Motherwell 4-1 Hibernian
A masterful James McFadden performance and a superb Kallum Higginbotham finish saw Motherwell beat Hibs at Fir Park.
Tom Taiwo's diving header from David Wotherspoon's cross gave Hibs a first-half lead against the run of play.
McFadden crossed for Michael Higdon to head level, before netting delightfully from 18 yards after nice footwork took him through the visitors' defence.
Higginbotham hit the third with a wonderfully executed scissor-kick and Tom Hateley hit a deflected fourth.
The win keeps Motherwell clear of Ross County in second place and closes the gap on SPL leaders Celtic to 12 points.
On any other night the attacking play of McFadden would have been what everyone was talking about.
But that finish by Higginbotham, the only one of the four goals in which McFadden had no direct influence, might end up being the headline act.
Any Hibs fans who arrived 15 minutes late at the towering away end at Fir Park missed their side being completely outplayed by Motherwell in the opening exchanges.
McFadden, now looking like he has enough games under his belt to begin being a real pest to opposition defences, had a deep cross headed over by Higdon.
Higdon's striking partner Henrik Ojamaa collected a clipped Nicky Law pass to test Hibs' keeper Ben Williams at his left-hand post and Hateley had the English stopper busy at the other side of his goalmouth with a whipped free-kick soon after.
All the signs suggested Stuart McCall had tactically out-thought his counterpart Pat Fenlon - then the visitors scored completely out of the blue.
Some lovely trickery by Wotherspoon had 'Well left-back Stevie Hammell confused and the resultant left-foot cross from the Perth-born midfielder was met expertly by a diving Taiwo, who headed past a previously redundant Darren Randolph after timing his darting run from midfield perfectly.
The hosts then lost Keith Lasley to injury and shortly afterwards James McPake's header from a Leigh Griffiths corner almost doubled Hibs' advantage.
Focus then shifted to smoke emanating from a Fir Park stand and it was a relief to see its source was a flare rather than a repeat of the small electrical fire from December.
Griffiths's goalward run was snuffed out with an excellent sliding challenge by Motherwell's Shaun Hutchison on the half-hour, before Estonia international Ojamaa cut back for Hateley to drag a shot wide in what was so nearly a home side equaliser.
But a leveller did come early in the second half.
It initially looked like the energetic Ojamaa had been ushered into a safe area by McPake, but when McFadden got hold of the ball on the right his sumptuous delivery was met by Higdon, who rose to head out of Williams's reach and into the net for number 21 of the season.
A brilliant piece of skill and composure by McFadden then brought 'Well the lead. Collecting Stewart Carswell's pass, the 29-year-old ghosted past Matt Done and Taiwo before stroking the ball left-footed past Williams from 18 yards.
Hibernian's Griffiths was next to threaten, an overhead kick going straight into the arms of Randolph. As good as that was, Higginbotham's scissor-kick moments later usurped it.
Lasley's replacement Carswell crossed from the right and Higginbotham produced an acrobatic finish into the corner.
A heated game got hotter when McPake tripped Ojamaa but moans from home fans at that challenge turned to cheers when Hateley made it four.
Again, McFadden was instrumental in teeing up the midfielder for a strike from the edge of the box that deflected in, fittingly in the Fir Park crowd's eyes, off McPake.
- 01 Randolph
- 03 Hammell
- 05 Hutchinson
- 15 Ramsden
- 04 Law (Cummins - 46' )
- 06 Hateley
- 14 Lasley (Carswell - 27' )
- 08 Ojamaa Booked
- 09 Higdon
- 11 Higginbotham (Francis-Angol - 82' )
- 20 McFadden
- 12 Hollis
- 02 Saunders
- 26 Francis-Angol
- 30 Cummins
- 17 Daley
- 18 Carswell
- 16 McHugh
- 01 Williams
- 03 McGivern
- 06 McPake
- 18 Maybury Booked
- 08 Claros
- 14 Wotherspoon
- 16 Stevenson
- 17 Done (Doyle - 54' )
- 20 Taiwo
- 28 Robertson (Harris - 68' )
- 09 Griffiths
- 31 Murdoch
- 37 Forster
- 07 Deegan
- 33 Harris
- 38 Thomson
- 10 Doyle
- 24 Handling
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +1:49
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by David Wotherspoon from the left by-line to the near post, Michael Higdon makes a clearance.90:00 +1:32
Alex Harris takes a shot. Darren Randolph makes a save.90:00 +0:38
Foul by Eoin Doyle on Shaun Hutchinson, free kick awarded. Shaun Hutchinson restarts play with the free kick.89:26
Stewart Carswell has a drilled shot. Brilliant save by Ben Williams.86:18
Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Higdon on James McPake. Ben Williams takes the free kick.86:00
Alex Harris produces a drilled left-footed shot from 30 yards. Darren Randolph makes a save.85:12
Stewart Carswell challenges Eoin Doyle unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ben Williams takes the free kick.84:47
The official flags Leigh Griffiths offside. Indirect free kick taken by Darren Randolph.83:27
Assist by James McFadden.83:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Tom Hateley - Motherwell 4 - 1 Hibernian Tom Hateley gets on the score sheet with a goal from just outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Motherwell 4-1 Hibernian.81:33
Stevie Hammell takes the direct free kick.81:33 Substitution
Substitution Zaine Francis-Angol replaces Kallum Higginbotham.81:33 Booking
Booking Alan Maybury goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.81:23
Unfair challenge on Henrik Ojamaa by Alan Maybury results in a free kick.76:33
Foul by Stevie Hammell on David Wotherspoon, free kick awarded. Alan Maybury takes the free kick.75:08
Free kick awarded for a foul by Leigh Griffiths on Simon Ramsden. Direct free kick taken by Darren Randolph.73:54
Shot by Alex Harris. Save by Darren Randolph.73:04
James McPake concedes a free kick for a foul on Henrik Ojamaa. Tom Hateley crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left wing, save made by Ben Williams.71:48
Shot from just outside the box by Leigh Griffiths goes over the bar.
