Date : 13th May 2023
Opposition : Craigroyston
Venue : Away
Scorers : Regan Graham (2)
Booked : Jack Forster, Regan Graham
Sent Off : None
Attendance : 85
Referee : Lewis Hogarth
Team Lineup :
Jordan Crombie (trialist)
Gary Robertson (trialist)
Kyle Wood (trialist)
Jack Jones on for Gary Robertson 72 mins
Leighton Robertson on for Jack Cummings 80 mins
Match Report :
This result was an exact reversal of that at the start of the season when Thornton beat Tweedmouth 2-1 on their own patch. For the third game in a row, the final outcome was determined by a late Rangers’ goal, one which would be a contender for their best of the season. A real work of art.
Hibs were a little fortunate to be one up at the end of an even first half though they had hit the bar early on through Max Coleman’s header. The ball was crossed his way by left winger John Soutar, always a danger when in possession as he sought to turn markers with his pace and ball skill.
Thornton’s goal came from a 39th minute penalty, the referee ruling that Regan Graham bundled over Stuart Drummond. Having already headed past an empty goal, been beaten to the ball by keeper Niall Frampton’s powerful punch and twice sending free kicks off target, Drummond made the score sheet with the spot kick.
Hibs’ goalie Calum Sutherland dived to make sure that Graham’s first strike of the day went round his post. He firmly held another from the home skipper who got the ball after a typical robust Jack Forster tackle robbed Thornton of it in the middle of the park. Sutherland also needed to use his fist to protect his goal when Graham tested him with a long free kick.
Six minutes after the break, Tweedmouth levelled. Jack Cummings’ pressure caused Sutherland to scuff an attempted clearance. The ball fell to Kyle Wood to pass on to Graham who sure footedly hit the net as Sutherland scrambled to get back between the posts.
Dean Mcmillan was twice out of luck, first firing over the bar from a very promising position after Hibs wrestled back the ball inside the home penalty area. Then Frampton tipped away his dangerous cross before going on to make a tremendous save from Andrew Adam. Coleman once more headed on to the bar, this time when he met Jamie Mcneish’s cross.
This sequence of events belies the fact that Thornton were frequently stifled by some canny defending from Rangers’ back three of Craig Heath, Kieran Cromarty and Jordan Crombie. Rangers also tried to be creative going forward with Rhys Dixon, having recovered from a first half knock in the tackle, consistently looking to launch attacks with mid length passes. He was first man in the play which brought about the 85th minute winner with a pass to Graham. On to Forster who, gratefully accepting the acre of space Hibs had given him, instinctively played it forward to Graham who had darted inside to position himself for a perfect finish.
Match Photographs :
Courtesy of Thornton Hibs photographer JOHN LAING. Excellent work from John as always.