).

Booked: McManus (65), Kilday (87).

Dumbarton (4-4-2): Ewings; Saunders, Buchanan, Wright, Docherty; Routledge, Barr © (Gallagher, 82), Fleming, Lindsay (Walsh, 75); Heffernan (Cawley, 67), Nade.

Subs not used: Taggart, McCallum, Waters, Brown (gk).

Booked: Docherty (22).

Attendance: 994 Referee: Crawford Allan