Hibs debrief: Nisbet magic, Goss v Henderson, full-back fears
Player of the match
It could only be Kevin Nisbet. Three goals takes his tally to five in five since his return to action after the World Cup break and he didn’t give the Motherwell defence a moment’s rest during his 87 minutes on the park. His movement for all three strikes was top-drawer and if he can keep up this sort of form he will give Steve Clarke a decision to make ahead of Scotland’s European qualifiers in March. Honourable mentions to Aiden McGeady and Ryan Porteous, who both put in fine performances and contributed greatly to a vital win.
Nisbet’s third goal. It came at a time when Motherwell were on top and controlling the midfield, and it not only showed how important Ryan Porteous is to this Hibs team as his quickly-taken free kick released Josh Campbell on the right flank, but it also gave Hibs a bit of breathing space and more importantly, took some of the wind out of the ‘Well sails – and when Ross Tierney reduced the deficit in injury-time, it became an even more crucial strike.
David Munro mostly let things flow and got the bulk of calls correct. Showed just three cards and kept control of a game that, given what was riding on it for both teams, had its niggly moments.
Benefit of hindsight
Ewan Henderson’s introduction after half an hour for the injured Chris Cadden forced a change in the midfield with Josh Campbell moving to right-back and Kyle Magennis dropping deeper. Hibs were comfortable in the middle of the park before but looked less so after the reshuffle. In the end it mattered little and perhaps said more about Hibs’ options at right-back, but another change might have helped Hibs stay on top in midfield.
Moment you may have missed
Sean Goss and Ewan Henderson were fortunate not to incur the referee’s wrath during a touchline incident. Henderson hit the deck as he won a throw-in but Goss, arriving on the scene, blootered the ball off the Hibs midfielder’s back. Henderson appeared to kick out in retaliation, but there was no action from the official.