Hibs 2 Motherwell 1

13 November 2010 06:33
Back to back wins is not something your read often with Hibs in the same sentence. Derek Riordan repaid the faith shown in him by grabbing a brace (and nearly a hat-trick) to earn Colin Calderwood his first Easter Road win. While Motherwell may have had the majority of procession during the game, it is who is holding the majority of points at the end of the game that really matters. Craig Brown was in charge of the national side when Colin Calderwood was playing for the national side. However, it was pupil teaching the master a lesson today. Motherwell were in front for a short while thanks to Nick Blackman's 10th minute penalty until Riordan equalised four minutes later before he capitalised on a blunder from Stephen Craigan to hit a 27th-minute winner to justify his recall following suspension. Hibs then showed the resolve to deprive the visitors of chances and ensured the win which followed up their 3-0 victory over Rangers in midweek. Calderwood left out David Wotherspoon from his successful Ibrox line-up to allow Riordan to return from suspension after his red card in the closing stages of last Sunday's Edinburgh derby. Riordan did pay some price for his needless lunge on Rudi Skacel by losing the captain's armband to Ian Murray but he twice linked up with the physical Valdas Trakys to atone for his indiscretion. There was another comeback of note to record as Dougie McDonald took charge of his first SPL game since being warned by the SFA. The referee refused to shy away from controversy, appearing to book eight players and handing Motherwell a 10th-minute penalty when Michael Hart felled Jamie Murphy. Hart put in a risky sliding challenge after the Motherwell winger had got round him on the outside, although the Hibs player claimed he had won the ball. Blackman took his Motherwell tally to nine goals by emphatically converting the spot-kick into the top corner. Motherwell failed to build on their advantage and Hibs were level four minutes later. There appeared to be little danger when Trakys chested the ball into Riordan's path 22 yards out but his first-time effort appeared to wrong-foot Darren Randolph in the visitors goal before settling in the bottom corner. The goal lifted the hosts and Riordan was presented with an easier chance but shot well over from 12 yards after Randolph had blocked Edwin de Graaf's flick following an excellent cross from Jonathan Grounds. But Riordan grabbed his second after Craigan's error allowed the striker to slot home from 12 yards. Motherwell had gone missing as an attacking force following their opener but they sprung into action after switching to a back three. Alan Gow headed Chris Humphrey's cross back across the face of goal and both Humphrey and Murphy came close. But Motherwell could not sustain their pressure for the rest of the half and they struggled to break Hibs down after the break. Riordan had two half-chances to complete his hat-trick before the hour mark, curling a free-kick just over and then rounding Randolph only to see Mark Reynolds sweep up. The game was held up for more than five minutes after Gow caught Francis Dickoh late with an aerial challenge. The Hibs defender was carried off on a stretcher with Paul Hanlon coming on and Gow continuing after treatment. Steven Saunders had the ball in the net in the 71st minute but he was immediately flagged offside following Steve Jennings' through-ball. The officials found themselves at the heart of controversy when McDonald let go a clear handball from John Rankin deep inside his own half before Riordan was dubiously flagged offside from the midfielder's subsequent pass. McDonald appeared to flash his yellow card at Saunders, Humphrey and Jennings as the Motherwell players protested. The visitors pushed forward but they were frustrated by a solid Hibs unit, which now had Steven Thicot on for the booked Liam Miller alongside Murray in central midfield. Riordan came closer to his hat-trick in the 88th minute with a brilliant turn and volley, matched by Randolph's fingertip save and Grounds soon curled a shot just wide. Hibs remained firm and the game almost boiled over during seven minutes of injury time. Murray and Craigan were booked after the Hibs captain's poor challenge on Randolph sparked a scuffle and Reynolds and Trakys were also cautioned after the Motherwell defender reacted angrily to a late challenge.Hibs: Brown, Hart, Bamba, Dickoh, Grounds, Miller, De Graaf, Murray, Rankin, Riordan, TrakysSubs: Smith, Hogg, Thicot, Stevenson, Hanlon, Galbraith, WotherspoonMotherwell: Randolph, Saunders, Reynolds, Craigan, Hammell, Humphrey, Hateley, Jennings, Murphy, Blackman, GowSubs: Hollis, Sutton, McHugh, Fitzpatrick, Forbes, Page, CasagoldaAttendance: 11,178 Referee: D McDonald Editor Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)Admin Team (admin@scottishfitba net)This is Scottish-Fitba.Net