Scottish Premiership
Hearts1Motherwell0

Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Motherwell

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Highlights: Heart of Midlothian 1-0 Motherwell

Hearts registered their first league win of the season at Tynecastle thanks to Kyle Lafferty's first-half strike.

The Northern Ireland striker scored after some clever individual play and a deflection off Charles Dunne.

This was Hearts' fourth game in front of the redeveloped Main Stand at Tynecastle and their first win in seven games.

Motherwell came close through Craig Tanner's free-kick but could not deliver an equaliser.

On a perishingly cold Edinburgh afternoon, this was a grind of a football match, a game that often lacked composure, wit and anything that might have taken the mind off the temperature.

Misplaced pass followed misplaced pass. Aimless punt downfield followed aimless punt downfield.

Things were not helped by the early injury that forced Hearts' Jamie Walker to leave the field, soon to be followed by Chris Cadden, the Motherwell midfielder. Those two might have brought some craft, but the pair were gone after little more than half an hour.

Hearts midfielder Jamie Walker
Hearts midfielder Jamie Walker was replaced with an injury after 22 minutes at Tynecastle

Motherwell were already under-strength as it was, with no Louis Moult, no Peter Hartley and no Trevor Carson either.

The opening half was a dreadful exercise in players running around in a frenetic pursuit of the ball.

Hearts had the majority of the play but nothing in the way of proper chances beyond a scuffed effort from Lafferty and a volley miles over by Lewis Moore.

Six minutes before the break, a goal dropped out of the sky and it was all down to Lafferty's persistence and Motherwell's defensive frailty.

The visitors felt their midfielder, Allan Campbell, had been fouled in the build-up, but what happened thereafter left their manager, Stephen Robinson, in an apoplectic fit.

Cedric Kipre was completely mugged by Lafferty on the right side of the Motherwell penalty area, the striker sliding in and hooking the ball away from the defender before turning and slamming his shot past goalkeeper Russell Griffiths via a slight deflection.

It was Lafferty's first goal in five games and it took him to 10 for the season.

It was a precious lead for a side that hadn't won in six games and who had scored just seven times in that run, only five of them from open play - statistics that meant Hearts manager Craig Levein was in desperate need of a win to get the team moving in the right direction and to christen the new Tynecastle main stand with its first victory.

Motherwell midfielder Chris Cadden
Motherwell midfielder Chris Cadden had to depart during the first half through injury

Motherwell mustered something in pursuit of a point. Ryan Bowman headed over from good position then Kipre lashed one in the same direction after being gifted possession by Moore.

Hearts got jumpy, the way teams do when they haven't won for so long.

The visitors' threat was only fleeting, though. In Moult's absence, they lacked confidence and a killer touch. They saw plenty of the ball but to no avail.

This was not a performance to warm the soul of the Jambos, but it was, at least, an end to a bad run and something to build on.

Post-match reaction

Hearts manager Craig Levein: "It was okay in spells, but overall it was a bit of a scrap. Motherwell are difficult to play against, with their press and balls into the box constantly, but the boys managed to deal with that pretty well.

"We got a bit deeper, which gave them more possession, but we coped with the balls into the box pretty well. That's testament to how well we defended as a team.

"It was a good goal. We started pretty frantically but had good moments when we got the ball down and made good passes.

"That was one of the occasions and Kyle Lafferty showed good tenacity to win the ball back after losing it.

"I thought we deserved to win. I thought we were more of a threat than Motherwell and defended better."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "There wasn't a lot in it at all. They've won a game with two slips - Cedric Kipre's slipped on the pitch and Carl McHugh's come in behind him and slipped.

"I believe Laff handled the ball in pulling it round in the middle of the goal, but I haven't seen it. He should never be scoring from that angle.

"There was nothing in the game, we dominated large bits of the second half without creating anything.

"Chris Cadden goes off with a hamstring strain and we lose Alex Fisher at half-time with concussion. Sometimes these things go against you.

"I'm not going to make excuses. We should have come out with a minimum of one point but without really creating lots of chances."

Line-ups

Hearts

  • 1McLaughlin
  • 16Randall
  • 4Souttar
  • 6Berra
  • 2Smith
  • 8Buaben
  • 15Cowie
  • 7WalkerSubstituted forMilinkovicat 22'minutesSubstituted forStocktonat 88'minutes
  • 10Sutchuin-DjoumSubstituted forCallachanat 64'minutes
  • 33Moore
  • 9Lafferty

Substitutes

  • 11Milinkovic
  • 13Hamilton
  • 20Callachan
  • 23Stockton
  • 27Grzelak
  • 47Cochrane
  • 77Esmael Gonçalves

Motherwell

  • 13Griffiths
  • 21KipreBooked at 32mins
  • 8McHugh
  • 18Dunne
  • 2TaitBooked at 85mins
  • 7CaddenSubstituted forBigirimanaat 37'minutes
  • 22Campbell
  • 15RoseSubstituted forPetraviciusat 63'minutes
  • 11Frear
  • 17FisherSubstituted forTannerat 45'minutes
  • 12Bowman

Substitutes

  • 3Hammell
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 5Bigirimana
  • 20Petravicius
  • 26MacLean
  • 27Tanner
  • 29Livingstone
Referee:
Andrew Dallas
Attendance:
15,984

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home8
Away6
Shots on Target
Home1
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Motherwell 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Motherwell 0.

Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Ross Callachan (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Bowman (Motherwell).

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Cole Stockton replaces Manuel Milinkovic.

Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Michael Smith.

Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Cedric Kipre (Motherwell).

Booking

Richard Tait (Motherwell) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Don Cowie (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Richard Tait (Motherwell).

Foul by Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian).

Richard Tait (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Kyle Lafferty (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from very close range is too high.

Hand ball by Allan Campbell (Motherwell).

Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

Cedric Kipre (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Manuel Milinkovic (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Gael Bigirimana (Motherwell).

Manuel Milinkovic (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Craig Tanner (Motherwell).

Attempt missed. Cedric Kipre (Motherwell) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Foul by Connor Randall (Heart of Midlothian).

Craig Tanner (Motherwell) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Charles Dunne.

Christophe Berra (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Carl McHugh (Motherwell).

Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

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

Attempt saved. Craig Tanner (Motherwell) right footed shot from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner.

Foul by Prince Buaben (Heart of Midlothian).

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

Substitution

Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Ross Callachan replaces Djoum because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Motherwell. Deimantas Petravicius replaces Andy Rose.

Attempt saved. Craig Tanner (Motherwell) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic1511403682837
2Rangers17103435191633
3Aberdeen1710342520533
4Hibernian168532417729
5Motherwell167272222023
6Hearts175661519-421
7St Johnstone166371723-621
8Kilmarnock174671924-518
9Hamilton174582327-417
10Dundee1743101727-1015
11Ross County1743101526-1115
12Partick Thistle162591329-1611
View full Scottish Premiership table

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