Devastating Arniston put on five-star display

Arniston Rangers 5-0 Thornton Hibs
Arniston Rangers 5-0 Thornton Hibs

Arniston pulled out of the relegation area and moved up to tenth with a win over Thornton Hibs in their first home league match for 15 weeks.

With Jock Landells’ men keen to get going at home against bottom-of-the-league Thornton, early Arnie corner pressure pushed the Fifers on to the back foot.

Arniston’s play deserved an opener, but in 12 minutes they were forced into a change as Nicky Faulds limped off with an injury, to be replaced by David Jeffrey.

A 17th-minute fiery shot by Thornton’s Lee Schiavone was well dealt with by Arnie goalkeeper Dale Cornet, but a minute later Arniston finally opened their account. Excellent work by Lumbert Kateleza set up the opening for Kieron Somerville to finish off the move and hit the visitors’ net.

A second goal was elusive until the 34th minute when, in a superb solo counter-attack, Kataleza outdid the Thornton defenders before a brilliant lob over advancing ’keeper Gear nestled into the Hibs net to make it 2-0.

Thornton were to survive further missed Arniston chances until the 40th minute when Arnie went 3-0 up with Kataleza again the playmaker, setting up Kyle Doig to slot the ball into the vacant net.

At the other end, Daniel McNab saw a Thornton chance flash wide as Arnie took the break at 3-0 ahead.

Arniston’s impressive half-time scoreline could have been improved in the very first minute of the second half with Somerville passing up a great chance, but just one minute later it was 4-0. Unselfish Kataleza, after beating Gear to a through ball, side-footed to Adam Murray to score Arniston’s 40th goal of the season in their 24th match in all competitions.

Thornton replied with a Schiavone shot which was well saved again by Cornet.

Arniston’s superior outfield play could have produced more goals with the visiting defence under heavy pressure. Frustrated Hibs’ striker Chris Ireland was booked next for a foul on Somerville.

Kyle Doig was substituted by Darren Leslie for the last quarter.

Goal number five, in 79 minutes, proved the icing on the Arniston cake as a great shot by Kieron Somerville rattled into the Thornton net.

Somerville then limped off injured to be replaced by Mark Aitken.