Scottish Premiership
MotherwellMotherwell2HeartsHeart of Midlothian1

Motherwell 2-1 Heart of Midlothian

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland

Motherwell retained third place in the Scottish Premiership after coming from behind to beat bottom club Hearts.

The home side spurned several chances and they were punished when Ryan Stevenson fired the ball past Gunnar Nielsen with a fine finish.

However, a right-footed strike from 19-year-old striker Craig Moore levelled the match shortly after.

And a late header from defender Shaun Hutchinson clinched the win for Stuart McCall's side.

While the home side maintained their status in the table, the visitors saw the gap between them and second-bottom side Kilmarnock, who defeated Ross County, increase to 13 points.

There was a precautionary inspection at Fir Park due to heavy rain in the morning but the game kicked off in bright sunshine.

The home side were first to have a sight of goal as former Hearts striker John Sutton's header drifted wide of target.

Stuart McCall's side were dominating possession but the Hearts rearguard were standing firm and denying the Motherwell strikers room in front of goal.

As the game edged towards half-time Motherwell had a number of chances to take the lead.

Iain Vigurs twice had shots on goal saved by Jamie MacDonald before the midfielder set up Sutton 12 yards out, but, once again, MacDonald saved with ease.

Nielsen had been a virtual spectator in the Motherwell goal but was called into action in the last minute of the half.

Jamie Walker found himself clean through, but the Faroese keeper dived low to his left to deny the teenager and, although David Smith pounced on the rebound, his effort was deflected over the crossbar.

Motherwell started the second half on the front foot and, within two minutes of the restart, Sutton had headed inches wide and then forced MacDonald to tip a header over.

Hearts then had Callum Tapping to thank after he cleared a Hutchinson header off the line as the home side piled on the pressure.

However, the visitors were dangerous on the break, and Walker will be disappointed with his effort on goal after Jamie Hamill had dispossessed Keith Lasley.

There was always a chance that Motherwell would rue the opportunities they had and, after 62 minutes, the visitors took a shock lead.

Stevenson collected the ball 30 yards out and, after a couple of stepovers, he fired in a shot that went underneath the body of the diving Nielsen and into the net.

This sent the 1500 visiting Hearts fans into raptures of delight.

However, their delight lasted only five minutes. Stuart McCall brought on Moore and, with his first touch of the ball, he fired in an equaliser.

A long through ball was knocked down by Brad McKay, but Moore was first to react and sent a terrific shot high into the roof of the net.

It was the least the home side deserved after passing up a number of good chances early on.

The home side pressed for a winner and the pressure paid off with seven minutes left to play.

Vigurs swung in a corner from the right and Hutchinson leapt high above the Hearts defence to send a glancing header into the back of the net.

Line-ups

Motherwell

  • 12Nielsen
  • 4Ramsden
  • 3Hammell
  • 14Lasley
  • 5Hutchinson
  • 6McManus
  • 11Vigurs
  • 18CarswellSubstituted forLawsonat 68'minutes
  • 24AnierSubstituted forMcHughat 75'minutes
  • 9Sutton
  • 17Francis-AngolSubstituted forMooreat 68'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Lawson
  • 15Cummins
  • 16McHugh
  • 20Kerr
  • 21Stewart
  • 22Moore
  • 23Murray

Hearts

  • 1MacDonald
  • 5McGowan
  • 30McGhee
  • 20TappingSubstituted forHoltat 77'minutes
  • 16McKay
  • 4Wilson
  • 12PatersonSubstituted forRobinsonat 55'minutes
  • 2Hamill
  • 14Walker
  • 7Stevenson
  • 17SmithSubstituted forNicholsonat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 8Robinson
  • 13Ridgers
  • 15Holt
  • 18Carrick
  • 19King
  • 28Nicholson
  • 29Oliver
Referee:
Brian Colvin
Attendance:
5,350

Match Stats

Home TeamMotherwellAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home21
Away8
Shots on Target
Home10
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away7

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Motherwell 2, Hearts 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Motherwell 2, Hearts 1.

  3. Post update

    Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Hamill (Hearts).

  5. Post update

    Craig Moore (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Scott Robinson (Hearts).

  7. Post update

    Stephen McManus (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Brad McKay (Hearts).

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Robert McHugh (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner.

  10. Post update

    Corner, Hearts. Conceded by Steven Hammell.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Iain Vigurs (Motherwell).

  12. Post update

    Jordan McGhee (Hearts) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! Motherwell 2, Hearts 1. Shaun Hutchinson (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Iain Vigurs with a cross.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Jamie MacDonald.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Hearts. Sam Nicholson replaces David Smith.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Hearts. Jason Holt replaces Callum Tapping.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Motherwell. Robert McHugh replaces Henri Anier.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Paul Lawson (Motherwell) right footed shot from a difficult angle and long range on the right is too high.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. John Sutton (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  20. Goal!

    Goal! Motherwell 1, Hearts 1. Craig Moore (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box to the top left corner.