MORTON have taken a big step towards Championship safety after defeating Queen of the South 2-1 at Cappielow.

The Ton went into the match in real need of a win and they moved eight points clear of bottom-placed Alloa thanks to Gary Oliver's second half winner against his former club.

Boss Gus MacPherson put his faith in Darren Hynes, bringing him into the side, and the 22-year-old youth product was impressive throughout.

He came close to opening the scoring with an early 25-yard drive which was only inches off target, while Luca Colville saw a shot held by Rohan Ferguson during a bright start for the hosts.

They went ahead in the 19th minute in unusual circumstances when Aidan Nesbitt scored direct from a corner kick, his clipped near-post delivery catching Ferguson out.

The visitors grew into the game however and they equalised just before half-time.

Following some neat approach play down the left the ball was worked back into the middle for Ayo Obileye to thump a fine long range shot low past Aidan McAdams.

It set up a nervy second half, which Ton dealt with admirably.

They got the winner they deserved on the hour mark when Colville sent in a teasing outswinging cross and Oliver met it perfectly with a downward header into the net.

It gave the Greenock men their first home victory since December and sent them level on points with seventh-placed Ayr ahead of their huge final six games of the league campaign.

Before that, they face Dunfermline in the Scottish Cup at Cappielow on Tuesday evening.

*See Monday's Tele for full match report, analysis and reaction.