Hibernian vs. Motherwell – Football Match Report – January 31, 2018
Florian Kamberi’s debut goal for Hibernian set the Leith side on their way to a 2-1 Ladbrokes Premiership win over Motherwell at Easter Road.
The Switzerland Under-21 striker, signed from Grasshoppers of Zurich on loan until the end of the season, marked his first appearance in green and white by hammering in the opener after 27 minutes.
Barely two minutes after the restart attacker Brandon Barker scored his first Hibs goal since arriving on loan from Manchester City at the start of the season.
Well striker Curtis Main reduced the deficit in the 77th minute but Neil Lennon’s side held out for the win.
The match began with just hours of transfer deadline day remaining and with both clubs still to finalise their business.
Former Hamilton and West Ham left-back Stephen Hendrie, a loan signing from Southend for the rest of the season, started on the bench for Motherwell.
The Fir Park club had rejected an increased bid of £375,000 from Celtic for goalkeeper Trevor Carson and he was between the sticks as Hibs edged the early stages.
An exciting run down the right by Barker in the sixth minute almost brought the opener for the Leith side.
The speedy wide-man’s cross eventually broke to Kamberi whose goal-bound volley from 16 yards was cleared from just under the bar by Well defender Cedric Kipre.
From the resultant corner Hibs captain Paul Hanlon’s header came off the post.
There was little more of note, however, until the 27th minute when Kamberi stopped defender Charles Dunne’s attempted clearance from John McGinn’s shot, and from 16 yards the 22-year-old rattled it into the net off the underside of the bar.
While Hibs were switched off at the start of the second half Craig Tanner volleyed a Dunne cross over Ofir Marciano’s bar from 14 yards but seconds later the Leith side had doubled their lead.
McGinn sent Martin Boyle racing down the left and when his cut-back came into the box Barker side-footed the ball high past Carson for his first Hibs goal in 24 appearances and he milked the applause.
Former Hearts defender Faycal Rherras, on loan at Hibs from KV Mechelen, came on to make his debut for the injured Darren McGregor in the 58th minute as Motherwell looked to get back into the game with a double substitution, Chris Cadden and Gael Bigirimana on for Liam Grimshaw and Andy Rose.
Hibs enjoyed a let-off when Bigirimana got his head on to a Cadden cross six yards from goal but failed to connect properly.
Main, however, had no such problem when he ran on to a Bigirimana pass to brush off the attention of Hanlon before rifling the ball under Marciano from close range to give the Steelmen hope.
But after a tense final few minutes, and a fine Marciano save from a Main chip shot in injury time, it was nothing more.