MORTON racked up a 4-1 win over Alloa Athetic at Cappielow - then saw play-off rivals Raith re-establish their lead over them just hours later.

With the fourth-placed Kirkcaldy club hosting Hibs at Stark’s Park in a 5.15pm kick-off, Ton knew they could cut into their seven-point lead with a victory over the basement boys.

A Declan McManus double, a Jason Marr own goal, and a solitary Denny Johnstone strike were enough to successfully achieve that objective.

But hopes of a Hibs favour were dashed as the Edinburgh outfit continued their alarming recent slump with a 2-1 loss in Fife, leaving Jim Duffy’s men back where they had started the day.

Much like they had against Queen of the South in midweek, Morton established a first-half cushion with two early goals.

McManus opened the scoring on 15 minutes when he stretched to divert a Stefan McCluskey cross towards goal before defender Jason Marr helped it on its way with another touch.

The Alloa No.6 was all out of luck and sent the ball looping over goalkeeper Scott Gallacher and into his own net as he attempted to cut out Ross Forbes’ low cross after a well-worked corner.

Kyle McAusland curled a fantastic finish beyond Derek Gaston into the top-right corner on 39 minutes to leave Ton nerves jangling just like Queens had in midweek.

But after surviving a few scrapes, owing to one fantastic Gaston finger-tip save to deny Mitch Megginson, they put the game to bed in final quarter of an hour.

McManus settled everything down when he latched onto a Johnstone flick and fired a low drive back across his body past goalkeeper Gallacher low to his right.

And Johnstone wrapped up proceedings three minutes later, taking his tally to 15 this term with an authoritative angled finish after Thomas O’Ware had sent him clear with a measured first-time pass.

Morton host Raith Rovers at Cappielow next week, but the gap between the sides could well have changed again dependent on  their play-off rivals result at St Mirren on Tuesday night.

Morton (4-4-2): Gaston ©; Miller, Gasparotto, Lamie, Russell; McCluskey, O’Ware, Forbes, Barr; McManus, Johnstone.

Subs used: McKee (for Lamie, 74), McMullan (for Barr, 74), and Samuel (for Johnstone, 82)

Subs not used: Scullion, Quitongo, Tennent, McNeil (gk).

Alloa Athletic (4-4-2): Gallacher; Finnie, Marr, Hill ©, Hamilton (Layne, 59); Flannigan, McAusland, McManus (Crawford, 68), Hetherington; Megginson, Duffy.

Subs not used: Reintam, Caddis, Hoggan, Hynd, Crawford (gk).

Booked: McAusland (83).

Attendance: 1,513

Referee: Euan Anderson