“And Neil Lennon thinks he gets a raw deal from referees,” might’ve been Thornton Hibs’ gaffer Craig Gilbert’s thoughts after this game.
Certainly, the referee made some baffling decisions that riled the visitors, but the fact of the matter is that Newburgh were still worth their victory at a rain sodden East Shore Park.
Newburgh went ahead in 21 minutes when Ian Shanks headed Wallace Brown’s free-kick into his own net and by the half-hour mark it was two as Lewis Elder finished in style. Elder came close to making it three with a terrific free-kick that rattled off the crossbar, but the next goal came at the other end as Adam Drummond netted from the spot in the 71st minute after Coco Mullen was manhandled in the box.
Drummond turned from saint to sinner within sixty seconds as he brought down Chris McLeish in the area, resulting in a second yellow card. Gordon Findlay made no mistake with his penalty to re-establish Newburgh’s two goal advantage.
Keiran McGuire became the second Hibs’ man to be sent-off for protesting too vociferously to the ref for blocking his run. To be fair, it was a pretty decent challenge from Mr McBurney and maybe he could teach some of Gilbert’s men how to defend!
Despite the handicap of playing with two men less, Hibs pulled a goal back two minutes later. Comeback man, John Halley, took a corner-kick that was perfect for Lee White to head home his tenth goal of the season.
Craig Gilbert was then instructed to remove himself from the technical area before Chris McLeish netted in stoppage time to make the full-time score 4-2 in favour of the home side.
Thornton Hibs: Rowbotham, Terras, Drummond, Shanks, McAinsh, McGuire, Adam, Maxwell, Mullen, Ireland, Thomson. Substitutes - Macdonald, Campbell, White, Halley, Burns.