Motherwell 0 Hibernian 1

Last updated : 13 December 2003 By Footymad Previewer

An injury-time goal from Derek Riordan provided a dramatic climax and ended Hibs' five-game winless streak, but it was still not enough to make this anything better than a mediocre SPL fixture.

The wet and windy conditions at Fir Park hardly helped, although Hibs will surely focus solely on the result after coming off a string of losses to gain their second win this season over Motherwell.

Riordan's crucial contribution was also a reminder that, like Motherwell, Hibs have a number of promising young players coming through.

Riordan's seventh goal of the season was struck first time from an angle as Motherwell's failure to clear their lines condemned them to a third successive defeat.

Manager Terry Butcher now faces the task of recapturing his team's early-season spark.

Both sides actually started brightly with David Clarkson threatening for Motherwell and Riordan firing a dipping right-foot shot fractionally wide from 25 yards.

Kevin Thomson then called home keeper Gordon Marshall into action before Keith Lasley forced Daniel Andersson into a fine fingertip save, but after such a promising first 17 minutes the rest of the first half was a non-event.

Hibs upped the pace at the start of the second period without really managing to turn possession into goalscoring opportunities and Motherwell nearly caught them on the break when a long-range effort from Steven Hammell brought the best out of Andersson.

The visitors kept pressing and after the excellent Steven Whittaker had cut the ball back from the right, midfielder Grant Brebner saw his angled finish blocked by Marshall.

Motherwell's veteran keeper was then a little fortunate when he allowed Garry O'Connor's low shot to squirm through his hands only for the loose ball to spin kindly to a home defender.

Despite this, Motherwell were always in the hunt and after striker Alex Burns clipped the outside of the post full-back Martyn Corrigan twice went close.