The last time their club played Hibernian on a Friday night, the Clydesdale Bank Premier League match was abandoned at half-time after a floodlight caught fire.
Their last scheduled match at Fir Park, against Dundee United earlier this month, didn't even get that far, due to a power cut.
What the home supporters would have given for either of those outcomes to have been repeated last night, rather than the 4-0 defeat their side suffered after an astonishing 90 minutes.
Motherwell had one goal disallowed, two penalties given against them – one of them incorrectly – missed a spot-kick of their own and conceded four times as a rampant Hibernian ran out comfortable winners.
With his side trailing 1-0 to a David Wotherspoon strike midway through the first half, Stuart McCall, the Motherwell manager, was left incandescent as referee Stevie O'Reilly and his assistant Francis Andrews, failed to spot that Stevie Hammell's header had clearly crossed the line before Hibs goalkeeper Ben Williams clawed it back out.
In the second half a penalty was awarded against the left-back for a foul on Leigh Griffiths outside, with O'Reilly believing it took place inside.
"I can't believe we didn't score a goal in that game. Everything that could have gone wrong did," McCall said. "With the chances we had in the first half we should have gone in ahead. The linesman guaranteed me that no way was [Hammell's header] over the line.
"For the penalty, even where I was I could see it was outside the box. Everyone makes mistakes, and it happened quickly. Will I get an apology? I think I'll be waiting until next Christmas."
For Hibs, Pat Fenlon can be pleased with a good night's work as his players refused to be derailed by a game driven by a sense of injustice from the home side.
A controversial refereeing performance aside, the difference on the night was Griffiths. The Scotland Under-21 striker was an inspirational figure for the Edinburgh club, scoring twice from the penalty spot after Wotherspoon had put his team ahead. Danny Handling added the final goal late on.
The victory moved Hibs into second place in the table, while once-top Motherwell can only look on enviously in sixth. "My players put in a really hard shift and deserved the result," Fenlon said. "It's great for the supporters, they've had a hard time the last few years, so they should enjoy it. We just need to focus on the next game."
McCall made one change from the team that lost 1-0 to Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday with the injured Shaun Hutchinson missing out.
The manager was forced to reshuffle his pack as a result with Tom Hateley dropping into defence, and Henrik Ojamaa joining Michael Higdon at the summit of the Motherwell attack.
Griffiths' directness caused the home side problems from the start. After 16 minutes, his willingness to run at Hateley earned him a clear shot on goal which he just dragged wide. He beat his man again two minutes later and fired in a dangerous cross.
Hibs opened the scoring after 27 minutes. Paul Cairney twisted away from his marker before playing a slide-rule pass to Wotherspoon.
The 22-year-old rarely scores a bad goal, and he didn't disappoint as his 20-yard right-footed strike sailed into the top far corner of the net. McCall's men rallied and Chris Humphrey's cross was met by Hammell at the back post.
Williams scooped the downward header away and play continued amid protests from the home side, with television replays showing the ball had crossed the line.
Motherwell kept pressing and Jamie Murphy bent a long-range effort just beyond a post before Michael Higdon casually blasted the ball just over just before the break.
The home support were on their feet five minutes after the restart but Humphrey's run provided false hope as his eventual shot ruffled the outside of the net.
Referee O'Reilly upset the Motherwell camp even more with his penalty award to Hibs on 64 minutes. Eoin Doyle sent a long ball forward to Griffiths, who scampered beyond the home defence before knocking it beyond Darren Randolph.
As the keeper gave chase, the Easter Road striker appeared to tumble as the ball drifted past the post as the pair ran shoulder-to-shoulder. O'Reilly showed no hesitation, and neither did Griffiths as he calmly slotted home.
Eight minutes later as the home side were awarded a spot-kick of their own after Higdon collapsed under the weight of James McPake, but the Englishman blazed over.
O'Reilly then awarded his third penalty in 10 minutes back at the other end as Hammell appeared to bring down Wotherspoon. Griffiths, unlike Higdon, made no mistake.
The only cheer from the home support came when the referee made an early exit with 10 minutes remaining through injury. Iain Brines replaced him. McCall took the opportunity during the break of play to grill the assistant referee. His enquiries appeared to fall on deaf ears.
Unfortunately for Motherwell, the visitors still had time to add a fourth goal, with Danny Handling tapping home from close range in stoppage time.
It's fair to say neither Friday night football, Hibernian nor Mr O'Reilly will be welcome back in Motherwell for some time.
Scorers – Wotherspoon (28), Griffiths (64pen, 74pen); Handling (90+6)
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