Dejected Dunfermline captain Callum Morris admitted his mistake allowed Morton an avenue back into Saturday’s Championship game at Cappielow.
The Pars spectacularly threw away a two-goal half-time lead as a spirited Morton side sealed a comeback victory with three goals after the break.
With the leaders looking comfortable and set to extend their unbeaten run to five games, Morris gifted the home side their opening goal when Robert Thomson seized upon his poor header back to his goalkeeper and slotted past Sean Murdoch to cut the Pars’ lead.
Defender Morris accepted that changed the complexion of the game, admitting: “I need to hold my hand up for the mistake and that gave them a lift and the initiative to control the game.
“It’s individual mistakes that have cost us and I am responsible for starting off what has gone on there.
“These are mistakes we will probably not make again, so lets not crumble. It’s those small moments in the game that have cost us today.”
The game started brightly for the visitors when the in-form Joe Cardle opened the scoring after only nine minutes. The midfielder, recently crowned Championship player of the month for August, dribbled his way into the box and fired his side into the lead with a fine left-footed finish.
Referee Kevin Clancy awarded the visitors a penalty and an opportunity to double their advantage when Ross Forbes was adjudged to have caught Jason Talbot in the face with a high challenge. Kallum Higginbotham made no mistake from the spot, slamming the penalty past Ton keeper Derek Gaston.
Dunfermline looked comfortable at the break but Morris knew to expect a different Morton side after the restart, stating: “After a good start – to the season and to the game – we knew what would come second half.”
After Thomson reduced the deficit, substitute Gary Harkins equalised with a stunning free-kick from 25 yards out.
Then, with the game deep into injury time, Morton completed their comeback when another substitute, Jai Quitongo ran clear of the defence and slotted past goalkeeper Murdoch.
There were suggestions of a foul in the build up to the goal but Morris was more disappointed with how his side defended, adding: “We don’t feel injustice from the goal. We need to do better in all areas and we can’t leave them one v one at the back with only 30 seconds to go.”