Thursday, May 23, 2024

Motherwell snatch late point against Hibs as both clubs see top-six hopes end

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 13 Apr 2024

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Motherwell and Hibernian saw their top-six hopes ended following a high-stakes encounter at Fir Park where the Steelmen snatched a late equaliser in a thrilling finale.

Shane Blaney struck deep into stoppage time to earn a 1-1 draw for the hosts after Myziane Maolida had put Hibernian ahead with a 65th-minute penalty.

Both sides entered the encounter with aspirations of finishing in the top six with Motherwell needing a win to have any chance of catching sixth-placed Dundee.

A draw could have sufficed for Hibs – if Dundee lost their last two games – but it ultimately was not enough as Dundee picked up a point against Aberdeen to secure their top-six place ahead of facing Rangers on Wednesday night.

Hibs looked comfortable at Fir Park after taking the lead through Maolida’s second-half penalty but Blaney killed their dreams at the death with a thunderous left-footed finish beyond David Marshall.

Motherwell should have won it just 30 seconds later when Oli Shaw somehow diverted the ball wide from yards out but the result left the Hibs support furious as they made their discontent known towards the players at full-time.

The wind caused havoc for both sides on a blustery afternoon in Lanarkshire and there was a distinct lack of quality on show but a three-minute spell in the second half was pivotal.

Motherwell had the ball in the net through the in-form Theo Bair after 62 minutes following a sublime turn and pass from Lennon Miller but it was ruled out for offside with VAR backing up the linesman’s initial decision.

And just two minutes later, Hibernian were awarded a penalty when Stephen O’Donnell clumsily connected with Will Fish as he attempted to turn and Willie Collum did not hesitate to point to the spot.

Maolida stepped up confidently and rolled the ball past Liam Kelly in front of an ecstatic away support.

However, those same fans were left far from happy at the end following Blaney’s late intervention.

Chances were at a premium in the first half with Chris Cadden coming closest for the visitors when Liam Kelly tipped his powerful effort over the bar while Motherwell failed to click as an attacking threat.

Hibs, however, had the better opportunities after the break with Emiliano Hansen failing to connect properly with a dangerous fizzed cross from Nathan Moriah-Welsh before Elie Youan fired tamely at Kelly just minutes later.

There was a flashpoint after 56 minutes when Rocky Bushiri went down in the box with the travelling contingent screaming for a penalty but ref Collum was unmoved.

The experienced referee booked the Hibs centre-back before a flare-up ensued between both sets of players with Blair Spittal and Martin Boyle also cautioned for their involvement.

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