Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson: We were unlucky at Hibernian

Motherwell couldn't find a way past the Hibs defence at Easter Road (pic by Ian McFadyen)
Motherwell couldn't find a way past the Hibs defence at Easter Road (pic by Ian McFadyen)

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson felt his side were unlucky after suffering a major blow to their top six hopes with a 2-0 defeat at Hibs.

Marc McNulty’s penalty and a David Gray header sealed the points at Easter Road to move Hibs five points clear of Motherwell in sixth spot.

But the Well gaffer praised his side’s performance and said that fine margins determined the result.

Robinson said: “The first minute of the game and the last minute probably rounded it off today. The ball hits the post and comes back off Jake when it’s a tap in and then Danny has a great chance and it ricochets off himself and it’s three or four yards out from goal.

“It’s disappointing that we’ve lost the game from two set plays but it’s difficult to be too hard on the players because I thought we dominated possession, but lacked a little bit in the final third.

“It’s a blow in terms of top six because we wanted at least a point out of the game and of course it makes things more difficult, but why not go and win the next three games?”

It could have been a dream start for the Steelmen inside the opening thirty seconds when Gboly Ariyibi’s low cross was turned off his own post by Lewis Stevenson.

It was a big stroke of luck for the Hibees and they were to take advantage as the game turned in their favour.

On-loan Reading striker McNulty received a national call-up during the week and it was his shot on 19 minutes which struck the arm of Well defender Tom Aldred, with referee Kevin Clancy pointing to the spot.

The striker tucked away the penalty confidently to Gillespie’s left.

And home skipper Gray was to add the decisive second goal when he planted a header past Gillespie on 39 minutes from Stevie Mallan’s corner.

Well tried to find a goal before the break, but the best they could muster was Jake Hastie’s weak shot which trickled into the arms of Marciano.

The second half proved more of a non-event for the away faithful as the Hibs defence limited clear openings for the visitors.

Hibs nearly sealed the win with a third goal on 70 minutes.

Mallan’s corner was missed by a flying Gillespie before being hacked off the line, but the Well defence failed to clear the ball and it fell back to Horgan, who slashed wide when he should have scored.

Motherwell should have secured a late consolation, but first Tom Aldred’s header from a corner was well saved by Marciano, before Danny Johnson was denied by Marciano and then the home defence from a pair of efforts in stoppage time.