With Hibs still smarting from the disallowed ‘goal’ in last week’s Edinburgh Derby, they travel to Fir Park tonight more desperate for the three points than they would have been, had the goal been given and a victory the outcome. Motherwell sit second in the league with 47 points, virtually assured of a top six place and with realistic aspirations of playing European football next season.
Hibs, on the other hand, sit right on sixth place with 40 points, only two points between them and the chasing trio of Dundee United, Kilmarnock and Aberdeen. Hibs manager Pat Fenlon believes his team have lost four points due to blatantly bad refereeing decisions. Hibernian would certainly be sitting in a more comfortable position had these decisions not gone against them. There are no sufficient words in the lexicon of football clichés that can describe how bad last Sunday’s decision was. This columnist predicted, “Leigh Griffiths to be prominent” in a Hibs victory. (Had justice been done, that would have meant a tremendous two predictions correct out of six, instead of the paltry one actually achieved!)
For tonight’s match, both teams should be playing attacking football and it could make for an exciting, open game. There were goals a plenty in the previous Fir Park fixture, with Hibs scoring four without reply. At Easter Road, Motherwell just edged out Hibs in a 3-2 thriller. With Higdon and Griffiths in such fine form, tonight’s match will hopefully maintain the high goal scoring standard of the previous two games.
Shaun Hutchison and Chris Humphrey return to the Motherwell squad although defender Fraser Kerr is still struggling for fitness. In the Hibs camp, Paul Hanlon is still missing, but they do hope to add former Motherwell defender, Tim Clancy, to the squad. Hibs also have former player Kevin Thomson, available for this match. Thomson, who made a surprise substitute appearance on Sunday, brings added experience to this Hibs team, and could make a positive contribution if given any game time tonight.
Hopefully it will be a thrilling, goal filled, incident packed spectacle of a match and not the ‘Armageddon’ type game predicted by some pundits at the start of the season!
Prediction: In what is hopefully a Fir Park thriller, Hibs to edge it.