As Peter Grant’s header thundered into the back of Caley Thistle’s net, Danny Devine wanted the ground to open up and swallow him.
Face down on the Hampden Park turf, the former Inverness stopper could feel his side’s grip on the Scottish Cup loosening.
Worse still, it was his marker that had just turned the 2015 Scottish Cup final on its head.
In the space of five minutes, the game’s momentum had shifted firmly in Falkirk’s favour.
A red card for Carl Tremarco was swiftly followed by Grant’s equaliser and suddenly, the 20,000 strong band of Falkirk supporters had found their voice.
In contrast, their Highland counterparts were left chewing their nails.
But this Caley Thistle team had been through adversity before. And it was the spirit of a famous triumph against the odds at Easter Road a season earlier that kept Devine’s fire burning.
“I was marking the boy who scored, so when that went in I just wanted the ground to swallow me up,” Devine said.
“We’d put in so much but we were down to 10, so they were really coming for us now.
“With that team, we were such a tight group. We were going to stick together and keep going no matter what.”
This week marks five years since Caley Thistle’s most famous triumph, a dramatic 2-1 victory over Falkirk in the Scottish Cup final.
15 months previously, the Highlanders reached their first major final after knocking Hearts out on penalties at Easter Road in the League Cup semi-final.
On that occasion, ICT were 2-1 down and two men light after red cards for Gary Warren and Josh Meekings but a stoppage-time equaliser from Nick Ross sent the game into extra-time.
From there, Hearts piled on the pressure. But despite a couple of goalmouth scrambles, the nine men of Caley Thistle managed to hold firm and force the game into a penalty shootout, which they ultimately won.
Psychologically, it was a huge lift for the players.
Devine, who came on as a second half substitute that day, said: “I remember before Nick Ross scored, Dean Brill constantly shouting ‘stay in the game, we’ll get another chance’.
“We had to really dig in and I don’t think think we would’ve got the goal if we didn’t believe in ourselves.
“After Falkirk’s goal, I was remembering what Deano had said to us.
“The first half was probably one of the easiest we’d had that season. But things changed in the second half and when Carl got sent off, I felt tired and that nervous energy started catching up with me.”
A dislocated knee for Dean Brill meant it was Ryan Esson between the sticks on cup final day against Falkirk, but the message was the same.
After dumping Celtic out in the semi-final in controversial circumstances, few thought the second-tier side would pose the Caley Jags many problems.
The Bairns were beaten Scottish Cup finalists in 1997 and 2009 and against high-flying Inverness another defeat at the final hurdle was expected.
A first half goal from Watkins had the match following the script, but there was something different about Falkirk in the second half.
Peter Houston’s team had slowly crept back into the game and when Tremarco was ordered off and the Bairns equalised in quick succession, Caley Thistle nerves were jangling.
Devine said: “I was back with Carl when he got sent off, hoping that the referee would see I was covering but Carl will tell you himself it was probably a red.
“We were hanging on and I remember Josh Meekings saying ‘anything that comes in our box is getting put in the stand’.”
With 86 minutes on the clock, a rare foray up the field from Marley Watkins led to his shot being spilled by Bairns keeper Jamie MacDonald.
James Vincent, who was filling in at right back and had run the length of the pitch to support Watkins, fired home the rebound to win the cup for Inverness.
It capped an incredible season for the Highlanders that saw them finish third in the Scottish Premiership and qualify for Europe for the first time.
Devine said: “I can still picture the goal. Marley was on the break and I’m thinking ‘please just score’. The keeper makes the save and Vinny appears from nowhere, showing great commitment to get up and support.
“It’s the best achievement of my career and the celebrations afterwards were just as good.”