Motherwell lined up in the Fir Park sunshine with an eleven that had only two changes from the Cup Final. Law and Higdon took up station in place of the departed pair of Gunning and Sutton and it soon became apparent that the change has been to our benefit.
Inverness kicked the season off but it didn’t take long for Motherwell to take control and the crowd of 4190 was thoroughly entertained by some nice stuff. Murphy and Law missed early chances and Tade shot high at the other end before Foran rattled the post with the visitors’ first real attack.
Any lucky punter who risked a few pounds on Stevie Hammell scoring the opening goal will still be celebrating as our left back met a cross from Humphrey and struck home. That rare event had folk scrambling through the record books to unearth the last goal from Hammell (7 years ago!).
We had to wait only three minutes for the second. Murphy collected a fine pass from the impressive Law and with a fine low finish he beat Esson. It was a perfect start to the season and one that our football deserved.
Inverness had their moments and might have felt that luck was not on their side as the first period drew to an end. Tansey first rattled the post then took a cross from Tade and forced a wonderful stop from Randolph.
The second half didn’t quite live up to the high standard set earlier but some early moments of magic from Nicky Law might have extended our lead. Nevertheless Inverness pushed themselves back into the game as we seemed to coast and we had to be sharp at the back to hold them off.
The game was buried as we entered the last 15 minutes. Hateley’s corner was knocked from Craigan to Lasley and the midfielder blasted the ball into the postage stamp corner from around 25 yards. It was a goal worthy of winning any game.
Higdon got a hearty round of thanks when he made way for Gary Smith as the game petered out and the crowd lest happy to chants of “top of the league”. Long may that last!