Blairgowrie 2, Thornton Hibs 1
On the evidence of this game, maybe Blairgowrie should change their nickname from The Berrypickers to the Pocketpickers as they stole the points from this fixture.
Their supporters would rightly argue though that in football there’s only one statistic that counts – the one about scoring goals.
Their first came in the fourth minute as Ryan Menzies met Gary Axworthy’s cross perfectly to volley beyond Mark Rowbotham from 15 yards.
Thereafter, the Hibs created a plethora of chances but the first-half ended with no more scoring.
The second-half began in similar style to the first with Thornton holding the upper hand in terms of possession.
In the 47th minute, Garry Thomson headed Andy Adam’s free-kick onto the post but, in the 56th minute, Thomson, in his 100th appearance for the club, finally found the net as he slid the ball home after Mathew Gay had set him up.
Gay came desperately close with a shot that smacked off the upright and then in the 81st minute, a breakaway saw Steven Findlay speed up the wing before delivering a cross that Axworthy coolly converted.
As the Hibs pushed for an equaliser, they were leaving themselves a wee bit exposed at the back and when Blairgowrie broke again, they earned themselves a penalty as Mark Rowbotham sent Findlay sprawling.
Substitute, Scott Tovey, took it but Rowbotham atoned for his error by saving well.
In a desperate attempt to salvage something from the game, the Hibs threw everything at Blairgowrie but Gordon O’Brien and his defence stood firm to collect all three points.
Window Store Hibs’ Man of the Match – Garry Thomson
Blairgowrie: O’Brien, Simpson, McDonald, Hay, Pirie, Neave, Menzies, Millar, Findlay, French, Axworthy. Subs: Nicoll, Tovey, Maloney, Brash, Gellatly.
Thornton Hibs: Rowbotham, Low, Drummond, McGowan, Maxwell, Adam, Gay, McNeil, Ireland, Mullen, Thomson. Subs: Gordon, White, Main, Clark, McNab.