A last-gasp Lawrence Shankland header saved Dundee United’s unbeaten record, which now stretches to 14 games, after a 1-1 home draw with Morton.
Kalvin Orsi’s 17th-minute header looked to have earned a stubborn Greenock side all three points at Tannadice only for goal machine Shankland to pop up at the death.
That sees the Tangerines without defeat since October 19 and maintains their unbeaten home record in the Championship. It also extended their lead at the top of the table to 18 points.
Robbie Neilson made three changes to his line-up with striker Osman Sow making his first start since last season’s play-offs after he returned from loan at Kilmarnock. Also in was skipper Mark Reynolds for Paul Watson and Louis Appere for Paul McMullan.
Calum Butcher sat out.
The home side wasted no time in getting after Ton and Sow almost made an instant impact on his return. With just 25 seconds on the clock, the Swede tapped into an empty net after Danny Rogers parried an Ian Harkes effort only for the assistant to raise his flag.
They couldn’t build on that start, however, and it was the visitors who opened the scoring after 17 minutes.
Nicky Cadden looked up and sent in a fine cross for Orsi to power home from close range.
Eight minutes later Peter Pawlett had the chance to equalise but he failed to control Louis Appere’s fine cross at the far post before the former Dons man got in behind again and tried to lay it on a plate for Sow. His cross was cleared at the last second, however.
Two minutes before the break Sow and Lawrence Shankland linked up but the Scotland striker smashed his effort over from the edge of the area.
Paul McMullan was sent on at half-time to spark a reaction but it took almost 15 minutes before United had an effort in anger – Shankland firing another effort over the bar.
With 21 minutes to go Pawlett needed treatment before limping off to be replaced by Chris Mochrie.
The second half was largely United’s attack against Morton’s defence and the visitors were standing up to everything their hosts threw at them with some stout defending.
On 78 minutes, Dillon Powers swung in a free-kick and found Jamie Robson’s head but the full-back couldn’t hit the target.
With five minutes to go, the ball fell for Liam Smith inside the area but he couldn’t control his effort and United’s hopes of a late leveller looked over.
Shankland had other ideas, however, as he rose at the far post to nod Smith’s cross in from close range for his 26th goal of the season.
And the Tangerines could have snatched all three points only for Rogers to keep out McMullan’s fierce drive in stoppage time.
Dundee Utd: Siegrist, L Smith, Connolly, Reynolds, Robson, Powers, Harkes (McMullan 46), Pawlett (Mochrie 69), Appere, Sow (Sporle 64), Shankland.
Subs not used: Mehmet, King, Neilson, Watson.
Morton: Rogers, Tumilty, McLean, Jacobs, McAllister, Muirhead, Orsi (McHugh 53), Strapp, Cadden (Millar 83), Colville, Baird.
Subs not used: Ramsbottom, Nesbitt, Blues, Sutton, Livingstone.