Broughty Athletic 3-1 Thornton Hibs: Ireland hits 100-goal mark
Chris Ireland’s scored his 100th goal for Thornton Hibs but that was not enough to prevent his side from slipping to defeat against Broughty Athletic in the East Superleague.
Ireland had given Hibs the lead with a ferocious volley, but a double from Brad Smith and a further goal from the Dundee United loanee Louis Appere gave the hosts the three points.
It means Broughty move into second and close the gap to leaders Whitburn – who were stunned by Glenrothes – to two points with three games in hand.
Lochee United are a further two points behind Broughty with three games in hand, and six on Whitburn. Hibs remain in fourth nine clear of fifth-placed Kennoway Star Hearts.
That this game failed to live up to its pre-match billing as ‘Game of the Day’ was due in some part to the strong wind that made life difficult for both sets of players.
Broughty weren’t complaining though as this result allowed them to celebrate their last ever game on grass at Whitton Park before it is replaced with an artificial surface.
Ireland gave the visitors a 32nd minute lead with a fierce volley from a long pass by Ian Shanks but this was as good as it got for Craig Gilbert’s men.
Five minutes into the second half the Fed equalised thanks to a low strike from Smith, then in the 55th minute Smith headed the second when he got on the end of Ross McCord’s cross.
Three minutes later it was game, set and match when Smith turned provider, his cross being converted from close range by Appere.
Thornton huffed and puffed after this disappointing eight-minute spell but Calum Brodie in the home goal was rarely troubled allowing Broughty to ease into second spot in the league.
Thornton Hibs: Warrender, Robertson, A.Drummond, Shanks, Millar, Adam, Keatings, Hepburn, Ireland, Thomson, B.Anthony. Subs: Shields, Crichton, Coleman, McNab, Costello.