Hibs Lose Third Game In Seven Days

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Hibs ended a dismal week with a third defeat in succession, this time thanks to a lapse in concentration by Ryan McGivern who allowed Stephen McManus a free header from a corner against Motherwell at Fir Park this afternoon.

Jimmy Nicholl took over team selection following Pat Fenlon’s resignation on Friday and Paul Heffernan returned to the first team replacing Rowan Vine whilst Alan Maybury took over the right back slot from Lewis Stevenson who moved into his preferred midfield berth.

Heffernan had an early chance following a Kevin Thomson cross, but his first time shot went past the post.

The Dublin born striker then beat the offside trap but mishit his effort which flew well wide of the post from the edge of the box.

Liam Craig then had a shot blocked while Gunnar Nielsen did well to prevent Heffernan’s follow up effort as Hibs dominated possession.

Motherwell then snatched the lead midway through the first half against the run of play when Ryan McGivern lost McManus from a corner and the former Celtic defender sent his free header past Ben Williams.

Hibs fought back and Robertson beat three defenders but his effort from 10 yards out was blocked by a ‘Well defender.

Ben Williams then did well to save an Anier strike before Stuart Carswell spurned a great chance to extend Motherwell’s lead, but his effort flashed just wide of the upright.

Thomson then fired over the bar on the stroke of half-time.

Hibs started the second half strongly and Robertson’s shot was deflected narrowly wide of the near post.

Craig then tested Nielsen with a well struck left-footed shot but the Motherwell keeper did well to turn the ball around the post for a corner.

Hibs had the chance to equalise just before the end then Heffernan latched onto a through ball before being brought down on the edge of the box by Shaun Hutchison who was immediately shown a red card.

Rowan Vine took the resultant free kick but struck the Motherwell wall.

Hibs maintained the pressure into time added on and Abdellah Zoubir, Robertson and James Collins all had chances before Nielsen produced a stunning save from Heffernan and the Steelmen held on to take the three points.

After the game caretaker manager Nicholl told BBC Scotland: “I thought we started all right for the first 20 minutes. There was no atmosphere in the place and I thought that will suit us, then they score – it’s a lack of concentration from Ryan McGivern, who lets McManus go.

“At half time I said get stuck into them and contribute what you are capable of contributing. I thought we were on the ascendancy and it was just a matter of converting the chances and we didn’t do it. Sometimes the quality in the final third wasn’t great. We had bodies in the box and we never got the ball in. But, all in all, I really can’t fault them. I thought we deserved an equaliser.”

When asked whether he would be interested in the vacant post he replied: “I just go into work and stay under the radar. I love working at this place. If I continue to work here, great, if not, I’ll just move on and do something else.”

Hibs – Williams, McGivern (Vine, 76), Hanlon, Forster, Maybury (Collins, 88), Taiwo (Zoubir, 65), Thomson, Robertson, Craig, Stevenson, Heffernan. Unused substitutes – Murdoch, Mullen, Tudur Jones, Handling.

Attendance: 3,864

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