Hibernian 4-1 Motherwell
In the final pre-season fixture before the League Cup takes off at home to Rangers, Mark McGhee’s men lost 4-1 away to Hibs.
Tait, Heneghan, McHugh and Blyth all featured in the starting eleven together for the first time since they penned deals with the Fir Parkers.
Scott McDonald got involed early on, when he collected the ball outside of the area but was dragged to the deck.
And what a start to the game it was. From the resulting free-kick Marvin Johnson curled his strike over the wall and it crashed off the crossbar leaving the Hibs trialist goalkeeper no chance.
But the lead didn’t last long as Hibs struck back instantly, with Martin Boyle tapping in from close range.
In an exciting opening 6 minutes, the Steelmen almost took the lead again, but Lasley’s cross was struck over the bar from a corner.
The game settled down just before the tenth minute, with Hibs keeping the ball in their own half, unable to cross the half-way line with the intense pressing of Mark McGhee’s team.
Some neat defending from the ‘Well kept Hibs from taking the lead, and on the break, McManus sprayed a lovely ball out wide which was collected expertly by Tait, but his dangerous, curling cross from deep was a few yards ahead of Blyth and it ran out for a goal-kick.
In the 18th minute, Hibs took the lead after Jason Cummings evaded the off-side trap to square the ball into the path of Holt, who finished past Samson.
Motherwell looked hungry to bounce back though and won a corner in the 20th minute – McManus’ flicked header resulted in a brilliant finger-tip save from Hibs trialist stopper.
Four minutes later, Hibs double their advantage, after a whipped cross was headed into the top corner by John McGinn.
A dangerous ball across goal from Boyle was picked up by Fyvie, whose effort never looked to trouble Samson and went wide of the mark.
Some strong hold-up play from Blyth allowed the centre-forwar to work a yard of space and fire a low-strike at goal, but the trialist made a good save.
Motherwell maintained the pressure by winning a couple of corners, but Hibs scrambled clear to keep the score at 3-1 going into the final ten minutes of the half.
A brilliant challenge from Ben Heneghan denied Jason Cummings what could’ve been an easy tap in for the striker.
Some clever footwork from Scott McDonald in the box looked certain to lead to a goal for the Steelmen, but a good block denied the Aussie from silencing the home support.
But it remained 3-1 to the Scottish cup winners going in to the half-time break, a score that didn’t reflect the good play from the Fir Parkers.
‘Well boss Mark McGhee didn’t make any changes at the break, but Hibs brought on Dylan McGeouch for Marvin Bartley.
At the start of the second-half, a good save from Samson denied Hibs their fourth. In a blow, Jacob Blyth made way for Ainsworth after getting a bloodied nose from a corner in the 51st minute.
Cummings the took the ball down six yards from goal, but his strike on goal flew over the bar and out for a goal-kick.
Marvin Johnson looked to have injured himself after a mazy run led to a corner for the ‘Well, and McGhee took no chances, withdrawing the goal-scorer and replacing him with Allan Campbell after 60 minutes.
Hibs made a change on the hour too; Cummings and Trialist goalkeeper made way for Keatings and Virtanen.
Hibs did eventually make it four after a loose pass was picked up by Keatings, who curled a low shot in off the post in the 63rd minute.
Dan Carmichael replaced John McGinn shortly after the 70th minute for the home side, and shortly after that Danny Handling came on for Grant Holt.
Samson was called in to action again, but the stopper got a strong hand on Boyle’s effort, and Ben Heneghan cleared for the Fir Parkers.
A trio of changes arrived in the shape of Thomas, Moore and Trialist, who came on to replace McDonald, Lasley and Cadden with ten minutes left
There were few chances left in the match as Hibernian saw it out for the win.
Motherwell: Samson; Tait, Hammell, Heneghan, McManus; McHugh, Lasley (Thomas ‘80); Johnson (Campbell ’60), McDonald (Moore ‘80), Cadden (Trialist ‘80); Blyth (Ainsworth ‘51)