Raith Rovers manager Ray McKinnon was “in shock” after watching his team throw away a three-goal lead in Dumbarton on Saturday.
Rovers were in complete control as goals from James Craigen and Scott Robertson, either side of an own goal from Jon Routledge, had the Kirkcaldy side cruising to a much-needed victory after a run of three straight defeats.
But Dumbarton hit the net three times in an astonishing final 10 minutes for an unlikely draw, leaving McKinnon to describe the away dressing room as “gutted” and “angry” afterwards.
“I’m in shock after that,” he said.
“We’re 3-0 up and should have been four or five, and to lose three goals in the last 10 minutes is unbelievable.
“It’s probably down to taking the foot off the gas, mentally tuning out, not burying them when we had the opportunities, and then bad marking for the goals.
“It’s unacceptable to lose three goals in the last 10 minutes.
“I never saw it coming a mile away and maybe that’s the problem. We were so comfortable in the game I don’t know where the three goals came from.
“They better pick themselves up. They need to because we’ve got a tough game against St Mirren at home on Tuesday.”
Craigen, who issued an apology to Raith fans on Twitter after the game, put the Fifers in front after just four minutes as he latched on to Craig Wighton’s clever reverse pass to fire home at the back post.
Despite some sloppy play from the visitors at times, Dumbarton were unable to create chances against a defence still missing captain and regular right-back Jason Thomson through injury.
Rovers were gifted a second goal on the stroke of half-time as Ryan McCord’s corner was missed by goalkeeper Mark Brown and the ball cannoned into the net off the unfortunate Routledge.
Rovers’ third goal in the 56th minute looked to have sealed victory as Scott Robertson drove at the Sons defence and fired home from 18 yards for his first goal since joining the club last month.
Dumbarton had barely threatened but they pulled one back in the 81st minute when unmarked Steven Saunders headed home substitute Willie Gibson’s corner.
It should have been no more than a consolation.
But, two minutes later, Saunders found space in the Raith box again to head home from six yards and suddenly the visitors were at panic stations.
Dumbarton flooded forward in pursuit of an equaliser, and the comeback was completed in the 87th minute as Iain Davidson raised a hand to block Gibson’s shot and, although the offence looked to be just outside the box, referee Greg Aitken pointed to the spot.
Garry Fleming fired the penalty past Kevin Cuthbert to make it 3-3 and three goals in six minutes for the hosts.
Things almost got worse for Raith in the 90th minute when Gibson curled an effort off the inside of the post, while substitute Jon Daly almost rescued the three points for Raith in injury-time when a header from a corner was cleared off the line.
With play-off rivals Falkirk, Queen of the South and Morton all drawing, this goes down as a huge missed opportunity for Rovers.