Scottish Premiership
Hibernian3Motherwell1

Hibernian 3-1 Motherwell: Hibs come back to win Jack Ross' first game

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Highlights: Hibernian 3-1 Motherwell

Hibernian came from a goal down to beat Motherwell and give Jack Ross a debut Scottish Premiership win as head coach.

Liam Polworth tapped in to put the visitors ahead inside 10 minutes, but Christian Doidge levelled.

Florian Kamberi smashed Hibs in front soon after, with substitute Daryl Horgan making sure of the points with a late breakaway goal.

Hibernian move up to sixth place in the table, with the Easter Road side unbeaten in seven league games.

Motherwell remain fourth, just a point ahead of Kilmarnock who beat Hearts at Rugby Park.

Hibs find the right balance

"Nothing replicates what we will get today, which is seeing the players first-hand on the pitch in a match - that's when you can really judge the players properly."

By Ross' own admission, he did not quite know what to expect from his Hibernian side at home to Motherwell. He has only been working with the players since Tuesday, and though he says he has seen plenty of quality on display in training, he had not seen them in a match environment.

He will not have been impressed with the first nine minutes. Motherwell started quickly and took the lead when Jermaine Hylton's effort came back off the post and into the path of Polworth who knocked the ball into an empty net. But that was as good as it got for Stephen Robinson's side.

So what exactly will Ross have learnt after his side beat Scotland's fourth-placed side at Easter Road? First of all, he will have seen that his side are capable of fluid, direct and effective attacking play - more so than their 12 league goals in their first 11 games suggested. They have now scored seven goals in their last two games.

The key? Playing Doidge and Kamberi together in attack. Doidge, who went 11 Scottish Premiership games without scoring, now has four goals in his last two games. His equaliser will not be one he will look back on with great fondness - an open goal that he tried his hardest to miss from just a couple of yards out, which was luckily deflected in by Declan Gallagher - but they all count. He could have had another in the second half too, but having done well to fashion a chance for himself, his effort was straight at Mark Gillespie. The Welshman seems to be building confidence, nonetheless.

Kamberi has also found goals hard to come by this season, but he took his goal today with the confidence of a striker who had been firing them in for fun. Great work from Scott Allan and Jason Naismith in the build-up allowed the Swiss forward to receive the ball in the box, and with Motherwell defenders all around him, he shimmied to the left before emphatically finishing into the roof of the net. There would not have been many defences in Scotland's top flight who would have kept the pair out today.

Ross will also have learnt that his side are indeed capable of holding on to a lead. In the 10 league games Hibs failed to win this season under Paul Heckingbottom, they had the lead in six of them. Eight of the 20 goals that Hibs conceded in those games came in the last 10 minutes. A worrying trend, but Hibs never looked in too much danger of following it today.

Hibs have won two consecutive league games for the first time since March

Despite one shaky moment where John Beaton waved away a penalty appeal after Polworth went down under pressure from the already-carded Ryan Porteous, Motherwell caused Hibs very few problems. Jason Naismith turned in another impressive performance at right-back, Porteous and Paul Hanlon, who was making his 400th appearance for the club, looked sharp and secure, and only Lewis Stevenson seemed to struggle at times with the pace of Devante Cole and Liam Grimshaw.

Ross will have also discovered there is strength in his squad beyond the starting XI. Though Hibs have been criticised for their business in the summer transfer window, they seem to have decent depth, particularly in attacking areas. Motherwell's best spell of the match came when Hibs started to tire, but the introduction of Horgan, Martin Boyle and Stevie Mallan for the impressive trio of Kamberi, Joe Newell and Allan breathed new life into the side, and it was Horgan's pace on the counter that made sure of the win.

A performance with very few negatives for Hibs, and one which will give their supporters hope going into a very tricky and busy Christmas period.

Man of the Match - Melker Hallberg

Having paid a lot of attention to Hibs' attacking qualities, it would have been very easy to give Man of the Match to one of Doidge, Kamberi or Allan. But despite their free-flowing link-up play, this was a performance and result also built on discipline and control. The performance of Melker Hallberg epitomised this.

