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OPENING DAYS | HIBERNIAN 2-2 MOTHERWELL (1999)

OPENING DAYS | HIBERNIAN 2-2 MOTHERWELL (1999)

By: Hibernian Media on 13 Jun, 2018 14:00

Our opening day fixture will be announced on the morning of Friday 15 June, so we are taking a look at some of our first matches of the league campaign from years gone by.

So far, we have revisited our 3-1 home win against Partick Thistle in 2017 and the 2-2 draw at Easter Road against Kilmarnock from 2001.

Today, we look at another 2-2 draw, this time in 1999 against Motherwell.

The game was Hibernian’s first since promotion back to the top-flight after winning Division 1 at a canter in 1998/99 and the squad contained players of quality such as Franck Sauzee, Mathias Jack and Russell Latapy, but it was debutant Dirk Lehmann who stole the headlines as he helped himself to a brace.

In truth, despite the quality on show in the match it was a scrappy affair in the opening 45 minutes, but a moment of genius from Fabrice Henry led to Lehmann’s opener on the stroke of half-time.

A fantastic through-ball was played by the French midfielder and the German forward was able to send an assured finish beyond former Hibs goalkeeper Andy Goram to make it 1-0.

After the break, Pat Nevin was introduced into the fold by Motherwell and the winger made an instant impact, equalising just six minutes after coming off the bench.

Don Goodman’s deep cross was nodded across the box by Lee McCulloch with Nevin able to bundle the ball over the line just after the hour mark.

The lead was regained by Hibernian ten minutes before full-time when Justin Skinner’s cross was headed into the back of the net by Lehmann after the German forward rose highest in the box.

Unfortunately, McLeish’s side could not hold onto the lead with Motherwell claiming another equaliser – this time in stoppage time – as Stevie Nicholas tied the game.

Despite this, a majority of the 13,058 crowd left Easter Road Stadium buoyed by the performance from the team on their return to the top tier, with Hibernian enjoying a steady season, finishing in sixth place in the table.

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