Dumbarton Football Club - Sons of the Rock 1872

Inverness CT (5) v Dumbarton (1)

Saturday 14th April 2018, Kick Off 3pm

Ladbrokes Championship

THIS week, Dumbarton have been in positions to close the gap on Falkirk to two points.

If only games were 'first goal wins'.

While Tuesday's defeat to Morton was sealed with one piercing late blow, the trip to Inverness was a far longer-term tale of agony.

When Grant Gallagher gave Sons the lead, all was well - but only for four minutes until Aaron Doran levelled for Caley Thistle.

Between the 42nd and 66th minutes another four goals were conceded. Nathan Austin got three of them, with Iain Vigurs making it 4-1 to the home side.

An afternoon which started so promisingly ended with 175 miles of deep contemplation of the play-offs.

Some have been handing Sons a place in the end-of-season fixtures for weeks, even months. Others hoped it could be avoided. The maths says it is still not confirmed, but that is all there is to cling to.

After Vigurs fired an early free kick wide, Sons opened the scoring with a brilliantly worked goal. Andy Stirling got away from the Inverness left back and cut the ball back from the goal line for Gallagher, making his first start since September 2016, to finish.

By this stage Falkirk were losing to Dundee United. There was reason to be optimistic that this could be the day it turned round.

Four minutes later it was 1-1, with Doran firing in a 20-yard shot. The bubble was burst, for however long.

Sons contained the home side for much of the rest of the half, only really threatened by a Liam Polworth volley which flew wide.

But three minutes from half time Doran played the ball across for Austin to round Scott Gallacher and score.

Drawing games had now ceased to be an option for Dumbarton. They came out for the second half knowing that they had to score at least twice.

Within five minutes of the restart they had another mountain to climb as the ball was chipped over Gallacher for Austin to tap in.

After 63 minutes a free kick into the area was not dealt with and Vigurs turned to fire home the fourth.

And three minutes after that the home side continued to fill their boots. They passed their way through to leave Austin with the chance to claim his hat-trick which he duly snapped up.

Substitutes Liam Burt and Mark Stewart combined for the chance of a consolation goal, with the latter firing over.

But late in the day Gallacher was all that stood between Inverness and a sixth goal, stopping Connor Bell and then Jake Mulraney from the rebound.

It has felt for some weeks like it is not meant to be. Now it feels like a matter of when.

Inverness CT: Ridgers; Chalmers, Warren, Polworth, Austin (Bell 68), Doran (Elbouzedi 64), Vigurs (Mulraney 72), Oakley, Calder, Seedorf, McKay. Subs: Esson; Mackay, Brown, Harper. Booked: Chalmers.

Dumbarton: S Gallacher; McLaughlin, Dowie, G Gallagher (Hill 75), C Gallagher (Stewart 66), D Wilson (Burt 58), Hutton, Handling, Nisbet, Stirling, Barr. Subs: Ewings; Walsh, Froxylias. Booked: Barr, Stewart, Hutton.

Referee: Gavin Duncan.

Andy Galloway