Hibs edge five-goal thriller

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Hibernian banished memories of May's spectacular Fir Park collapse as they came from behind to beat Motherwell 3-2.

John Sutton gave Motherwell an early lead but Anthony Stokes bundled home from close range in first-half stoppage-time before Paul Hanlon did the same despite suspicions of handball.

Liam Miller doubled the advantage for Hibs and unlike last season, when they lost a four-goal lead to draw 6-6, the visitors held on despite Jamie Murphy pulling one back from the spot.

Motherwell manager Craig Brown brought strikers Esteban Casagolda and Nick Blackman off the bench for their debuts but Hibs killed the game off to get their Clydesdale Bank Premier League campaign off to a winning start.

Well took the lead in the 13th minute when Sutton got in front of Chris Hogg at the near post before getting a deft touch on Tom Hateley's low inswinging cross to guide the ball inside the far post.

But Hibs levelled when Sol Bamba headed down Derek Riordan's inswinging free-kick for Stokes to sweep home from two yards.

And the Edinburgh club took the lead in the 64th minute after another brilliant delivery by Riordan. The former Celtic player swung the ball towards the back post and Hanlon forced it over the line, although the ball appeared to come off his arm.

Sutton had a strong penalty claim dismissed by Craig Thomson after he was clumsily bundled over by Hogg, and Hibs immediately went further ahead in the 73rd minute when Riordan played Miller into the left channel for the Irishman to drill home.

Blackman came on, with Hateley making way, and the on-loan Blackburn striker quickly won a penalty when Colin Nish senselessly pulled his shirt amid little danger just inside the box.

Murphy sent Graham Stack the wrong way to make it 3-2 with 15 minutes remaining. But the comeback never materialised this time as Hibs took the sting out of the game.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Anthony Stokes
Blackburn Rovers
Graham Stack
Premier League
John Sutton
Nick Blackman
Tom Hateley
Liam Miller
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