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Well seal two-six spot
Published : 15 Mar 2013 22:47:50
A James McFadden-inspired Motherwell overcame an early Hibernian goal before comprehensively outplaying their opponents to win 4-1 and guarantee their place in the top six of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Tom Taiwo's strike gave Hibs a half-time lead their play scarcely deserved.
However, a fabulous second half from the home side, which produced goals for Michael Higdon, McFadden, Kallum Higginbotham and Tom Hateley, sealed an emphatic win.
After only three minutes McFadden's inviting cross was headed over by Higdon. He then sent a neat flick to Henrik Ojamaa in behind the Hibs defence but his deflected shot was blocked at the foot of the left-hand post by goalkeeper Ben Williams.
With 11 minutes played a swerving free-kick from Hateley almost deceived the keeper, who dived low to his right to stop the shot and was relieved as the ball rebounded off the surprised Shaun Hutchison and past the post.
Hibs took the lead with virtually their first attack after 23 minutes. David Wotherspoon curled the ball in from the right and Taiwo, six yards in front of goal, stooped to send a header past Darren Randolph. Hibs should have increased their agony when James McPake rose unchallenged to meet Leigh Griffiths' corner, only to head the ball into the side netting.
Three minutes into the half the two teams were level. McFadden's first cross from the right was blocked but at the second attempt he floated the ball into the six-yard box, where Higdon powerfully headed it high beyond Williams.
There was no stopping Well or McFadden as the home side took the lead after 53 minutes. Collecting the ball just outside the box, McFadden side-stepped Matt Done before sweeping a left-foot shot into the corner of the net for his first goal since his return to the club.
Motherwell made it 3-1 after 66 minutes. Stuart Carswell chased a pass from Ojamaa into the right-hand corner before calmly picking out Higginbotham at the other side of the box. The on-loan striker sent the ball back across Williams with a wonderfully executed bicycle kick for a fabulous finish and his first for Well.
That wrapped up the points but Motherwell managed to add a fourth goal six minutes from time. Once again McFadden was the provider - rolling the ball in front of Hateley, whose drive from 22 yards took a slight deflection off McPake before flashing past Hibs keeper Williams.