Derek Riordan’s last-minute strike secured Hibs all three points and took them to within four points of Capital rivals Hearts in second place.
Riordan was meant to be on the bench for the visit of Motherwell but team-mate Garry O’Connor injured his ankle in the warm-up so the 22-year-old was drafted in by manager Tony Mowbray.
The late switch didn’t disrupt Hibs’ preparations at all, however, as strike partner Steven Fletcher fired the hosts ahead after just three minutes.
The visitors couldn’t cope as Ivan Sproule rampaged down the left after receiving Scott Brown’s pass and he pulled the ball back into the area for Fletcher who sidefooted past keeper Graeme Smith.
Terry Butcher’s men weren’t behind for long, however, as they drew level after 17 minutes. Kevin McBride’s corner found Jim Hamilton whose effort was blocked by Stephen Glass on the line, but diminutive forward Scott McDonald pounced on the rebound to force the ball past Zbignew Malkowski.
Riordan almost regained Hibs’ lead on the half hour. The dead-ball expert claimed the ball for himself and stepped up to take a free-kick from just outside the area, curling a right-foot effort which looked set for the top corner until Smith threw himself across and sent it past the upright.
The Hibs support was clamouring for a penalty award just after the break when a defender crashed into the back of Fletcher when the striker looked set to convert Kevin Thomson’s cross but referee Charlie Richmond waved away the appeals.
Hibs had a glorious chance to take the lead once more when Thomson played a neat ball in for Feltcher once again, but he couldn’t get a clean strike on his shot and the ball was grasped by Smith.
French midfielder Guillaume Beuzelin was then inches away from finding the back of the net when his shot flashed just past the upright after good build-up play from Irish winger Sproule.
Hibs were dominating but they just couldn’t find the net and the unease amongst the home support was taking it’s toll on boss Mowbray who was sent to the stand after protesting to Richmond.
McDonald wasted a great chance to get his second of the afternoon and give Well an undeserved lead, but thankfully for Hibs he sent his shot harmlessly over.
Hibs substitute Amadou Konte came very close to securing the winner at the death when he sent his header just past the post but there was still time left to secure all three points and Riordan supplied the killer touch when he converted the instrumental Sproule’s cut-back.
Hibs: Malkowski, Whittaker, Glass, Smith, Caldwell, Brown, Beuzelin, Sproule, Thomson, Fletcher, Riordan.