Hibs marked the end of an era in style as Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson were given a fitting Easter Road send-off.

A 3-0 victory over Motherwell was at once the last home win these two clubs legends will ever savour, and the first in the post-Nick Montgomery era. David Gray, back in the caretaker role for the fourth time, sent out a side to provide Hanlon and Stevenson a fond farewell, and they duly delivered via Martin Boyle's double and a Myziane Maolida penalty.

Hanlon himself so nearly got on the scoresheet with a late header that was cleared off the line, moments before he and his fellow man of the hour were awarded a joint man of the match, then substituted to the warmest and most heartfelt applause this old ground has hosted in quite some time.

Patrick McPartlin and Liam Bryce were on hand to provide the instant analysis.

A solid display

Can there be a ‘new manager bounce’ when it’s a) a dead rubber and b) the new manager is the same interim boss fulfilling the role for a fourth time in just over two and a half years?

Let’s assume there can be because Hibs collectively, and individually, played as though a bit of a weight had been lifted from their shoulders. This was the best they have played in months.

Dylan Vente in particular looked a lot happier, seeing far more of the ball, and in the final third passes were zipped about with intent, aided in part by a presumably greasy pitch thanks to the haar rolling around the stadium. 

Rocky Bushiri dealt well with the not inconsiderable threat of Theo Bair, keeping him quiet and reducing him to half-chances or causing the Canadian to stray offside. 

Martin Boyle, too, looked back to his old self - a fierce effort midway through the first half was deflected onto the post and out for a corner while he started and finished the move for the second goal, and showed good positioning and anticipation to squeeze home the third goal. 

All in all though, Hibs looked a different beast from Sunday - and not just because of the three changes, one of which saw Lewis Stevenson restored to the starting line-up while Josh Campbell and Nectar Triantis came in for Emiliano Marcondes and Nathan Moriah-Welsh respectively. 

Triantis was out for a while with illness but has recently returned to the matchday squad and slotted in well alongside Joe Newell in midfield. He might have been signed as a centre-back but he looks like a natural defensive midfielder and his use of the ball is really good. It’s easy to see why Nick Montgomery wanted him in as a centre-half in his building-from-the-back approach - and he did play in midfield under Montgomery at Central Coast Mariners, but perhaps he has found a more natural home further up the park. 

Patrick McPartlin

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The last (home) dance

This might have been a dead rubber but it was still the last dance (at home, anyway) for Paul Hanlon and Lewis Stevenson, so it was fitting that Hibs put in a good performance across the park. 

There might have been a few hearts in mouths as well as a fair few good-humoured boos, when Stevenson picked up a slightly harsh caution barely ten minutes in but - true to form - he didn’t let it affect his performance. 

Also fitting, if slightly more rare, was the fact that both players were involved in goals. Hanlon picked out Joe Newell and his cute pass to Myziane Maolida was flighted perfectly towards Martin Boyle to knock home from close range, while Stevenson’s cross set up Boyle for the third, via the head of Shane Blaney. 

Possibly more fitting was the fact that both played their part in keeping a clean sheet before leaving the park late on to raucous cheers and acclaim - the loudest, and happiest Easter Road has been in weeks. It was no coincidence. 

Patrick McPartlin

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Further farewells?

It feels a fairly safe bet that Hanlon and Stevenson were certainly not the only players making a final Easter Road appearance here. The scale of the turnover that awaits Hibs means plenty others will follow - but just how many? It's easy to talk about departures as the end of an era - and in the case of two club legends, it certainly is - but Hibs fans would otherwise prefer to think of it as the start of something new. Is there any prospect of Myziane Maolida and Nectar Triantis being back here next season? It seems especially fanciful to think so with the former, and Triantis' parent club Sunderland may rather he went somewhere next season to get game-time in what is supposed to be his preferred position. On the bench, Emiliano Marcondes is about to become a free agent, and it remains to be seen whether there's interest on either side about keeping him in Leith. Adam Le Fondre will leave, and there are question marks over the likes of Jair Tavares and Dylan Levitt, to name a couple. I suppose my rather long-winded point is, the next time you see a Hibs team on this pitch, it almost certainly look much like this one.

Liam Bryce