Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken praised his side’s character as his 10 men twice came from behind to grab a point against Ayr United in a 4-4 thriller at Somerset Park.

Against the run of play, Ayr scored via Scott McKenna and Gary Harkins, before Robert Thomson nodded home Mark Docherty’s free-kick on the stroke of half-time.

Daniel Harvie scored his first professional goal as a wind-assisted cross from the touchline flew over the top of United goalkeeper Greg Fleming to level the scores.

But Ayr restored their lead after The Honest Men were awarded a penalty after 74 minutes, with Andy Stirling seeing red and Alan Forrest making it 3-2.

But with 10 minutes to go Joe Thomson scored directly from a corner in a heavily weather effected tie.

Ayr countered and Robbie Crawford’s shot bounced off the post, and Paul Cairney was quickest to react with the Sons defence caught napping and looked to have grabbed the spoils with 6 minutes to go.

But from another set piece, Joe Thomson whipped in a corner and Ryan Stevenson came back to haunt his old side, making sure the visitors came away with a point. And Aitken was happy to come away with a draw from Ayr.

He said: “Coming away from home and we got a point, you’d have taken that from the game and over the piece I thought we did well, we passed it well, created some great chances.”

“But I’m disappointed with the goals we lost, because we let in some poor goals which has not been like us but credit to the players, they twice went behind with 10 men so we’ll take that.”

And there was a uncertainty over the penalty which gifted Ayr United a way back into the game, and the Sons boss was unsure whether a red card was needed.

He added: “It looks like a foul so we can’t argue with that one, the linesman says if it’s not a genuine attempt.

But it is a genuine attempt as he’s trying to win the ball in the box so I don’t understand that one so he’ll miss the next games which is disappointing as he looked a real threat Andy Stirling and looked lively and to coming back with 10 men shows you the character they’ve got in there.”

Aitken also confirmed after the game that Grant Gallagher’s injury would require surgery.