Dumbarton 0 - 1 Inverness Caledonian Thistle 

Challenge Cup - Final
Saturday, March 24th, 2018, 4:15 PM at McDiarmid Park
Attendance: 4,602
Referee: Andrew Dallas
Dumbarton v Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Mar 24th 2018, McDiarmid Park
Dumbarton  Inverness Caledonian Thistle

None. Carl Tremarco (90)

Team Managers
Stevie Aitken John Robertson

Starting Eleven
Scott Gallacher
Craig Barr
Chris McLaughlin
Andy Dowie
David Smith
Calum Gallagher
Tom Walsh
Danny Handling
Kyle Hutton
Stuart Carswell
Iain Russell
Mark Ridgers
Carl Tremarco
Joe Chalmers
Gary Warren
Liam Polworth
Iain Vigurs
George Oakley
Jake Mulraney
Collin Seedorf
Connor Bell
Coll Donaldson

Jamie Ewings
Dougie Hill
Grant Gallagher
Liam Burt
David Wilson
Dimitris Froxylias
Mark Stewart
Ryan Esson
Aaron Doran
Ricky Calder
Zach Elbouzedi
Charlie Trafford
Daniel Mackay
Jack Brown

Dimitris Froxylias for Iain Russell (68)
Mark Stewart for Calum Gallagher (74)
Liam Burt for Tom Walsh (81)
Aaron Doran for Jake Mulraney (70)
Daniel Mackay for Connor Bell (78)

Chris McLaughlin (43)
Andy Dowie (52)
Calum Gallagher (69)
Carl Tremarco (50)
Coll Donaldson (87)

Red Cards
None. None.
Appearances & Goals To Date
Scott Gallacher (GK) 40 apps -
Craig Barr 35 apps2 goals
Chris McLaughlin 27 apps1 goal
Andy Dowie 38 apps -
David Smith 65 apps2 goals
Calum Gallagher 39 apps4 goals
Tom Walsh 47 apps4 goals
Danny Handling 14 apps2 goals
Kyle Hutton 34 apps -
Stuart Carswell 45 apps1 goal
Iain Russell 126 apps36 goals
Dimitris Froxylias (sub) 25 apps6 goals
Liam Burt (sub) 7 apps -
Mark Stewart (sub) 27 apps4 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:Chris McLaughlin (20 years 7 days)
Oldest Player:Iain Russell (35 years 139 days)
Average Player Age:26 years 342 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Liam Burt (19 years 56 days)
Oldest Player:Iain Russell (35 years 139 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 33 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts


AND they all lived...well, that's the thing.

It was almost a fairytale, from the 'Once upon a time' against Rangers Colts to the drama of Oswestry.

But for Dumbarton, the 'happily ever after' is missing. How likely was it when Scott Gallacher made THAT save with eight minutes left?

Their name was surely on the Irn Bru Cup. The stars were all in line and this was their day against Inverness CT.

It wasn't.

Extra time would have been demanding, with some players so tired towards the end that they struggled to get out of neutral.

However, Sons had just about done enough to earn it - until Carl Tremarco made himself their villain of the afternoon.

When Daniel Mackay's low ball found him unmarked at the back post, in the second minute of injury time, the fairytale was left unfinished.

All the excitement ahead of the game, all the hope that Sons could do it, disappeared with barely a swing of a left back's boot.

There was never clear daylight between the two teams at any stage. Caley Thistle simply did the one thing that wins games, and they did it at the cruellest possible time.

The Road to Perth, and the experience of Dumbarton's first current national cup final for 121 years, will live with hundreds of people for decades to come.

It just doesn't have the ending that was wanted.

In the first half Sons were dominant in terms of chances and any time Inverness CT got forward, their efforts were dealt with.

Stuart Carswell and Iain Russell had chances deflected wide before Russell sent in a low ball which Calum Gallagher glanced across goal.

Then Russell was again the one trying to finish, this time from Tom Walsh's cross, but couldn't hit the target with his header.

Caley Thistle did threaten late in the first half, but Gallacher was up to the task when Connor Bell and Liam Polworth got shots away.

The second half was more of a scrap, with Inverness CT more on top. Iain Vigurs narrowly missed the target from distance before Danny Handling's angled shot for Sons was saved.

With 11 minutes left, Craig Barr's shirt was visibly almost pulled off as he went for a corner. Referee Andrew Dallas chose to award a free kick to Caley Thistle.

Frustratingly, he was pointing to the spot at the other end three minutes later when Chris McLaughlin handled Aaron Doran's free kick.

Vigurs stepped up for the penalty, but Gallacher again met the challenge, saving low to his left.

By now Dumbarton were toiling physically, but still resisting strongly. After Joe Chalmers shot narrowly wide, Gallacher saved from Doran.

Then Mackay sent in a low ball from the right with the final whistle imminent and...that was that.

At least Sons could travel home with some consolation, not least the support of the crowd of over 4,600 which would still have been ringing in their ears.

They are also Scotland's best part-time team once again after Brechin City's relegation was confirmed.

Truth be told, though, that outcome wasn't the one they wanted if only that or victory in the final was possible. It was like losing the winning lottery ticket and finding another that wins you a tenner.

The history book has an exciting new chapter, albeit an ultimately fruitless one. But there is still something left to aim for.

Match report by Andy Galloway

Programme cover / Team sheet

Ticket stub / Admission info