Luncarty 1, Thornton Hibs 3
With Memorial Park failing a morning inspection, Hibs were grateful when Luncarty agreed to switch the game to Brownlands.
Maybe the Perthshire club wouldn’t have been so obliging had they known that their side would be convincingly defeated – and that with Thornton playing the last 23 minutes with ten men following Ian Shanks’ dismissal.
New assistant boss, Craig Ness, was in the technical area for the first time and, on the field, Ryan McNeil was making a very impressive debut.
Thornton took a 13th minute lead when Coco Mullen converted Mathew Gay’s corner kick from close range.
Chris Ireland came close to extending this lead with a volley that fizzed just over and then at the other end, Mark Rowbotham earned his corn with a fine full-length save after Kevyn Fowler’s free-kick had taken a deflection.
With 67 minutes played Hibs’ skipper Ian Shanks received a second yellow card, but this had the effect of spurring Craig Gilbert’s men onto greater things and just five minutes later, Aiden Gordon knocked the ball into the net from close range.
There were two minutes remaining when Gay drifted by two opponents before shooting past Mark Mitchell to make it three. Deep into stoppage time, Rowbotham was raging when slack defending allowed Daniel Kelly to score a consolation goal.
Window Store Hibs’ man of the match – Mathew Gay.
Luncarty: Mitchell, McLean, Ward, Cassidy, Davidson, Sinclair, Henderson, Fowler, McCaughie, D.Kelly, McKenzie. Subs: Williams, Douches, J.Kelly, Shaw, McAllister.
Thornton Hibs: Rowbotham, Clark, Drummond, McGowan, Shanks, Adam, Gay, McNeil, Ireland, Mullen, Thomson. Subs: Low, Main, White, Gordon, Maxwell.
Referee: B. Reid.