Hibs turned in a fantastic first-half display to demolish sorry Motherwell at Fir Park as they made it three wins on the trot in the SPL.
The game was as thoroughly one-sided as the scoreline suggests, with Hibs also hitting the woodwork twice, while squandering several other chances to add to their tally.
Hibs announced their attacking intent within minutes of kick-off when Sproule raced into the penalty box only to be denied by Motherwell goalkeeper Colin Meldrum’s block, before slamming the rebound wide of the target. Meldrum also did well to block a point-blank strike by Chris Killen, but he could not prevent Hibs taking the lead after ten minutes.
The keeper failed to smother a mis-hit effort by Steven Fletcher, and Ivan Sproule emerged from a scramble to set up midfielder Scott Brown, who gratefully fired in the opener.
Only the woodwork prevented defender Rob Jones from adding to Hibs’ lead moments later, but the Easter Road side did not have to wait long for another goal.
Killen latched on to a clever reverse pass by Brown, before racing into the box and coolly shooting beyond Meldrum.
David Murphy then tried to pick out Killen for a header in front of goal but the ball fell to the feet of Sproule, who buried his shot.
There was further misery ahead for the home side when Sproule helped himself to his second goal. Guillaume Beuzelin released the winger and he expertly drew Meldrum from his line before placing the ball in the net for the visitors’ fourth with only 39 minutes on the clock.
Hibs were hungry for more goals after the interval and Killen’s diving header fell just wide of the upright.
Visiting goalkeeper Zbigniew Malkowski had barely been troubled, but he was called into action to stop a powerful strike by Steven McGarry.
McGarry tried his luck again with another long-ranger, but the Hibs keeper was up to the task.
Hibs had the net bulging again after 73 minutes when a corner by Kevin Thomson was delivered into a packed goalmouth and Jones rose highest to nod past Meldrum.
Fletcher hit the post before McGarry latched on to a David Clarkson pass to pull a goal back with eight minutes to go – a mere consolation for the home side.
But the scoring was not over and substitute Dean Shiels grabbed goal number six for Hibs in injury time, shooting home from close range after good work by Brown.
Hibs: Malkowski, Whittaker, Murphy, Martis, Jones, Thomson, Sproule, Beuzelin, Brown, Fletcher, Killen.