We were the only team in the top three to win this weekend and as a result Motherwell finish the first cycle of games comfortably in the runners up spot. It was a well merited win against a Hibs side that showed too much respect to the visitors in the first half.
Murphy’s early header came from a deep Hateley cross. Higdon rose but failed to make contact and Jamie was able to place his attempt beyond Stack. Our domination of the first period can’t be overstated. The ball was rarely in our half and the home team had only two off target efforts to their credit.
The goal allowed our back four to knock the ball about and exchange passes with Jennings, Law and Lasley while the home support grew increasingly frustrated as we became more comfortable.
Such was the disarray in the Hibs dressing room at half time that Calderwood choose to introduce Wotherspoon and Galbraith as the game restarted. They put more effort into the first five minutes than was on show in the first forty five.
Our defence did well against the Hibs onslaught and although Randolph was more involved there were few worrying moments for the travelling fans. Our reply was to present Higdon with half a dozen golden chances to score. Murphy and Humphrey set him up for one on one opportunities. The first was dragged wide and the second was an attempted nutmeg that Stack blocked.
Craigan had a header from a corner parried by Stack as we searched for the killing goal. It fell to Higdon at the keeper’s right hand post and it seemed certain that he would score. Instead Stack got the slightest of touches as the ball came across the line. It was no surprise to hear that the Hibs’ goalie was awarded the sponsor’s Man of the Match award.
Hibs were unable to find the equaliser that would have robbed us of a couple of points and on this showing they will lose many more than they will win. For our part we record yet another win away from home and the players and manager are entitled to be proud of completing the first eleven games in second place. Well done!