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Hibernian 1-1 Motherwell: Tony Watt’s goal earns Motherwell a point at Hibs

A second-half equaliser from Tony Watt snatched a draw for Motherwell as Hibernian’s frustrating search for victories continues.

Kevin Nisbet’s opener in the 33rd minute sent Hibs on their way to what they hoped would be a second three points in three games.

But Watt restored parity on the hour mark and left the Easter Road side with just one win from their last eight league outings

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Kevin Nisbet opened the scoring against Motherwell

Josh Campbell struck the crossbar late on, but Motherwell defended stoutly to cling on for a point in front of 1,300 NHS employees invited by Hibs.

With both teams struggling for supremacy, they traded openings in the initial exchanges.

Paul McGinn produced a stunning last-ditch challenge to prevent Kevin Van Veen from an almost certain opener for Motherwell five minutes in, and six minutes later Nisbet’s glancing header from a Chris Cadden cross was deflected across goal and wide.

Then, with 24 minutes gone, Motherwell passed up a gilt-edged opportunity to make the breakthrough.

They poured forward on a lightning-quick counter-attack that Hibs looked to have covered. But McGinn was woefully short with a miscued pass back, leaving Dean Cornelius one-on-one with Matt Macey.

It was the Hibs goalkeeper who won the duel, repelling Cornelius’ low shot with his outstretched leg.

Macey then awkwardly beat away a Watt drive before the Motherwell striker skied his header over from Van Veen’s resulting cross.

Watt was again in the thick of the action moments later when he shot too straight to trouble Macey.

And, just as it looked as if the Steelmen had a grip on the game, Hibs scored.

Nesbit celebrates opening the scoring
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Nesbit celebrates opening the scoring

Youngster Campbell, fresh from penning a new four-year contract this week, curled in a magnificent left-foot cross from the right and Nisbet flashed a first-time volley beyond the exposed Liam Kelly.

Van Veen might have done better in the visitors’ search for a leveller but lifted his shot across goal and wide from a tight angle after brushing off Ryan Porteous.

Three minutes after the restart, the Hibs defender was inches away from converting a low Joe Newell cross for a second before the Fir Park side dug out a superb equaliser.

 Motherwell manager Graham Alexander (L) and Tony Watt at full time at Easter Road
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Motherwell manager Graham Alexander (L) and Tony Watt at full time at Easter Road

The home side failed to clear their lines and a loose ball fell to Watt at the edge of the box.

The in-form striker showed great confidence to spear a magnificent low shot in off Macey’s right-hand post for a ninth cinch Premiership goal.

Hibs scored twice late on to snatch victory against St Johnstone seven days previously and they pushed hard for a winner in the closing stages.

Stephen O’Donnell cleared Campbell’s shot off the line in the 66th minute before the youngster came closest 12 minutes from time.

Nisbet’s low effort was hacked away in front of goal and Campbell hammered off the crossbar as Hibs recycled possession.

Nisbet had the clearest opportunity as the clock ticked down, but he scuffed his shot from 12 yards out and Kelly clung on to ensure the Fir Park men left with a point.

What the managers said

Jack Ross was not happy with Hibernian's performance on Wednesday
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Jack Ross says Hibs need to find a way to start winning

Hibs boss Jack Ross: “We are in a difficult run at the moment and it would be more concerning if we weren’t getting effort, application and creativity.

“It’s just frustrating for them and it’s about ensuring they retain trust in what they do because that’s the biggest challenge when you go through a period like this.

“It’s human nature you’ll question yourself, because the noise will get to you. It’s crucial they keep that clear-headedness.

“At the start of this period we didn’t play well, here against Dundee United and up at Pittodrie (against Aberdeen).

“But latterly we have been okay; it’s just turning that into results, which we need to do.”

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 30: Motherwell Manager Graham Alexander at Full Time during a cinch Premiership match between Motherwell and Dundee United at Fir Park, on November 30, 2021, in Motherwell, Scotland.  (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
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Graham Alexander is happy with Motherwell’s fighting spirit

Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: “In the first half we had some brilliant chances and should have been in the lead at half-time instead of a goal down.

“But we didn’t want to feel sorry for ourselves and make it a bad-luck story.

“We had to go and make it happen in the second half and it was a deserved equaliser. It was the least we deserved.

“We were up against a good team, with a lot of support, and I thought the players handled that very well.

“They started the second half quite well, but we got that goal that we needed and wanted and deserved.”

What’s next?

Hibs travel to Livingston on Wednesday (7.45pm), while Motherwell visit Celtic on Sunday December 12 (3pm).




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