This eight-goal thriller between Thornton Hibs and Fauldhouse United would be a game to remember for Hibs’ supporters for a variety of reasons.
It was the first time Thornton have scored five goals in a game this season, the 400th league point amassed under Craig Gilbert’s guidance and Garry Thomson’s goal was the Hibs’ 100th Premier League goal.
However, perhaps the most memorable thing was that 16 year-old substitute Ryan O’Donnell coolly dinked the ball over the out-rushing Jonathon O’Connor to net the fifth goal of the game with his first touch after coming on.
In the long history of the Hibs, O’Donnell’s goal was the quickest scored by a debutant. Thornton Hibs are in mid-table with four games in hand and would have been pleased with victory away to fourth-placed Fauldhouse.
It was the hosts who created the first chance when in the second minute, Jamie Macleod’s low cross flashed across the face of goal with no one in red able to make contact.
Five minutes later at the other end, Garry Thomson’s cross found Matthew Robertson who struck a volley that flew over its intended target.
It was the 15th minute when the goal rush began. Garry Thomson beat home ‘keeper, John Hutchison, in a race for the ball before neatly guiding it into the unguarded net from an acute angle.
Two minutes later Thomson turned and shot home from the edge of the area and then barely 60 seconds after Stuart Drummond netted from the spot after Raymond Crichton had been felled in the area.
By the 24th minute it appeared the game was all over bar the shouting when, after Crichton had been on the end of another crude challenge, Shaun Keatings’ free-kick was met by the head of Drummond to make it four.
That was the end of the first-half scoring, with Fauldhouse introducing their substitute goalkeeper, O’Connor, at the interval. The home side were in a more determined mood following their half-time discussion and Ryan Linton, as he’d done a couple of times in the first-half, made a great save to keep his goal intact.
He was powerless though to stop Macleod from reducing the leeway in the 71st minute. A terrific tackle from Ian Shanks on Jack Currie prevented the Fauldhouse striker from getting a shot on target as the home side began to exert more pressure.
O’Donnell was introduced as an 86th minute substitute for Andy Adam and, within seconds of coming on, the teenager showed great maturity to net the fifth with his first touch following Matthew Robertson’s perfect cross.
Fauldhouse weren’t ready to throw in the towel though but the two late goals from Darren Gribben were a case of too little too late meaning that the Hibs have now gone eight games without defeat.