Ireland’s spooktacular strike as Hibs draw

Hibs celebrate Ireland's spectacular strike
Hibs celebrate Ireland's spectacular strike
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Thornton Hibs 2, Downfield 2

On the day after Halloween there were plenty of tricks and treats on offer for supporters of both sides at Memorial Park.

But it’s fair to say the biggest treat came for the Hibs supporters as they witnessed Chris Ireland putting their favourites ahead with a wonder strike.

He followed this up with a penalty equaliser in stoppage time to salvage a point. The first-half ended goal-less, but things changed in the 69th minute when Mark Rowbotham launched a long ball downfield which was headed wide to relative safety, or so he thought, by The Spiders’ skipper, Andrew Ballantine.

Without hesitation, Ireland, who was almost on the touchline, volleyed the ball first time over the head of Jamie Kelly.

Ten minutes later, Scott Reynolds sent in a free-kick that Rowbotham could only parry and Brian Clark was first to react as he lashed the ball into the net. Five minutes from time, Reynolds put the visitors ahead with a scorching low drive. But just when it looked like this goal would be enough to secure the win, Ross Morgan was downed in the area. Ballantine was first to the hot water and Ireland sent Kelly the wrong way to earn Hibs a point.

Window Stores’ Hibs’ man of the match – Chris Ireland

Thornton Hibs

Rowbotham, McGowan, Drummond, Shields, Gordon, Adam, Gay, Hepburn, Ireland, Leslie, Thomson. Subs: Morgan, McNab, Crichton, Wilson, Clark.