Inverness move up to fifth as Vigurs secures narrow victory over Dumbarton

Inverness Caledonian Thistle secured their second victory in the space of 4 days over Dumbarton, to set up a play-off showdown against Dunfermline Athletic in the Highlands this Saturday.
John Robertson’s side started brightly, full of confidence following the resounding win against the Sons at the weekend. Nathan Austin – scorer of a hat-trick against Stevie Aitken’s men on Saturday – tried to open the scoring early on but his left-footed effort on 4 minutes was straight at Scott Gallacher.
Iain Vigurs fired over the bar for the visitors before Tom Walsh missed a good chance at the other end as Dumbarton found the winger on the left-side of the 6-yard box, but his headed effort was off-target.
Vigurs forced Gallacher to work with another attempt, this time the ex-Rangers shot-stopper having to get down low to his right to deny the playmaker. However, Caley were dealt a blow on 25 minutes when captain and defender Gary Warren picked up an injury. This forced the Thistle number 5 out of the match, being replaced by Dutchman, Colin Seedorf.
With the game being bogged down in the middle of the park, very few clear-cut chances were being created. This was shown further just after the half-hour mark when Cypriot international Dimitris Froxylias tried an ambitious effort from way-out, but, his speculative shot wouldn’t catch out Mark Ridgers in the away goal as the ball drifted high and wide in the end.
Vigurs was involved with everything good that Inverness did: the midfielder shot across goal but was unable to convert on this occasion as the away side began to dominate proceedings once more. Liam Polworth then struck from distance, with Gallacher again coming to the rescue, saving down low.
Seedorf, Polworth and Rangers loanee Liam Burt all had good chances before the break but the score-line remained goalless as Robertson and Aitken trudged over the turf at half-time.
Aaron Doran had the first chance of the second-half but he dragged his right-footed attempt wide, before Vigurs tried his luck once more but was to be denied again by Gallacher.
Mark Stewart and Nathan Austin both missed headed chances soon after, but, the only goal of the game wasn’t far away. 11 minutes after the interval, a fast breakaway saw Inverness get in behind Dumbarton with Vigurs finally succeeding in his efforts to break the deadlock, as he notched his 8th goal of the season.
Former Aston Villa winger Riccardo Calder, at left-back on Wednesday evening at the Your Radio 103FM Stadium, was next to have a dig at goal as the hosts continued to remain under severe pressure defensively.
The offensive attitude of the Highlanders didn’t let up as Doran was next to have a try at goal, with Gallacher saving once again. But, this would signal the end of the evening for the shot-stopper, as experienced substitute Jamie Ewings was forced on with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Calum Gallgher also came on, replacing Stewart up top, while Doran was replaced by Liverpudlian defender Carl Tremarco. Caley were then to win a succession of corners and set-pieces but nothing would come of these situations as the Sons showed the fighting spirit they will need to remain within the Scottish Championship.
Despite already being consigned to the relegation play-off’s, Aitken wasn’t willing to settle for second best; Kyle Hutton came on for full-back Chris McLaughlin as Dumbarton pushed for the equaliser.
Despite their best efforts, the home side were unable to carve out any chances of note as the game wore on. Connor Bell replaced Austin in attack late on before Ewings saved well from Polworth and Coll Donaldson in injury-time to keep the score at 1-0.
Don Robertson would blow for full-time come the 95th minute and it was another successful evening for Robertson’s men. They now head home to the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium for the visit of Dunfermline Athletic in 3 days’ time – a match in which the Pars can kill-off Caley’s season with a victory over the Highlanders.
On the other hand, Aitken’s side are already confirmed as finishing 9th and will take part in the relegation play-off’s. After half a decade of Championship football, the part-timers won’t want to give up their second-tier status, but, will be made to fight well into May if they are to secure their place in this division, next term.
Team Line-Ups:
1. Scott Gallacher (Jamie Ewings 67’)
5. Grant Gallagher
4. Andy Dowie
15. Dougie Hill
3. Chris McLaughlin (Kyle Hutton 74’)
20. Dimitris Froxylias
55. Craig Barr
6. Stuart Carswell
10. Tom Walsh
9. Mark Stewart (Calum Gallagher 62’)
31. Liam Burt
19. Jamie Ewings (GK)
7. Calum Gallagher
8. David Wilson
14. Kyle Hutton
21. Danny Handling
24. Kevin Nisbet
25. Andy Stirling
28. Mark Ridgers
22. Brad McKay
23. Coll Donaldson
5. Gary Warren (Colin Seedorf 25’)
16. Riccardo Calder
10. Aaron Doran (Carl Tremarco 61’)
11. Iain Vigurs
7. Liam Polworth
4. Joe Chalmers
8. Nathan Austin (Connor Bell 88’)
14. George Oakley
1. Ryan Esson (GK)
3. Carl Tremarco
15. Jake Mulraney
17. Colin Seedorf
18. Zak Elbouzedi
20. Connor Bell
24. Charlie Trafford
Referee: Don Robertson
Attendance: 382


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