Liam Sloan helped East Kilbride Thistle bounced back to winning ways after scoring four goals in a 6-4 thriller away to Hurlford United .
East Kilbride were 5-1 up at half time against ten man Hurlford however had to survive a late scare as Hurlford fought back to 6-4.
East Kilbride started the better team and after nine minutes they were ahead. Good build up play from Thistle led to Dallas being played through on goal and he managed to get a shot away but could only drag it across the goal, luckily Liam Sloan was on hand to put the ball in the back of the net to put Thistle ahead and score his first goal for the club.
Five minutes later it was 2-0. A scramble in the Hurlford box was only cleared as far as Sloan who turned and fired the ball past the keeper to double Thistle’s lead and grab his second goal of the game.
Hurlford were all over the place and a few minutes later they found themselves 3-0 down. Billy Young found himself in space thirty five yards out and he fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner leaving the keeper with no chance.
Hurlford regrouped and nearly pulled one back when Martyn Brown found himself in space in the Thistle box however his headed flew over the bar when he should have scored.
An injury to Hurlford keeper Stephen O Neill meant he had to be replaced by David Markey and Markey was called into action straight away when he saved well from a Martin McVey shot from the edge of the box.
Just after the half hour mark Thistle made it 4-0 in controversial circumstances. Hurlford’s Jamie Wilson won the ball off Martin McVey in the box but the referee awarded a penalty to Thistle and a red card to Wilson for his protests. Liam Sloan made no mistake converting the penalty to make it 4-0 and seal his hat trick.
Hurlford pulled one back after good passing move found Paul Cameron in space and he finished well to make it 4-1.
With the last kicks of the first half it was 5-1. A free kick was awarded to Thistle and Graeme Dempsey curled the free kick into the bottom corner to give Thistle a four goal lead.
The second half started the same way as the first with Thistle attacking and hat trick hero Liam Sloan nearly scored a fourth when he curled a shot from range towards the goal however it flew just wide of the post.
Moments later Hurlford had the chance to make it 5-2. Martyn Brown was taken down in the Thistle box by Dempsey and the ref pointed to the spot however Brown crashed the resulting penalty off the post as the keeper dived the wrong way.
Sloan had another chance to score his fourth when he was found in space in the Hurlford box but his shot clipped the post and went out for a goal kick.
A few minutes later it was 6-1 and it was that man Sloan again. A powerful Chris Dallas shot from range was parried by the keeper but only as far as Sloan who slotted the ball home for his fourth goal of the game.
Hurlford pulled one back almost immediately when Paul Cameron’s cross found Sam Nimmo in space and the substitute made an immediate impact by tapping the ball home to make it 6-2.
Since he came on Sam Nimmo was causing trouble for the Thistle defence and he turned in the Thistle box and fired the ball into the net to make it 6-3 and score his second goal in five minutes since he came on.
With twenty minutes to go it was 6-4. Paul Cameron again caused trouble for the Thistle defence and his cross found Martyn Brown unmarked in the box who made no mistake making it 6-4 as Thistle’s lead started to look in danger.
Thistle regrouped and nearly made it 7-4 when a McVey corner found Chris Dallas in space however his shot crashed off the bar and went out for a goal kick. Thistle managed to hold on to the end against a plucky ten man Hurlford in a ten goal thriller to pick up their first win in four games and edge them closer to safety and keeping them in touch with the promotion chase as well.
Team : Lynn, Morgan, Sloan, Bain, Daly (McMillan 66), Dempsey, Young (Bonnar 82), Innes, Dallas, McVey, Chaplain
Subs Not used: Mailey
Goals: Sloan (9,14,32,55), Young (17) , Dempsey (45)
Yellow Cards: Young, Dempsey, Innes