Hearts 2-0 Motherwell

Hearts maintained recent good form with an impressive display to nudge closer to third-placed Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League.

The hosts broke the deadlock after 16 minutes through Ian Black's drive.

The advantage doubled 10 minutes later with David Templeton the architect down the left wing, crossing to Stephen Elliott who scored from close range.

Andrew Driver replaced Templeton in the second half, despite having handed in a transfer request at the Edinburgh club.

However, Ryan Stevenson did not feature in the Hearts squad after asking to leave the club due to the ongoing dispute over unpaid player wages at Tynecastle.

The result meant a victory for manager Paulo Sergio on his return to the Hearts dugout following a recent touchline ban as Motherwell slumped to just their second away defeat of the season.

Motherwell threatened early on with Michael Higdon forcing a save from goalkeeper Marian Kello.

At the other end, Darren Randolph reacted well to save a shot from Templeton that had deflected off Shaun Hutchinson.

Templeton had another effort blocked after skipping away from Tom Hateley but the rebound fell for Black, who made space for himself before unleashing a shot into the bottom corner to give Hearts the lead.

Interview - Motherwell manager Stuart McCall

Another effort from Templeton from around 30 yards sailed narrowly over.

And the winger's tormenting of Hateley continued as he surged past the full-back and a threaded the ball across for Elliott to tap home.

Omar Daley's cross struck the post as Motherwell pressed before the break.

Hateley missed a cross-field pass in the early stages of the second half allowing Templeton to get in a shot but Randolph was not troubled.

That was to be Templeton's last act as Driver came on to applause and some muted booing.

There was an injury blow for the hosts when Jamie Hamill went to ground clutching his left ankle and the former Kilmarnock player was carried off on a stretcher.

Darren Barr came on and soon conceded a free-kick, from which Hateley fired over.

Mehdi Taouil's shot was too high as Hearts finished strongly.

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