Hibs came from behind twice to secure a 3-2 win away to Motherwell in a fiery end to the first weekend of the new Scottish Premiership season.
Kevin Van Veen and Bevis Mugabi had Motherwell ahead twice. They were both cancelled out by Kyle Magennis and Christian Doidge strikes before Martin Boyle fired Hibs to victory from the penalty spot. The Easter Road club were rocked by the news of Josh Doig’s potential move south to the Premier League via Nottingham Forest pre-match.
Hibs head coach Jack Ross confirmed before kick-off that SWFA Young Player of the Year Doig would ‘likely’ leave Hibs after leaving him out of his matchday squad at Fir Park. English Premier League clubs Burnley and Watford are reportedly battling for Doig. The fee is reported at around £4 million (DM).
Nottingham Forest are also interested and could benefit from Doig moving to the Premier League, with an option being a loan move straight to the English Championship. It was hardly ideal preparation for Ross pre-match and Motherwell striker Van Veen added to his issues.
A Jake Carroll cross found the Dutchman free in the box, comfortable beating Hibs goalkeeper Matt Macey with a header. Magennis provided pain relief for Hibs as he went up the other end with Boyle to turn the ball into the ‘Well net.
Carroll’s crosses were causing Hibs all sorts of problems in a breathless match. The game was going from side-to-side, bookings aplenty for hard challenges. But everything good for Motherwell came through Carroll’s left boot. Again it was influential for Graham Alexander’s team, a deep cross allowing Mugabi this time to head into the net.
Ross made changes to turn the tide and Doidge was one to come one. He netted within minutes of stepping into play, great work from Kevin Nisbet giving the Welsh striker a tap-in. Motherwell had been stung twice after going ahead and should have been leading for a third time, Kaiyne Woolery through one-on-one with Macey.
His shot was tame and the Hibs goalkeeper saved with ease. Motherwell were left ruing missed chances when Stephen O’Donnell was deemed to have handled the ball in the box. Boyle dispatched his penalty comfortably to put Hibs ahead for the first time in the match, enough to win proceedings. Here are three things we learned.
While there’s a chance he could stay, Doig may be heading for the Premier League via Nottingham Forest. The teenage left-back was sensational for Hibs last season and Ross would no doubt love to keep him. But with a sizeable seven-figure fee on offer, Hibs could be ready to make a serious profit on the youngster.
Experienced striker Van Veen was brought to Motherwell by his former Scunthorpe United manager – Graham Alexander – this summer. Van Veen was a handful for the Hibs defence, a nuisance off the ball while he clearly possesses a finishing touch. He could be a big player for Motherwell this term.
Fans bring energy
Up to 6,500 home and away supporters were permitted to attend this fixture at Fir Park. 5,762 approximately attended the last fixture between these two at Fir Park in pre-pandemic times, so this game felt very much like ‘normal.’ Supporters seemed to bring an added edge which transcended into a fiery game on the park.
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