Thornton Hibs produced a dominant display to see off Cairneyhill United 3-1 at Memorial Park. After initially falling behind to an Adam Rankine goal, two goals from Bradley Bullen, coming either side of a Jack Wilson strike, secured the points for Thornton to move them up to 4th in the league table.
Thornton began the game with the greater attacking intent and were proving a threat for the Cairneyhill defence. On the 6th minute a Thornton corner was launched in and was diverted towards goal by Bullen. Cairneyhill ‘keeper John Manderson did well to keep the ball out.
Bullen continued to hassle the Cairneyhill back line with a 15th minute effort dragged just wide of the left post.
Thornton again came close to breaking the deadlock from a corner kick shortly afterwards. Jamie McKay met the subsequent ball and headed towards the target, only for Cairneyhill’s Sean Smith to block his effort on the line.
Bullen had yet another chance on the 21st minute after latching onto a cross from Euan Forsyth. Again his effort went just past the post.
On the 29th minute Cairnyhill United took the lead against the run of play. A corner from the left was initially parried away by the Thornton ‘keeper Matt MacGregor. However, Cairneyhill instantly regained possession of the ball and it was launched back into the penalty area. Defender Rankine, who had remained up top following the corner kick, headed the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, just beyond the fingertips of MacGregor.
3 minutes later and Cairneyhill very nearly went 2-0 up. Again a corner kick proved troublesome for the Thornton defenders as the ball took a number of ricochets before being turned towards the bottom left hand corner of the goal. Bullen, however, expertly cleared the ball on the goal line with a sliding effort.
After this near scare Thornton began to regain control of the game and, on the 39th minute, the equaliser came. After a neat run down the left McKay delivered a fine low cross that took the Cairneyhill defence out of the game. Bullen, who had met the ball just outside the six yard area, slotted the ball home with a neat first time effort.
Getting back on level terms helped increase the confidence of the Thornton players and they continued to pepper the Cairneyhill goal with some close shots. Both Jack Wilson and Luke Fleming came close and Bullen clipped the crossbar with an ambitious long-range effort.
Just before the half-time break Thornton scored their second. After the Cairneyhill defence failed to clear the ball in their penalty area, Thornton picked up the ball in a threatening area. The ball was played to Wilson who had drifted into the penalty area unmarked and he confidently slotted the ball past Manderson.