Thornton Hibs 2-0 Easthouses Lily: Hibs exploit goalie shortage for away team
Alex Jack Cup finalists Thornton had created a barrowload of chances in the opening 45 minutes but just couldn’t break the deadlock in this East of Scotland League second division encounter.
Good goalkeeping by Lily’s Craig Pennycuick, allied to poor Hibs finishing, meant it remained all square.
But Lily then suffered a severe blow when Pennycuick had to be helped off after aggravating an injury which had earlier required lengthy treatment.
With no recognised keeper on the Easthouses bench, outfielder Jake Grandison donned the number one jersey at the start of the second-half and very early on he did well to push a John Soutar effort around the upright.
It wasn't exactly one-way traffic – Thornton goalkeeper Calum Sutherland showed a safe pair of hands to deal with free-kicks – but it was Craig Gilbert's side who eventually broke the deadlock in the 66th minute.
The unfortunate Ryan Kearney could only divert Jamie McNeish's low cross beyond Grandison to put Thornton 1-0 ahead.
After good work by Andy Adam and Garry Thomson, Joe Kinninmonth wrapped things up in the 79th minute, although Kinninmonth's 'reward' for this was to be substituted by Lee Bryce before the game could restart.
Sean Cunningham made an accomplished debut for Hibs following his move from Kennoway Star Hearts.
The Station Hotel/Copland Glazing Hibs' Man of the Match was Calum Sutherland.
This Saturday sees Thornton – fifth with 23 points from 12 games – host fourth placed Arniston Rangers with with kick-off at 2pm.
Thornton Hibs: Sutherland, Johal, McMillan, S.Drummond, Shanks, Cunningham, McNeish, Kinninmonth, Ireland, Thomson, Soutar. Subs: McNab, Adam, Daniel Meldrum, Bryce, Darren Meldrum.
Easthouses Lily: Pennycuick, A.Anderson, Whyte, Grandison, Hunter, Kearney, Young, Waterson, Adams, Neilson, Young. Subs: McQueenie, McBeth, Macivor, Shearer, Hunter, B.Anderson, McDermott.
Referee: Mr B.Cooper