Motherwell snatched a late draw against Hibs in a remarkable 12-goal thriller.
The result is the highest-ever scoring match in the Scottish Premier League, and it could have been more. Hibs missed a couple of early chances, but Well’s relief was short-lived as the visitors took the lead in the 11th minute with a well-worked goal.
David Wotherspoon stroked the ball across from the right-hand edge of the box into the path of Colin Nish and the former Killie man tapped in from six yards out.
Two minutes later, Motherwell’s Tom Hateley blasted in a powerful free-kick, but Hibs keeper Graeme Smith got a hand to it, then Nish almost doubled his tally with a low drive from the edge of the area that struck the upright.
Motherwell were right back in the match in the 16th minute when Giles Coke burst into the Hibs box after Lukas Jutkiewicz sent the ball in from the right and the former Northampton Town man slotted in from close range.
Barely four minutes later, the home fans were silenced when John Rankin broke free from a throw-in and delivered a ball for Nish to fire in from close range and give Hibs a 2-1 lead.
In a moment of madness, Coke blundered a pass back and Derek Riordan snatched the ball on the edge of the penalty area, rounding keeper John Ruddy and slotting in from a tight angle to increase the lead to 3-1.
As the interval approached, Nish netted his hat-trick with yet another close-range tap-in after Rankin played a neat ball across from the left-hand edge of the box.
Before the break, John Sutton pulled one back for Motherwell to make it 4-2 after Jim O’Brien sent in a delightful cross for the Englishman to deliver a flying header, then referee Willie Collum waved away Hibs’ shouts for a penalty when Nish went down in the box.
Hibs all but put the match beyond their hosts in the 56th minute when Liam Miller cut back and the ball landed at the feet of Anthony Stokes who stroked home yet another close-range shot with the Motherwell defence rooted.
Shortly after the hour mark, Stokes turned a Riordan cross into the back of the Motherwell net to take the score to 6-2 for Hibs, after the former Celtic striker’s corner was cleared back out.
Coke added another to his tally in the 67th minute when O’Brien’s long-range shot rebounded off the post and the Englishman fired in.
Hateley netted the tenth goal of the evening for Motherwell directly from a free-kick in the 72nd minute when he delivered the ball in from distance and Hibs keeper Graeme Smith helped it into his own net.
Four minutes later, Sutton nodded in an O’Brien corner to reduce the deficit further for the Fir Park side.
As the final whistle neared and the score stood at 6-5 to Hibs, Jutkiewicz was felled by Smith, but the big keeper guessed correctly after Collum had pointed to the spot, and saved substitute Ross Forbes’ penalty.
In the dying minutes of injury time, Jutkiewicz pulled off an incredible draw for Craig Brown’s side with a tight-angled left-foot volley, holding off the Hibs defence and thundering in to the top left-hand corner.
Hibs: Smith, Thicot, Hogg, Hanlon, Murray, Wotherspoon, Miller, Rankin, Riordan, Nish, Stokes