Debutant Mika Biereth inspires Motherwell to win over Hibernian
Mika Biereth made a big impact on his Motherwell debut as he inspired the Steelmen to a 2-1 victory over Hibernian in the cinch Premiership.
The on-loan Arsenal striker came off the bench after 55 minutes and laid on the opening goal for Conor Wilkinson before blasting home in superb fashion to double the hosts’ advantage.
Adam Le Fondre gave Hibs some late hope with his injury-time penalty, though Motherwell held on for their first win of the season.
Lee Johnson’s side are still looking for their first point of the new campaign, while Motherwell moved up to fourth in the table.
Dylan Levitt dragged an effort wide of the target as Hibernian threatened in the early exchanges.
It took until the 20-minute mark for the hosts to register their first goal attempt, Blair Spittal trying his luck from range only for the ball to be deflected behind for a corner.
Dan Casey came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock with four minutes remaining in the first half as the defender bulleted a header beyond Hibs keeper David Marshall and against the underside of the crossbar.
Johnson made a double substitution at the break, introducing Martin Boyle and Le Fondre for Dylan Vente and Levitt – however, it was Motherwell who continued to look the more likely.
Conor Wilkinson did well to weave his way into the visitors’ penalty box in the opening minutes following the restart but was unable to get a shot away. The ball was eventually cleared to Lennon Miller, who could only manage a weak effort into the grateful arms of Marshall.
Spittal went close with a low drive on the hour mark before at the other end, Christian Doidge headed on to the roof of the net.
The opening goal arrived with 24 minutes remaining when Biereth did brilliantly to burst into the box and squared for Wilkinson, who made no mistake from close range.
Bevis Mugabi passed up a good opportunity to double the lead for Stuart Kettlewell’s side as he failed to make any contact with Pape Souare’s corner.
The game looked to have been put beyond doubt with five minutes remaining when Biereth robbed Paul Hanlon before turning two defenders inside out and slamming the ball low beyond Marshall, though there was still time for some late drama.
Hibs were awarded a penalty in the third minute of injury time, which Le Fondre calmly dispatched into the bottom corner.
The best videos delivered daily
Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox