Clark prevents Hibs from heavier defeat

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Trialist goalkeeper Matthew Clark’s heroics were not enough to stop Thornton Hibs from slipping to a 1-0 defeat to Blackburn United.

Clark pulled off a number of important saves in the first half to keep Hibs in the game.

However, Richard Hutton netted for the visitors just before the break for a deserved lead.

Hibs improved after the interval and Nathan Feeley was a whisker away from an equaliser but his effort cannoned the woodwork late on.

It means Hibs slip to 13th in the East Premier League while promotion hopefuls Blackburn are in fourth.

With regular custodian Ryan Linton out injured Clark answered manager Craig Gilbert’s mercy call to go between the sticks as a trialist.

It was largely thanks to Clark that Hibs were still in it before the break as he denied Hutton twice, Brian Ross and Michael Browne in a one-sided opening 45 minutes.

Blackburn were to get their rewards for their domination when Campbell pounced on a loose ball to fire home just a second or two after another save from Ross.

It was no more than the visitors deserved but it was a different game in the second half as Hibs enjoyed far more possession in the opponents half.

However, they were not able to capitalise as they lacked that required cutting edge up front with Blackburn goalkeeper Kyle Marley rarely being called into making any real saves of note.

The closest Thornton came to equalising was on 88 minutes when Feeley turned and got a shot in only to watch in despair as the ball came back off the upright. Next up for Hibs is a derby against rivals Glenrothes.

Thornton Hibs: Trialist, Crichton, Robertson, Drummond, Shields, Coleman, Keatings, Hepburn, Buchan, Thomson, McNab. Subs: Strachan, Taylor, Ireland, Feeley, Burns.