Ryan Porteous stood tall against Motherwell’s imposing front two

Ryan Porteous
Ryan Porteous
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It was a moment which Ryan Porteous enjoyed every bit as much as Stevie Mallan, Oli Shaw and Martin Boyle had in scoring the goals in which Hibs opened the new Premiership season with a 3-0 win over Motherwell.

Booting the ball high into the stand may not appear much cause for celebration but, as a defender, Porteous was happy enough to send it in the direction of fans sitting in the East Stand’s “Row Z”.

It did, however, help Neil Lennon’s side to their first clean sheet of the season, coming at a time when Motherwell had mounted a belated bid to claim at least a consolation goal from a match in which they had been outplayed.

“It was that old saying,” admitted Porteous, “If in doubt, put it out. Three goals, three points and a clean sheet, you can’t ask for much more.”

Lennon was naturally delighted given his players had only arrived back in Edinburgh on Friday evening following their Europa League match against Asteras Tripolis in Greece, allowing them little time to prepare for a potentially tricky opening fixture.

But there was an added sense of satisfaction for 19-year-old Porteous in that the game was his first league start at Easter Road and only the third of his career to date.

And taking into consideration he helped keep Motherwell’s formidable front pairing of Curtis Main and Connor Sammon quiet, he was naturally delighted.

“It was at the back of my mind that I was going to be up against two big, physical guys,” admitted Porteous. “But that’s exactly what I came up against when I was out on loan at Edinburgh City a couple of seasons ago.

“Those two are obviously better football players but physically it was much the same. Grant Murray [Hibs first team coach] said to me before the game that they’d be strong but I could be just as strong so I just tried to play my own game.

“We know that if we can keep a clean sheet then we will win games because of the quality we have in the final third of the pitch.”