Thornton Hibs eased into third spot in the East Superleague following this impressive performance in West Lothian.
And they did it with a threadbare squad as no fewer than 11 registered players were unavailable, meaning that they were forced into beginning the game with one trialist in the starting XI and another four making up the subs’ bench.
Despite this, they couldn’t have asked for a better start, taking the lead with barely 30 seconds on the clock. Ryan Linton’s long ball down the field was not dealt with by the hosts’ defence
with Garry Thomson taking full advantage to nip in and head the bouncing ball over the outstretched arms of Mark Quinn.
Chris Ireland spurned a great chance to put the Hibs further ahead in the 14th minute but he atoned for this by heading home Stuart Drummond’s cross seven minutes later.
Fauldhouse came very close to pulling one back on the half-hour mark when Sean McManus’ great lob over the out-rushing Linton was cleared off the line by Drummond. Shortly before the interval, Thomson’s brilliantly executed bicycle-kick flashed just over for what would surely have been a contender for goal of the season and there was still time for Max Coleman to send in a screamer that Quinn did well to tip over before the ref sounded his whistle for half-time.
Fauldhouse began the second half in determined mood but the defence soaked up all this pressure though before the lead was increased in the 63rd minute.
Ireland played a big part in holding the ball up well before playing in Thomson with a clever pass which he despatched in style. Thomson completed his hat-trick – the tenth time he’s achieved this in a Hibs’ shirt – in the 72nd minute with a free-kick that entered the net via the inside of the upright.
Thornton Hibs: Linton, Malcolm, McMillan, S.Drummond, Hepburn, Coleman, Keatings, Orrock, Ireland, Thomson, McNab. Subs: Watson, Simpson, Hoskisson, Dursley.