Motherwell 0 Hibs 0: Two red cards for Steelmen in draw at Fir Park


Motherwell finished their 0–0 Premiership draw against Hibs with 10 men and manager Graham Alexander in the stands.

Proceedings were cautious at Fir Park and neither side managed to create anything of note in the opening hour of play.

Kevin Van Veen squandered a great chance at home in the first half during a game affected by wet and windy conditions in North Lanarkshire.

Hibs gained a player and manager advantage when Liam Donnelly and Motherwell boss Alexander were sent off in the space of thirty seconds.

They held on by one point and remain fourth in the Premiership, Hibs holding back in fifth place.

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‘Well, boss Alexander made a change to the Motherwell side who beat Morton in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday. Kevin van Veen, who scored in the game, started in place of Kaiyne Woolery.

Hibs head coach Shaun Maloney, meanwhile, opted for more, with four changes made from the side Cove Rangers took to extra time nearly a week ago.

Captain Paul Hanlon sat out with injury with the arrival of Rocky Bushiri, along with Paul McGinn, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Kevin Nisbet entering the XI. Melker Hallberg, Ewan Henderson and Christian Doidge withdrew.

Within 10 seconds Hibs had their first real chance. Nisbet broke behind the home defence, but was only able to deflect their effort from a tight angle.

Donnelly had hit a good winner for Motherwell against Morton, but was less successful with a similar but lower shot after seven minutes.

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Windy and wet conditions meant the ball at Fir Park either skidded across the surface or got caught in the air, leading to a less-than-smooth match.

But Hibs had the better starts in the final third, though they were still few and far between. However, a great opportunity would fall Motherwell’s way.

A Sean Goss corner in the 27th minute found Jake Carroll in the box, whose effort was patted by Hibs goalkeeper Matt Macey into the path of Kevin Van Veen. Well number nine flew in from a distance of six yards.

It was the only real moment in a first half lacking in quality. It gradually worsened as the proceedings progressed and the early stages of the second half showed little sign of improvement.

The game worked mainly in midfield and it was hard work. There was a lot of effort on display, but it wasn’t converting into quality in the final third.

‘Well, captain Stephen O’Donnell had a rare chance behind the Hibs defensive line in the 56th minute, but his shot was tame and easy to manage.

Former Motherwell man Chris Cadden looked like a threat to the Hibs right-back and his crosses into the box from his former club were a mockery, but his team-mates did not welcome them.

Then the match came on in the 73rd minute. Already on a reserve, Donnelly was sent packing for a challenge which manager Alexander deemed correct, also sent off as ‘Well, we were missing a player and a boss.

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Cadden’s ball into the box two minutes later was dangerous and Christian Doidge’s 83rd-minute lob nearly beat Fir Park goalkeeper Liam Kelly after a rare moment of indecision.

The Reds mattered little in the game as with a few defensive substitutes, Motherwell held out for a point on a night of little imagination.

Motherwell XI: Kelly; O’Donnell, Solholm, Carroll, McGinley, Goss, Maguire, Donnelly, Shields (Tierney, 66, Slattery 84) Roberts (Shaw, 84) Van Veen.

Substitutes: Fox; Lana, Hopefully, Amaluzor, Cornelius, Nirennold.

Yellow card: Donnelly (red), Alexander (red), Solholm, Van Veen,

Hibernian XI: Macey; McGinn, Bushiri, Stevenson (Mitchell, 76) Cadden, Doyle-Hayes, Newell (Doidge, 81) Campbell (Henderson, 76) Doig, Mueller (Wright, 61), Nisbet.

Substitutes: Dabrowski; Murphy, Allan, McGregor, Scott.

Reserved: Stevenson, McGinn.

Referee: Andres Dallas.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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