Thornton Hibs: Craig Gilbert's men draw at leaders Whitburn in their first competitive match since December 3

Whitburn scorer Ross Crawford (1st left) and Thornton pair Matthew Robertson and Jamie McNeish all claim for throw-inWhitburn scorer Ross Crawford (1st left) and Thornton pair Matthew Robertson and Jamie McNeish all claim for throw-in
Whitburn scorer Ross Crawford (1st left) and Thornton pair Matthew Robertson and Jamie McNeish all claim for throw-in
In their previous East of Scotland League second division outing way back on December 3, Thornton Hibs had drawn 0-0 away to bottom club Hawick Royal Albert, writes John Laing.

So you could perhaps understand any trepidation felt by Hibs followers as they travelled to Central Park on Saturday to take on league leaders Whitburn.

Yet Thornton, missing some key players, took the lead in the seventh minute as Joe Kinninmonth converted Garry Thomson's low cross from close range.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The hosts replied soon afterwards with Michael McGarahan watching his netbound effort cleared off the line before - at the other end - McGarahan denied Max Coleman in similar fashion.

A great save from Daniel Potts in the home goal then prevented Coleman from doubling Hibs' advantage, with Thomson heading the resultant corner wide.

A terrific clearance from Matthew Robertson, as he somehow managed to block Darren Liddell's equally impressive overhead kick, kept Whitburn out but there was nothing anyone could do to stop Ross Crawford's fantastic strike from distance in the 40th minute flying in for 1-1.

This goal appeared to lift the hosts because not long into the second half Calum Sutherland came to Thornton's rescue with a couple of top drawer saves to deny Reece Duncan and Liddell.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But the keeper was powerless to prevent Darren Tomaszewski from putting The Burnie ahead in the 59th minute with another fine strike from distance.

The Hibs didn't allow this setback to affect them too much with great play from Thomson giving him the opportunity to shoot past Potts in the 78th minute to make it all square.

Two minutes later the visitors were reduced to 10 men, with referee Chris Newman judging that Aman Johal's tackle on Harrison Edwards was worthy of a red card.

But, as tempers boiled over, this one man advantage didn't last long as Cameron Stokes' challenge on Dean McMillan resulted in him also being dismissed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

There were no further goals so Hibs earned a creditable 2-2 draw.

Boss Craig Gilbert said: “It was really good. Whitburn think they’re kind of big time with the boys that they have brought in.

"Their number nine Ross Crawford is a very good player and he scored a screamer. Into the top corner from 40 yards, you just can’t stop it, great goal.

"Whitburn are a decent side who think they’re better than everybody else but we played well. Their keeper had more saves than our keeper.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Aman’s red card wasn’t fair, he won the ball. It was ridiculous.

"And the two footed challenge on Deano for their red card was bad. His leg is a mess, he could have broken his leg easily.

"He was in a lot of pain and his leg was bleeding with a massive gash.”

Whitburn: Potts, McGarahan, Tomaszewski, Boyle, Stokes, Liddell, L Maguire, Crawford, Duncan, M Maguire, Milton. Subs: Hamilton, Henderson, Taylor, Russell, Edwards, McIntyre, Wilsdon.

Thornton Hibs: Sutherland, Johal, McMillan, Robertson, Adam, McNeish, Coleman, Kinninmonth, Thomson, Soutar. Subs: Daniel Meldrum, Allan, McNab, Hepburn, Darren Meldrum.

Referee: Mr C Newman.

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.