Motherwell maintained their two-point advantage in fourth after slugging out a goalless Scottish Premiership draw with Hibernian at a blustery Fir Park.
Kevin van Veen volleyed a glorious first-half chance wide for the hosts, who had Liam Donnelly sent off late on, in their best effort.
Hibs failed to register a shot on target in the first game since the exit of talisman Martin Boyle.
Motherwell edge within seven points of Hearts, as Hibs remain fifth.
Graham Alexander's side, learning to adapt after losing a cult hero forward themselves in Tony Watt to Dundee United earlier in the window, are now unbeaten in their last six games at home in all competitions.
"[I feel] a sense of pride in my team," he said. "I can't remember many chances going against us. We had to really dig in and be structured and disciplined and work exceptionally hard."
New beginnings was the order of the night as the Hibs team bus squelched its way through the traffic to Fir Park on a miserable Lanarkshire night.
With Boyle off to Al-Faisaly in Saudi Arabia in a life-changing £3m deal, a bulk of the sizeable and drookit Hibs support would have been apprehensive about what threat their team would carry without the Australia international, who claimed the winner here in a thrilling season opener in August.
The laboured win over Cove Rangers in the Scottish Cup offered little insight or hope, and their fears will not have been allayed here, either.
Despite that, any questions were almost answered within a matter of seconds in a rare Hibs chance. A simple ball over the top unleashed Kevin Nisbet to maraud into the box from the left, but his shot was blocked by the recovering Sondre Solholm.
Dodgy weather is an occupational hazard to a Scottish footballer, and it's to the credit of both teams that amid conditions soggier than a haddock's flip flop they attempted to get the ball down, albeit with scant end product.
Van Veen thwacked a free-kick down the throat of Matt Macey, while the big Dutchman volleyed wide from close range when the Hibs keeper parried a Connor Shields shot directly into his path six or so yards out.
The second half threatened to be an even bigger damp squib than the first as the weather whipped up and fleeting hopes of a chance were washed away.
But with 17 minutes to play, a second yellow for Donnelly after a clumsy tackle on Drey Wright also ended up in a red for his manager, courtesy of Alexander's protests to fourth official Chris Graham.
Out of nowhere a game of football broke out. Substitute Ewan Henderson's tantalising low cross trundled just by the far post, while substitute Christian Doidge was inexplicably allowed by Solholm to lash a volley over late on.
Motherwell also threatened as they adapted to the man disadvantage, but a coupe of swashbuckling attacks didn't threaten Macey.
There weren't too many candidates, but the former Motherwell man showed enough down the right for Hibs against his former team to please his manager.
Motherwell are hard team to predict. Against Morton, they struggled for a focal point in attack until Van Veen entered stage left and he was a force of nature that changed the game. Here, he laboured to look sharp at all.
The Fir Park side have now strung a run of home games together without losing and, barring a wobble in Dingwall, are on a solid run. However, Alexander will be frustrated they weren't able to put real distance between themselves and Hibs.
For their opponents, there's no doubting the Easter Road side have quality in their ranks. A quick glance at the team sheet and you stumble across Doidge, Jamie Murphy, Scott Allan and new signing Demi Mitchell on the bench. Not a bad lot to call upon.
But what is also not in question is the Boyle-shaped hole left behind. The creativity in attack was lacking. Nisbet was more isolated, and Chris Mueller and Josh Campbell just did not bring the same dynamism despite some neat touches.
It's early days in the post-Boyle era, and the conditions did little to help either side, but they could have been doing with a bit of magic from him here.
Motherwell manager Graham Alexander: "We're looking at one more and then we'll keep working away until the end of the window to make sure we're fully prepared. I think our squad is strong now. if we have the same squad come February 1, I will be more than happy."
Hibs manager Shaun Maloney: "I think we controlled large parts of the game. We came to a team above us in the table, controlled large parts of the game. I was just a bit disappointed we didn't win.
"We created more than enough chances and I will never criticise our forward players when they miss a chance. It's not a worry.
"I think [another signing] is possible. If it doesn't happen I'm more than happy with that squad."
Motherwell travel to Tynecastle to take on Hearts on Saturday (15:00 GMT), while Hibernian host Livingston to complete a capital double header.