Luncarty 3-4 Thornton Hibs: Amazing fightback sees Thornton through in Challenge Cup
In their first competitive game for eight weeks, Thornton were two goals down at the half-time interval as Luncarty – who beat Hibs 3-2 in the Alex Jack Cup final on November 27 – scored through Ben Scarborough and Olly Hamilton, with the latter's being a contender for Goal of the Week.
How it was only 2-0 at the break beggars belief as The Bleachers passed up a wheen of goalscoring opportunities and – had this been a boxing match – then the referee would likely have called a halt to proceedings at half-time.
But as the Hibs motto reads – Keep Believing! - and to their absolute credit this is what the players and coaching staff did after the interval.
In the 55th minute Joe Kinninmonth netted from close range and just two minutes later the same man smashed Nathan Laird's cross into the roof of the net to level affairs.
A header from home skipper Craig Mitchell restored his team's lead in the 62nd minute, but Thornton’s Adam Drummond headed home Max Coleman's corner 10 minutes later, the Hibs veteran's 90th goal in his 350th appearance for the club.
His 'reward' for this was to be substituted for Dean McMillan before the game could restart but, to be fair to the Hibs coaching staff, the player had already signalled that he was needing to come off.
Just as the tie looked set to go to extra time, Thornton skipper Garry Thomson shot past Craig Hepburn to earn his side a victory that had just not looked on the cards 45 minutes earlier.
Craig Gilbert's side will now travel to take on Vale of Clyde in the fourth round this Saturday with kick-off at 1.30pm.
Luncarty: Hepburn, Strong, Green, Mackie, Mitchell, Davies, Scarborough, Kirkcaldy, Yates, Walker, Hamilton. Subs: Dobie, Anton, Sutherland, Carlon, Montgomery, English.
Thornton Hibs: Sutherland, Laird, A.Drummond, S.Drummond, Shanks, Cunningham, McNeish, Coleman, Kinninmonth, Thomson, Soutar. Subs: Robertson, McMillan, Daniel Meldrum, Johal, Adam, Bryce, Darren Meldrum.