Report as Hibs snatch late 2-2 home draw against Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership; Elie Youan's stoppage-time goal prevents third straight defeat for Hibs; Theo Bair and Bevis Mugabi cancelled out Youan's opener; Motherwell drop to ninth, eight points ahead of bottom side Livingston
Tuesday 2 January 2024 21:01, UK
Elie Youan struck late to rescue a point for Hibernian against Motherwell in a 2-2 draw in the Scottish Premiership.
It looked as if the Steelmen were set for an impressive victory after Theo Bair and Bevis Mugabi cancelled out Youan's opener.
Lewis Stevenson struck the crossbar as the hosts hunted for an equaliser and they would salvage a point in the first minute of injury-time when Youan's shot found the net with the aid of a deflection.
Hibs remain sixth in the Premiership, while Motherwell drop to ninth - eight points ahead of Livingston at the foot of the table.
Nick Montgomery was forced to reshuffle his squad with Rocky Bushiri, Lewis Miller, Martin Boyle and Jojo Wollacott all away on international duty.
Paul Hanlon returned to the starting line-up alongside Rory Whittaker, Youan and Christian Doidge, while Harry McKirdy made the bench - the first time the striker has featured since May.
Motherwell were without Shane Blaney and Oli Shaw who both sustained injuries in the win over Livingston, while Brodie Spencer was unavailable due to suspension.
Mugabi, Harry Paton and Callum Slattery were handed starting berths having been introduced from the bench against Livi.
Hibernian started brightly, and Jair Tavares did well to burst into the box and send over a tantalising cross that somehow evaded all inside the area.
Tavares was involved again on seven minutes when he produced another dangerous delivery that required an important clearance from Georgie Gent.
The Steelmen had their first effort on goal as Mika Biereth glanced past the post, though they nearly found themselves behind a minute later.
Doidge did well to spin inside the box and it took a superb stop from Liam Kelly to deny the Wales international from breaking the deadlock.
A good block from Slattery diverted Dylan Levitt's goal-bound strike behind after the Motherwell defence was cut apart by a well-worked corner, but Hibs would eventually make the breakthrough their dominance merited in the 28th minute.
Youan skipped past two defenders before unleashing a low shot beyond the keeper and into the bottom corner.
Motherwell had been on the back foot for much of the opening 35 minutes but they would grab an unexpected equaliser with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.
Biereth slipped the ball through to Bair who coolly dispatched past David Marshall for his third goal in two matches.
Boosted by their leveller, Well almost took the lead when Marshall was forced to palm away Paton's strike and Slattery should then have done better when the rebound broke his way.
There was little in the way of goalmouth action at the beginning of the second half, though Motherwell would go ahead shortly after the hour mark.
Levitt was shown a yellow card for a cynical foul on Gent and the visitors would profit from the resulting free-kick. Blair Spittal's delivery was cleared as far as Stephen O'Donnell who headed the ball to Biereth who then flicked it on to Mugabi to nod home from close range.
A crucial tackle from Mugabi stopped Rudi Molotnikov from racing through on goal and Motherwell were then saved by the woodwork after Stevenson crashed an effort from the edge of the box against the crossbar.
Montgomery introduced McKirdy in an attempt to salvage something from an encounter that was quickly getting away from Hibs, and they would level matters in added time.
Youan's effort struck Mugabi and drifted past the Well keeper to earn the home side a share of the spoils.
The Scottish Premiership now stops for the winter break, with all teams returning to action in the Scottish Cup.
Hibs are away to League Two side Forfar Athletic on January 20, with Motherwell host League One Alloa.
Both games kick off at 3pm.