Thornton Hibs: Gilbert plots downfall of Renfrew in Scottish Cup

Thornton Hibs beat Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 3-1 in the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup
Thornton Hibs beat Kirkintilloch Rob Roy 3-1 in the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup

Thornton Hibs boss Craig Gilbert believes beating Renfrew and reaching the last-16 of the Scottish Junior Cup would be a “fantastic achievement” for the club.

The Hibs go into their fourth round tie this Saturday having stunned and knocked out West Region Premiership opposition already after a memorable 3-1 win in the third round over Kirkintilloch Rob Roy.

Renfrew, who lost 3-0 to Auchinleck Talbot last Saturday, are bottom of the Premiership but will provide another stern test for the Hibs.

Gilbert’s men were on the wrong end of a 4-1 defeat to Forfar West End last weekend, ending their seven-game winning streak.

However, he insists the players are fired up and ready for Saturday.

He told the Gazette: “We face another West coast Superleague team. We beat Kirkintilloch Rob Roy in the last round so there’s no reason why we can’t go and do it again.

“I think there is a west coast arrogance that they think they are better than east.

“I think they think they have got better players, it has just always been like that. It comes from the seniors right down to the juniors.

“They will be coming through thinking they can beat us. We have done our homework, we have got video of them playing against Auchinleck Talbot and Beith.

“How important is home advantage? We actually play better away from home. Our park is tight and it will probably be a heavy pitch. We have got young players and we will be fitter in the latter stages. They will be fired up for Saturday no questions asked.

“There’s a great buzz about the place, the Scottish Cup always brings that excitement, you play teams that you don’t normally play.

“To get through to the last-16 would be great, it would be a fantastic achievement for the club.”

Thornton Hibs remain in third in the East Superleague after their defeat last Saturday and Gilbert reckons it will be their last league game until January.

He said: “In terms of results it was a bad day at the office but we actually played quite well.

“Their keeper has made two or three great saves.

“We got it back to 2-1 in the second half and felt we were in the ascendancy but we could do nothing with the ball, we then got a man sent off and we couldn’t come back from that.”

Meanwhile, Glenrothes are away in the fourth round to Ayrshire outfit Craigmark Burtonians who play in the West Region Championship.