Whitburn jumped into third place in the East of Scotland Conference X table thanks to an emphatic 6-0 home win over Pumpherston.

With Armadale Thistle not in action, the Central Park outfit made the most of the opportunity as a Darren Liddell hat-trick helped guide them to victory.

His first arrived barely 30 seconds into the contest when Jack Henderson’s effort bounced back off the post and into the striker’s path to fire into the empty net.

To their credit, the depleted visitors bounced back well from that early disappointment and almost levelled things up on eight minutes when Daniel Potts had to be alert to tip an fizzing Keir Lapsley strike behind at his near post.

The bitterly cold weather and hard surface didn’t make for the best of spectacles for much of the first half before a flurry of activity around the half hour mark.

Martin Russell headed a Liddell cross wide before Jordan Rodger almost equalised with a fine free-kick that Potts did well to get to and turn behind for a corner.

The home side’s second arrived on 36 minutes when a mazy Andy Thomson run resulted in his cross being deflected into the path of Liddell who made no mistake.

Needing a fast start to the second half to get back into the contest, Pumpherston conceded in the opening minute to all but wipe out hopes of a comeback as Liddell brilliantly curled home into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The remainder of the clash was played almost exclusively in the Pumphy half and Whitburn would add a fourth on the hour mark.

Thomson again proved a thorn in the defence’s side with a terrific run which keeper Jamie Bowman did well to save - only for Stuart McIntyre to slam home the rebound.

Having found the net three times, Liddell somehow passed up the opportunity for a fourth as Thomson rolled the ball across the face of goal for a tap-in - only for the striker to take a poor touch and miss the opportunity.

Pumphy came close to netting a consolation 10 minutes from time when Potts was called into action to thwart Steven Fleming but the hosts would pad their advantage twice in the closing stages.

McIntyre teed up substitute Aiden Martin for the fifth on 83 minutes before Martin went from finisher to provider as his shot was pushed back into the path of fellow substitute Lewis Milton to complete the scoring and seal a comfortable victory for Whitburn.

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