Bellshill Athletic 4 - Thornton Hibs 1: Hibs fail to get rub of green as two see red

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This result would suggest a right good gubbing for Thornton Hibs, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Granted, Bellshill Athletic were the better side in the first-half and fully merited their 2-1 lead at the interval, but the Hibs, who were reduced to ten men in the 36th minute then nine men in the 78th minute, produced a gutsy second period performance that deserved a more favourable outcome.

Chris Dolan was practically on the goal-line when he stabbed the ball home at the end of a good move to give Bellshill a 24th minute lead, but ten minutes later it was all square when Adam Drummond rose to head home Harris Moyes’ corner-kick.

Within a minute, though, Bellshill regained the lead. Anthony McDowall cut inside Fraser Terras and smashed the ball goalwards, but Kevin Smith pulled off a brilliant flying save at the expense of a corner-kick.

When the ball was swung in, it eventually found the foot of a Belshill player who lashed the ball towards goal.

Andy Adam’s instinctive reaction was to push the netbound ball away with his hand and for this indiscretion he was red-carded by the referee.

If Adam thought that was bad, worse was to follow later as he developed a severe bout of diahorrea on the bus home.

Thankfully Harthill Services were only five miles away at the time and it’s not sure if it was Adam or the bus-driver that was more relieved following this unscheduled pit-stop.

Dean Muir took the spot-kick and although Smith got a hand to it, he couldn’t prevent the ball from nestling in the bottom corner of the net.

In the second-half, the Hibs didn’t let the disadvantage of having a man less show and they enjoyed much more possession, but just couldn’t convert this into goals, although Adam Drummond came close as he powered a header from John Paul Burns’ free-kick inches wide.

A horrendous piece of misfortune, as far as Hibs were concerned, saw Bellshill increase their lead in the 65th minute when Andrew Selkirk’s shot, that was covered by Smith, took a wicked deflection off the skipper, Mike McAinsh, and spun into the net.

Kris Maxwell became the second Hibs’ man to be ordered-off, although this was for a second yellow, after he questioned how on earth the referee could award a throw-in in favour of Bellshill when anyone could have seen it was a Hibs’ shy.

When he failed to award a penalty as Gary Thomson was flattened in the area it was quite clear that it just wasn’t going to be Hibs’ day.

Leyton Slack completed the scoring five minutes from time with a low shot from 12 yards.

Thornton Hibs: Smith, Hall, Adam, Shanks, McAinsh, Drummond, Terras, Thomson, Mullen, Maxwell, Moyes. Substitutes - Rowbotham, Mahkouli, Macdonald, Mill, Burns.

JOHN LAING