Socceroo Martin Boyle has struck from the penalty spot to give Hibernian victory in a thrilling 3-2 victory against Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership season opener at a vibrant Fir Park.
The home side were twice ahead through headed goals from Kevin Van Veen and Bevis Mugabi but Hibs hit back through Kyle Magennis and substitute Christian Doidge.
The Australian international's winner came in the 70th minute following Stephen O'Donnell's handball, but the game was influenced just as much by the 5,240 fans who were spaced out inside Fir Park, including 1,810 Hibs supporters.
If anyone needed evidence of the difference supporters make, this game provided it. It seemed to be more competitive, edgy and exciting than anything that happened in empty grounds in the Premiership last season.
Referee David Munro struggled to keep control at times, booking eight players and it could have been more, with Hibs midfielder Joe Newell in particular getting away with more than his fair share of fouls.
Van Veen headed home a brilliant whipped cross by Jake Carroll in the 12th minute and Hibs were level five minutes later when Kevin Nisbet sent Paul McGinn racing down the right and his low cross went through a crowd of bodies before Magennis stabbed home from six yards.
Motherwell regained the lead in the 29th minute from another Carroll delivery as the left-back curled a free-kick to the back post for Mugabi to head home.
Motherwell survived a couple of scares just after the break when Carroll nicked the ball off Boyle's toes and Liam Kelly tipped over Murphy's strike.
The pressure paid off in the 56th minute when Doidge, just on for Alex Gogic, slid in to convert after Nisbet's measured shot had come off the inside of a post.
It was the visiting fans who were soon cheering, though, after Nisbet's shot hit the hand of O'Donnell.
Munro pointed to the spot this time before booking O'Donnell and then Kelly for refusing to retreat back to his line as he attempted to psyche out Boyle.
The mind games did not work as the Hibs' winger slammed the ball into the corner just out of the goalkeeper's reach.
Australian Associated Press