Motherwell 0-1 Hibs: Martin Boyle clinches the points for Hibs

Hibs midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley battles with Motherwell's Elliott Frear at Fir Park this afternoon
Hibs midfield enforcer Marvin Bartley battles with Motherwell's Elliott Frear at Fir Park this afternoon
0
Have your say

Martin Boyle took advantage of a double blunder in the heart of the Motherwell defence to claim Hibs second victory of the week.

The flying winger stepped in when Motherwell defender Cedric Kipre missed Simion Murray's long ball, beating goalkeeper Trevor Carson to it at the edge of his penalty area, getting the slightest touch to take it past him to roll home his third goal of the season.

There was an early scare for Hibs as Chris Cadden skipped away from Paul Hanlon but goalkeeper Ofir Marciano comfortably dealt with his cross before John McGinn threatened at the other end, the midfielder delivering an inviting ball to the near post which was attacked by Boyle and Andy Rose, the ball coming off the Motherwell man and behind for a corner which came to nothing.

The opening phases were frenetic if lacking in quality but Carson had to stand tall as Boyle was set free, his shot crashing off the Motherwell goalkeeper's chest and to safety.

But Boyle wasn't to be denied in the 27th minute as Kipre missed Simon Murray's long ball forward, forcing Carson to race to the area. However, he was beaten by the pace of Boyle who got a touch to take it past him to leave himself with the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty net.

Boyle and Brandon Barker were playing far narrower than they had in the victory over Hearts in midweek with the on-loan Manchester City player operating behind Boyle and Murray with the obvious tactic being to get the ball in behind Motherwell's back three.

However, it was a driving run from McGinn which spelled further danger for the Fir Park outfit, Carson managing to take his vicious parting shot at the second attempt.

It had been all Hibs in the opening 45 minutes but Allan Campbell went close to hauling the Steelmen level three minutes from the interval with a curling shot from 22 yards which, to Marciano's relief went wide of the goalkeeper's right hand post.

Such was Hibs dominance Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson made two half-time changes, Gael Bigirimana and Craig Tanner replacing Carl McHugh and Elliott Frear with Deimantas Petravicius replacing Rose eight minutes later.

Only the head of Well captain Peter Hartley prevented Murray getting on the end of Boyle's cross as Hibs went looking for the second goal they deserved, the home side's frustration showing with a string of fouls which led to a booking for Campbell's challenge on McGinn who was running the show in the middle of the park.

However, a Hanlon foul on Kipre gave Tanner the opportunity to flash a free-kick across the face of Marciano's goal to lift the spirits of the home fans ever so slightly.

A superb long ball from Lewis Stevenson set Barker racing into the Motherwell penalty area but under pressure he could only send his shot over the bar.

But for all they had been in charge, Hibs had a tremendous block from Steven Whittaker to thank for keeping them ahead in the 70th minute. Cadden's low cross from the right took everyone out as it zipped across the face of Marciano's goal to find Petravicius alone at the back post. He seemed certain to score but Whittaker threw his body in the way.

Hartley did exactly the same at the other end, denying Boyle a second, as both sides looked for that grand finale with Motherwell pressing for that elusive equaliser.

Motherwell: Carson, Kipre, Hartley, Dunne, Cadden, Campbell, McHugh Bigirimana (46), Rose, (Petravicius 53), Frear (Tanner 46), Moult, Bowman.

Substitutes not used: Griffiths, Tait, Hammell, Fisher.

Hibs: Marciano, Whittaker, Ambrose, Hanlon, Stevenson, Bartley, Boyle Matulevicius 86), McGeouch, McGinn, Barker (Slivka 73), S Murray (Shaw 68).

Substitutes not used: Laidlaw, Gray, F Murray, Porteous.

Referee: Bobby Madden.

Attendance: 6043