Motherwell move within five points of Hibs with 1-0 win thanks to Turnbull goal

David Turnbull struck for Motherwell against Hibs on Wednesday night
David Turnbull struck for Motherwell against Hibs on Wednesday night

Motherwell moved within five points of Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership after an impressive performance yielded a 1-0 win over the Leith side at a chilly Fir Park on Wednesday night, writes Craig Goldthorp.

Motherwell - who made five changes from the side beaten 2-1 by Ross County in the cup on Saturday - looked much better and deserved the victory.

The first chance arrived for Hibs after three minutes when Liam Grimshaw's clearance was pounced upon by Ryan Gauld who blasted well over.

Motherwell hit back straight away and Gboly Ariyibi's strong run culminated in a shot which was smothered by a defender and the ball ran through to keeper Ofir Marciano.

After Curtis Main had a shot comfortably saved, Hibs broke to the other end where Florian Kamberi struck well over after a Steven Whittaker centre.

Hibs' Ryan Porteous had a overhead kick saved by Gillespie after a Stephen Mallan free-kick from the left, before Daryl Horgan struck a curling right footer wide.

Youngster Jake Hastie made a fine run down the right for Motherwell to force an 18th minute corner, but Ariyibi's front post delivery to Main saw the striker flick the ball wide.

The hosts missed a great chance to take a 23rd minute lead when David Turnbull's fantastic pass with the outside of his right foot found Main. Although the forward did well to cut inside, he then shot straight at Marciano.

Ariyibi then shot high after more good work by Hastie, before Horgan shot hopelessly wide for Hibs with his left foot at the other end.

A brilliant piece of left wing play by Ariyibi saw him burst clear and deliver a dangerous low whipped ball but there were non takers in the middle to tap the ball in.

The 'Well took the lead on 43 minutes when brilliant set up play by Hastie on the right saw him pass inside to Turnbull who blasted the ball into the right corner from the edge of the box.

The goal will no doubt further impress English clubs linked with making a transfer move for Turnbull who is out of contract this summer.

One nil ahead at half-time, a fantastic 80-yard burst from defence by Liam Grimshaw early in the second half then set up Turnbull but his 20-yard strike went well over.

Horgan missed a glorious chance went sent through on the onrushing Gillespie on the hour mark, but to 'Well's relief he skewed his effort hopelessly off target.

Ross McCormack - who got 45 minutes in Saturday's cup defeat - replaced Ariyibi in a 63rd minute Motherwell substitution.

Tom Aldred then did well to block a shot by Hibs sub Vykintas Slivka as Hibs ramped up the pressure.

A fantastic burst by Turnbull at the other end almost created an opening in front of goal for Main. And Turnbull himself then blazed a half chance high and over the bar.

Motherwell went agonisingly close to going two up with 11 minutes remaining when Turnbull's initial effort was blocked by Marciano to substitute Conor Sammon, who had an effort blocked before sending the rebound against the outside of the post from close range.

The hosts survived a massive scare when Kamberi had a powerful close range effort saved by Gillespie, before the ball was fizzed across the Motherwell box with no takers after the rebound.

Impressive youngster Hastie received a deserved ovation from the home crowd when he was replaced by Gael Bigirimana on 85 minutes.

And Motherwell almost doubled their lead when Turnbull's forceful play set up Allan Campbell whose low shot was blocked by Marciano.

Motherwell: Gillespie, Tait, Aldred, Campbell, Main (Sammon 76), Ariyibi (McCormack 63), Grimshaw, Dunne, Gorrin, Turnbull, Hastie (Bigirimana 85).

Referee: Bobby Madden

Crowd: 4090