We fielded the eleven that saw off the Norwegians last week with places on the bench for new signings Blackman and Casagolda. Motherwell kicked off facing the South Stand and promptly camped in the Hibs half.
It came as no surprise that we took the lead in 13 minutes when Sutton glanced Murphy’s low cross from the left into the far corner. The cause for concern came when we were still only one up when the fourth official signalled for two additional minutes before the break.
To say we dominated the first period is an understatement. We pounded their box as Humphrey sent in crosses from the right and half chances came along regularly. Murphy had a couple of efforts, Saunders headed high form a corner but the second goal was not forthcoming.
Hibs had hardly been seen as an attacking force though Randolph was involved early to deflect a Stokes’ curler. Lasley conceded a free kick a minute into added time and Riordan’s delivery was knocked down for Stokes to poke home from a couple of yards. It was a bitter blow but we can only blame ourselves for not killing the game off in the first 45 minutes.
The visitors made the best of their lifeline after the restart and Randolph has several opportunities to demonstrate his shot stopping skills. It looked like we were to score a second just after the hour when Humphrey’s cross floated over Stack and struck the inside of the post. Cruel fate saw the ball rebound into play and within a minute we were behind. Riordan had a second bite at a cross when a cleared corned was returned and the ball fell to Hanlon who scored in the crowded box.
We fell further behind when Miller struck Riordan’s pass under the keeper from twelve yards. Two minutes later we were awarded a penalty when Nish tugged Blackman’s shirt, Murphy stroked the ball calmly to give us hope with 15 minutes remaining.
Murphy's penalty made the score 2-3
Craig Brown made a further change and we had four strikers fighting to find an equaliser. Hibs responded by swapping Nish for defender Stevenson. Our tactic was to deliver high crosses into the box but Bamba and Hogg dealt with them comfortably.
We managed to take nothing from a game that should have been sewn up by half time. It might be that our new striking pair give us the ability to take more of our chances – Hibs certainly showed us the way.