Rangers were held to a frustrating goalless draw by a stubborn St Johnstone at Ibrox that cuts their lead at the top of the Scottish Premier League to ten points.
Steve Lomas took charge of the Saints for the first time and his well-organised side snuffed out any hints of danger in the opening 45 minutes.
Both sides had chances in a more open second-half with St Johnstone striker Francisco Sandaza guilty of blowing a great opportunity when one-on-one with Gers goalkeeper Allan McGregor as the Perth side had to be content with a point.
There wasn't much in the way of goalmouth action in the opening 45 minutes as Rangers had the lion's share of possession, but failed to show a cutting edge up front. Nikica Jelavic got down low to send a diving header wide from Kirk Broadfoot's cross before the Croatian striker saw his shot blocked by Frazer Wright.
Rangers were appealing for a penalty when Alejandro Bedoya, one of three American internationals to start for the home side, appeared to be pushed as he looked to connect with Steven Whittaker's cross from the right.
St Johnstone looked lively at the start of the second-half and Murray Davidson twice had chances to give his side the lead. The midfielder fired his first effort wide of McGregor's post before the goalkeeper did well to tip his header from a Chris Millar cut-back over the bar.
The home side were lacking in creativity, but came close to taking the lead on the hour mark when Bedoya diverted Lafferty's wayward free-kick towards goal but Enckelman got down low to save.
Sandaza then beat his marker to race clear on goal ,but the striker saw his dinked shot saved well by McGregor. Rangers should have then taken the lead in the 74th minute when Jelavic met Broadfoot's floated cross at the far post but Enckelman dived low to his right to pull off a terrific save.
Ally McCoist brought on youngsters John Fleck and Kane Hemmings in a bid to break the deadlock but the Saints defence held firm to grab a valuable point.
Celtic make up ground
Rivals Celtic, meanwhile, cut the gap at the top as an Anthony Stokes second-half double helped the Hoops to a 2-0 away win over bottom side Inverness Caledonian Thistle, who had Greg Tansey sent off in the first-half.
Neil Lennon's side could reduce the lead even further on Wednesday when they play their game in hand against Dunfermline.
nverness had looked comfortable until they were reduced to ten men in the 37th minute when Tansey was shown a straight red for leading with his elbow in an aerial challenge on Georgios Samaras.
Despite their numerical advantage it took Celtic until the hour mark to open the scoring when Stokes stabbed home from close range to finish off an impressive passing move. Stokes got his second 11 minutes later when James Forrest's blocked shot broke to him in the box and he drilled a low shot across Ryan Esson and into the bottom left-hand corner.
Elsewhere, Motherwell remain third following a 2-1 away win over Aberdeen, Dundee United defeated Hearts 1-0, St Mirren won 2-1 against Dunfermline and Hibernian and Kilmarnock settled for a 1-1 draw.