Scottish Challenge Cup - Final
Dumbarton0Inverness CT1

Dumbarton 0-1 Inverness CT

Carl Tremarco scores
Carl Tremarco scored at McDiarmid Park, having netted the Inverness winner against Dumbarton in December

A stoppage-time goal by Carl Tremarco gave Inverness Caledonian Thistle victory over Dumbarton in the Scottish Challenge Cup final.

Tremarco netted from close range minutes after team-mate Iain Vigurs had a penalty saved by Scott Gallacher.

Dumbarton, playing in their first national cup final for 121 years, threatened through Danny Handling.

2015 Scottish Cup winners Inverness win the Challenge Cup for a second time, having first triumphed in 2003.

Inverness celebrate
Inverness captain Gary Warren missed the club's 2015 Scottish Cup final win with a suspension

Dumbarton definitely edged the first half, with Iain Russell hitting the side netting early on with a low shot on the turn after the ball had broken to him in the box.

Handling was lively for the Sons, too, and the former Hibernian forward just could not get enough purchase on Russell's low cross from the left to turn it into the net.

Caley Thistle were sparked into action when Dumbarton left-back Chris McLaughlin put in a late, robust challenge on Gary Warren. McLaughlin was booked as a result, but it also fuelled a couple of half chances for Connor Bell and Liam Polworth.

Dumbarton' Dimitris Froxylias - whose winner fired the Sons into the final - came on as a second-half substitute less than 24 hours after winning his first cap for Cyprus in his homeland.

His introduction, after flying in to be back on time, lifted the Dumbarton fans and Handling tested goalkeeper Mark Ridgers with a rising shot that the goalkeeper held well.

Caley Thistle spurned a golden chance to go in front late on when Vigurs had his penalty saved by Gallacher. The award came when McLaughlin handballed a cross but Vigurs hit a weak effort low to the goalkeeper's left.

Iain Vigurs has a penalty saved
Vigurs could not find the net from 12 yards but it did not prevent a victory for the Highlanders

The sides were preparing for extra time when 16-year-old substitute Daniel MacKay put a ball across the six-yard box for Tremarco to apply the finish.

Schoolboy MacKay is a Caley Thistle season ticket holder and was at the 2015 Scottish Cup final triumph as a fan at Hampden.

He had scored for a Scotland youth squad on Friday night in York, and Caley Thistle manager John Robertson had driven down to collect him personally to ensure he was available for this match - it turned out to be a good decision.

Post-match reaction

Inverness CT manager John Robertson: "Dumbarton had the best of the first half; they came out the traps well. The longer the game went on I thought we were getting stronger and stronger, testing the goalkeeper more often.

"You get the penalty and think, 'right, this is it'. We miss it, and it's a great save from 'Gal'.

"I thought we shaded the second half, but fair play to Dumbarton, they gave it absolutely everything, so we're just delighted to take the trophy north.

"I'm really proud of the boys, it's been a tough, tough two years for the club, and I'm just delighted for the fans. We're trying to get back to what we can do as best we can, and we kept going, and it's fabulous for Carl Tremarco to get in and score the winning goal."

Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken: "I'm gutted for the players because they didn't deserve to lose that game - not by a long shot.

"There was nothing much in the game at all. I thought we looked very comfortable. We looked a wee threat in the second half going forward.

"I just didn't see us losing the game. We were ready for extra time. To lose it like the way we did, it's a sickener.

"I've got nothing but admiration for [the Dumbarton players] because they take knocks, they're part-time, they've always got jobs. They'll be fine, they'll be disappointed but they should be proud of what they've done."

Line-ups

Dumbarton

  • 1Gallacher
  • 2Smith
  • 4DowieBooked at 52mins
  • 55Barr
  • 3McLaughlinBooked at 43mins
  • 7GallagherBooked at 69minsSubstituted forStewartat 74'minutes
  • 6Carswell
  • 14Hutton
  • 10WalshSubstituted forBurtat 81'minutes
  • 21Handling
  • 23RussellSubstituted forFroxyliasat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Gallagher
  • 8Wilson
  • 9Stewart
  • 15Hill
  • 19Ewings
  • 20Froxylias
  • 31Burt

Inverness CT

  • 28Ridgers
  • 17Seedorf
  • 5Warren
  • 23DonaldsonBooked at 87mins
  • 3TremarcoBooked at 50mins
  • 15MulraneySubstituted forDoran Coganat 70'minutes
  • 7Polworth
  • 11Vigurs
  • 4Chalmers
  • 14Oakley
  • 20BellSubstituted forMackayat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Esson
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 16Calder
  • 18Elbouzedi
  • 24Trafford
  • 27Mackay
  • 32Brown
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
4,602

Match Stats

Home TeamDumbartonAway TeamInverness CT
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home4
Away12
Shots on Target
Home1
Away8
Corners
Home6
Away0
Fouls
Home14
Away9

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