David Wotherspoon produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.70:10
Henrik Ojamaa gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Tom Taiwo. Ryan McGivern restarts play with the free kick.69:19
Tom Hateley produces a drilled right-footed shot from 30 yards. Blocked by Eoin Doyle.68:41
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jorge Claros on Tom Hateley. Direct free kick taken by Stevie Hammell.67:39 Substitution
Substitution Scott Robertson goes off and Alex Harris comes on.66:26
Assist on the goal came from Stewart Carswell.66:26 Goal scored
Goal! - Kallum Higginbotham - Motherwell 3 - 1 Hibernian Kallum Higginbotham scores a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Motherwell 3-1 Hibernian.62:37
James McFadden gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Lewis Stevenson. Leigh Griffiths crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by James McFadden.60:15
Free kick awarded for a foul by Stewart Carswell on Eoin Doyle. The free kick is delivered left-footed by Leigh Griffiths from right wing, Tom Hateley makes a clearance.58:34
Effort on goal by Leigh Griffiths from 12 yards. Save made by Darren Randolph.57:52
Ben Williams restarts play with the free kick.57:52 Booking
Booking Henrik Ojamaa is shown a yellow card.57:45
Henrik Ojamaa challenges James McPake unfairly and gives away a free kick.56:37
Eoin Doyle is ruled offside. Darren Randolph takes the free kick.56:10
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jorge Claros by Tom Hateley. David Wotherspoon takes the direct free kick.54:31
Adam Cummins concedes a free kick for a foul on Leigh Griffiths. Leigh Griffiths restarts play with the free kick.53:57 Substitution
Substitution (Hibernian) makes a substitution, with Eoin Doyle coming on for Matt Done.53:13 Goal scored
Goal! - James McFadden - Motherwell 2 - 1 Hibernian James McFadden gets on the score sheet with a goal from just outside the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Motherwell 2-1 Hibernian.51:07
James McPake gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shaun Hutchinson. Free kick taken by Darren Randolph.50:41
Inswinging corner taken by David Wotherspoon from the left by-line, clearance made by Stevie Hammell.50:01
Unfair challenge on David Wotherspoon by Stevie Hammell results in a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Leigh Griffiths, Michael Higdon manages to make a clearance.47:46
James McFadden provided the assist for the goal.47:46 Goal scored
Goal! - Michael Higdon - Motherwell 1 - 1 Hibernian Michael Higdon scores a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Motherwell 1-1 Hibernian.47:38
James McFadden takes a shot. Lewis Stevenson gets a block in.46:31
Stewart Carswell takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Ryan McGivern gets a block in.46:14
Foul by Jorge Claros on Henrik Ojamaa, free kick awarded. Henrik Ojamaa takes the free kick.45:28
Unfair challenge on James McPake by Michael Higdon results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Williams.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Nicky Law goes off and Adam Cummins comes on.45:00 +3:11 Half time
Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.45:00 +2:51
James McFadden takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a comfortable save.45:00 +2:00
James McPake concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Higdon. Stevie Hammell takes the direct free kick.45:00 +0:37
Foul by Ryan McGivern on Michael Higdon, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Tom Hateley.44:40
Outswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley.44:29
Kallum Higginbotham takes a shot. Lewis Stevenson gets a block in.39:26
Scott Robertson concedes a free kick for a foul on Nicky Law. Stevie Hammell takes the direct free kick.37:12
Tom Hateley has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.37:00
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on James McFadden by Lewis Stevenson. Free kick taken by James McFadden.36:21
Henrik Ojamaa is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Ryan McGivern.35:21
The ball is swung over by Tom Hateley, Header by Shaun Hutchinson from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.34:51
Outswinging corner taken by Tom Hateley from the right by-line played to the near post.33:05
Michael Higdon gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James McPake. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.28:50
Corner taken by Leigh Griffiths played to the near post, Header from close in by Ryan McGivern misses to the right of the target.26:55 Substitution
Substitution Stewart Carswell joins the action as a substitute, replacing Keith Lasley.22:53
David Wotherspoon provided the assist for the goal.22:53 Goal scored
Goal! - Tom Taiwo - Motherwell 0 - 1 Hibernian Tom Taiwo grabs a headed goal from close in. Motherwell 0-1 Hibernian.16:52
Corner from the left by-line taken by Tom Hateley, clearance made by David Wotherspoon.15:03
David Wotherspoon takes a corner.11:37
Scott Robertson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kallum Higginbotham. The free kick is delivered right-footed by Tom Hateley from left wing.10:05
Alan Maybury fouled by Kallum Higginbotham, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ben Williams.9:27
Henrik Ojamaa produces a cross, blocked by Lewis Stevenson.3:57
James McFadden produces a cross, Michael Higdon has a header from inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.0:00
The match begins.
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