Hearts were held to a 0-0 draw at Dumbarton in a frustrating afternoon.
The Jambos spent the match on top, even hitting the bar in injury time, but couldn't make the final breakthrough.
Robbie Neilson stuck largely with the same side that thrashed Falkirk 4-1 prior to the international break, with Jason Holt replacing the suspended Prince Buaben and Neil Alexander returning to the sticks following his spell out injured.
The opening quarter hour was a close affair with both teams putting in robust challenges. Kevin McHattie was an early casualty for the Jambos, he limped off after only 12 minutes to be replaced by Adam Eckersley.
It was Eckersley's 22nd minute long ball in from the left that gave Hearts the first opportunity of the match, but James Keatings' header from the penalty spot looped over the bar.
The hosts were keen to press and looked dangerous around the Hearts box. Chris Kane did well to create space for himself at the edge of the box just before the half hour mark and flash an effort across the face of goal. Minutes later Colin Nish out-jumped Danny Wilson and Alim Ozturk to nod goal-wards, but Alexander got quickly down to save at his left-hand post.
The Jambos could've taken the lead in the 37th minute when Holt let fly from 25-yards, and though Danny Rogers blocked straight into the path of the oncoming Osman Sow, the big Swede could only fire the rebound straight at the Dumbarton 'keeper.
Hearts started the second half the brighter side and Billy King floated in a 55th minute corner which Jordan McGhee rose to meet, but bulleted his header over the bar.
Sam Nicholson was a constant thorn in the side of Dumbarton, jinking his way effortlessly past defender after defender. He tried his luck from the edge of the box on the hour, but his low effort was gathered by Rogers.
As the second-half wore on, Hearts looked more in control. Wave after wave of maroon attack hit the Dumabrton box but the final ball just eluded the Jambos. McGhee's 30-yard shot was well tipped over the bar by Rogers, but no corner was given.
Substitute Jamie Walker was next to go close, he was teed-up inside the box by Nicholson but his rocket shot was beaten away by Rogers.
To compile Hearts' misery, Nicholson rattled the crossbar in injury time after he beat his man in the air. A stalemate is how it finished, much to the frustration of Robbie Neilson's men.
Dumbarton: Rogers, van Zanten (MacDonald, 55'), Linton, Graham, Taggart, Gilhaney, Agnew (Campbell, 81'), Nish (Fleming, 69'), Megginson, Kirkpatrick, Kane. Subs: Ewings, Mair, Lightbody, McDougall.
Hearts: Alexander, McHattie (Eckerlsey, 12'), Wilson, Ozturk, Gomis, Holt, Nicholson, King (Walker, 62'), Keatings (El Hassnaoui, 62'), Sow, McGhee. Subs: Hamilton, Robinson, Pallardo, McKay.
Referee: George Salmond
Top man: Sam Nicholson