Lochee United 6 Thornton Hibs 1

Lochee United all but sealed the Superleague Championship with this comprehensive victory over a Thornton Hibs side forced to play with 10 men for 65 minutes.

Although they still require a point from their final three games to make it mathematically certain, their goal difference over chasers Broughty Athletic is so vast that it would take a collapse of seismic proportions to rob them of the title.

The Bluebells started off like a house on fire with Connor Birse hitting the bar and Scott McComiskie seeing a header come back off the post within the first five minutes.

It didn’t take long for the home side to break the deadlock though. BIRSE twisted and turned inside the Hibs penalty area and sent his shot into the far corner of the net.

Four minutes later and it was 2-0. A Grant Lawson cross fizzed dangerously along the Thornton goal and skipper Greg KIRK raced in at the back post to turn the ball home.

The visitors were showing plenty of spirit but their attacks fizzled out when they got near the Lochee goal. That was until a misplaced header from Kirk saw Garry Thomson race through on goal. Lochee keeper Jordan Millar raced from his goal and did enough to delay Thomson until help arrived.

On 34 minutes Thornton lost Ian Shanks when the defender brought down Birse just outside the box and he was shown a red card.

However, they pulled a goal back three minutes before half time when Scott ORROCK headed home an Andrew Adam corner kick.

Two minutes after half time Lochee regained their two-goal advantage. A long ball found McCOMISKIE with his back to goal on the edge of the Hibs box and the striker turned and lobbed the ball over the head of the keeper.

Birse should have made it four a few minutes later with two attempts to convert Ross McDonald’s cross but he was denied both times by keeper Scott Costello. The keeper also made a good diving save at the feet of Danny Cavanagh.

Thornton’s Orrock tried his luck from 30 yards but Millar spectacularly tipped his effort round the post.

There was some controversy over Lochee’s fourth goal on 68 minutes, scored by Grant LAWSON and deflected in by a defender, as a second ball was on the pitch at the time, but the Hibs dugout’s protest was clutching at straws there as it did not affect the run of play.

Three minutes later LAWSON grabbed his second, stroking the ball into the net from around 12 yards out.

Logan Davie and Jamie Reid came on for Birse and Reece Ritchie with 20 minutes left and the Bluebells tied up the scoring seven minutes from the end. Scott Webster was fouled out on the right and Reid’s free kick brilliantly found Stephen McNALLY who bulleted the ball home with his head.

Webster then went off to be replaced by Kevin Buchan.

Lochee continued to press and Lawson shot over the bar and Reid fired into the side netting, but there were no further goals.

Lochee United: Millar, Webster (Buchan 85), McNally, Kirk, McDonald, Ritchie (Davie 71), Lawson, Cavanagh, McWalter, Birse (Reid 71), McComiskie.

Thornton Hibs: Costello, Drummond, Robertson, Shields, Shanks, Orrock, Keatings, Hepburn (Crichton 78), B Anthony (Coleman 46), Thomson, Adam (McNab 75).

Written on 18 May 2019