Thornton Hibs: Crawford hat-trick for champions Whitburn sends Thornton to loss in 2022-23 league finale

Thornton Hibs’ rollercoaster season ended with a heavy 4-1 home defeat to runaway champions Whitburn in Tuesday night’s 2022-23 swansong at Memorial Park, writes John Laing.
It's been a rollercoaster campaign for Thornton Hibs manager Craig GilbertIt's been a rollercoaster campaign for Thornton Hibs manager Craig Gilbert
It's been a rollercoaster campaign for Thornton Hibs manager Craig Gilbert

Joe Kinninmonth and Garry Thomson both came close to putting Craig Gilbert’s team in front but it was visiting striker, Ross Crawford, who found the net first with an absolute screamer in the 13th minute.

And Crawford doubled his side's advantage shortly before half-time as he converted Harrison Edwards’ low cross from close range.

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Garry Thomson pulled one back for the home team in the 61st minute and two minutes later he came close to claiming an equaliser with a shot that smacked off the upright.

Another two minutes passed until Adam Drummond's effort for the hosts flashed inches wide of its intended target and it looked at this stage that the Hibs could take something from the game.

However Crawford put paid to these hopes by completing his hat-trick in the 76th minute.

Another quality strike from Whitburn trialist, Conor Scullion, completed the scoring just four minutes later.

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Thornton Hibs: Sutherland, Johal, A Drummond, S Drummond, Laird, Adam, McNeish, Kinninmonth, Gould, Thomson, Soutar. Subs: Daniel Meldrum, Robertson, Hepburn, Beard, Darren Meldrum.

Whitburn: Gallacher, Tomaszewski, Boyle, L.Maguire, Crawford, Thomson, M.Maguire, Russell, Comrie, Edwards, Johnston. Subs: Stokes, Liddell, Scullion (T), Hughes, Milton, Wilsden.

Referee: Mr K.Hall

The up and down nature of Thornton’s season can be summed up by looking at their results in recent months.

Nine league victories in a row during a magical sequence of results between March 12 and April 29 had Hibs’ followers dreaming of a promotion push.

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But a run of five straight defeats then followed for Gilbert’s outfit as their hopes of going up a division next season were evaporated.

Some satisfaction was then achieved as Hibs won 3-2 at home to Dalkeith Thistle on Saturday (match report elsewhere on this page), before the 4-1 Whitburn loss.

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