Thornton Hibs 1-7 St Andrews United: Sawers hat-trick in first 13 minutes kills off Gilbert's men early on

The number 13 is generally regarded as being unlucky and on Saturday it definitely was for Thornton Hibs, but by complete contrast it was extremely lucky for St Andrews United hitman Lewis Sawers whose hat-trick inside 13 minutes had his side 3-0 up, writes John Laing.
Thornton Hibs players (in green) jostle with their St Andrews United opponentsThornton Hibs players (in green) jostle with their St Andrews United opponents
Thornton Hibs players (in green) jostle with their St Andrews United opponents

Schoolboy defending by Thornton – who ultimately lost this home East of Scotland League second division encounter 7-1 – was a major contribution to the final scoreline, but this takes nothing away from the Saints number seven's remarkable achievement.

Further goals from Micheil Smith and an unfortunate own goal from Sean Cunningham completed the first half scoring, meaning that after the interval it was always going to be a damage limitation exercise for the Hibs.

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Thornton trialist Mikey Gough pulled one back for the home team on his competitive debut before Saints' keeper Calum Brodie made a fine save from Hibs’ Joe Kinninmonth.

‘Normal service' was resumed though in the 69th minute when captain Scott Reekie restored Saints’ five-goal advantage before Ryan Dignan hammered the final nail in the coffin seven minutes later to complete a day to forget for Craig Gilbert's men. As D:Ream sang in 1994 – Things can only get better!

It's back to cup duty this Saturday when Thornton cross the water to take on Preston Athletic in the King Cup first round, with kick-off at 2.30pm.

This will be the Hibs’ 10th cup tie of the season and only one has been at home.

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A victory will bring Gilbert’s team yet another away game at Whitehill Welfare in the next round. And the winners of this one will be – yes you've guessed – away to Craigroyston or Edinburgh College!

Anyone with some lucky white heather to spare is urged to hand this over to a Hibs' committee member at their earliest convenience.

Thornton Hibs: Sutherland, Daniel Meldrum, McMillan, A.Drummond, Adam, Cunningham, McNab, Coleman, Kinninmonth, Thomson, Soutar. Subs: Robertson, Gould (T), Beard, Hepburn, Darren Meldrum.

St Andrews United: Brodie, Milne, Smith, Reekie, Hay, Sawers, Mackenzie, Sneddon, Cunningham, Redpath, Dignan. Subs: Anderson, Kesson, Doctor, Cooper, Collins, McLanaghan, Thomson.

Referee: Mr M.Walsh