Much has been made of Hibs' apparent failure to replace Marvin Bartley with an enforcer, but the Swedish midfielder has shown that he can do that job and more. His composure on the ball gave Hibs the base to build their impressive attacking moves, but his awareness and organisation off the ball was key to them securing the win.

'I can sense belief in the group' - reaction

Hibernian head coach Jack Ross: "Each and every one of them who came off the bench helped us win that game. The whole group will contribute to our success. You can sense that growing belief in the group, that they are a good side and they've got good qualities."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "I thought we were in control for large parts of it but what you do in the two 18-yard boxes is what counts. We didn't finish chances when we had them and we didn't stay with runners and got punished for that."

Line-ups

Hibernian

  • 28MaxwellBooked at 85mins
  • 21NaismithBooked at 67mins
  • 25PorteousBooked at 18mins
  • 4Hanlon
  • 16Stevenson
  • 20Hallberg
  • 8Slivka
  • 11NewellSubstituted forHorganat 74'minutes
  • 23AllanSubstituted forMallanat 84'minutes
  • 22KamberiSubstituted forBoyleat 68'minutes
  • 9Doidge

Substitutes

  • 1Marciano
  • 7Horgan
  • 10Boyle
  • 14Mallan
  • 17James
  • 18Jackson
  • 32Shaw

Motherwell

  • 20Gillespie
  • 4GrimshawBooked at 17mins
  • 31Gallagher
  • 5Hartley
  • 3CarrollBooked at 65mins
  • 15MaguireSubstituted forO'Haraat 77'minutes
  • 44Cole
  • 6CampbellSubstituted forScottat 81'minutes
  • 19Polworth
  • 14HyltonSubstituted forSeedorfat 77'minutes
  • 9Long

Substitutes

  • 1Carson
  • 2Tait
  • 11Seedorf
  • 12Manzinga
  • 17Scott
  • 24Mugabi
  • 52O'Hara
Referee:
John Beaton
Attendance:
15,984

Match Stats

Home TeamHibernianAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home47%
Away53%
Shots
Home13
Away17
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home1
Away10
Fouls
Home14
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Hibernian 3, Motherwell 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Hibernian 3, Motherwell 1.

Attempt blocked. Declan Gallagher (Motherwell) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Long.

Foul by Declan Gallagher (Motherwell).

Christian Doidge (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Martin Boyle (Hibernian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Stephen Mallan (Hibernian) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box. Assisted by Lewis Stevenson.

Attempt missed. Devante Cole (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Peter Hartley.

Goal!

Goal! Hibernian 3, Motherwell 1. Daryl Horgan (Hibernian) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stephen Mallan following a fast break.

Booking

Chris Maxwell (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt missed. James Scott (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Liam Polworth.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Stephen Mallan replaces Scott Allan.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. James Scott replaces Allan Campbell.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Ryan Porteous.

Hand ball by Scott Allan (Hibernian).

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

Attempt blocked. Sherwin Seedorf (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Allan Campbell.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Jason Naismith.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Sherwin Seedorf replaces Jermaine Hylton.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Mark O'Hara replaces Barry Maguire.

Attempt saved. Devante Cole (Motherwell) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Daryl Horgan replaces Joe Newell.

Foul by Jake Carroll (Motherwell).

Scott Allan (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Liam Polworth (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian).

Substitution

Substitution, Hibernian. Martin Boyle replaces Florian Kamberi.

Booking

Jason Naismith (Hibernian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Jermaine Hylton (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jason Naismith (Hibernian).

Booking

Jake Carroll (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Melker Hallberg (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jake Carroll (Motherwell).

Offside, Hibernian. Scott Allan tries a through ball, but Florian Kamberi is caught offside.

Foul by Vykintas Slivka (Hibernian).

Allan Campbell (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Jermaine Hylton (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Liam Grimshaw with a cross.

Attempt blocked. Devante Cole (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Allan Campbell.

Offside, Hibernian. Melker Hallberg tries a through ball, but Christian Doidge is caught offside.

Ryan Porteous (Hibernian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal