Scottish Premiership
HeartsHeart of Midlothian1MotherwellMotherwell1

Hearts 1-1 Motherwell: Daniel Stendel's side lose ground despite draw

By Brian McLauchlinBBC Scotland at Tynecastle

Hearts are now three points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership despite coming from behind to rescue a point against Motherwell.

Conor Washington's close-range strike four minutes after the break earned a draw for Daniel Stendel's side. That came after Christopher Long put the visitors ahead at Tynecastle after dispossessing Craig Halkett and rounding Bobby Zlamal.

However, Hamilton Academical's late winner against Kilmarnock heightens the Tynecastle club's relegation fears.

The draw does not do much for Motherwell, either, with their advantage over Aberdeen in the race for third place cut to a solitary point.

Points shared in hard-fought game

Both these sides had welcome pick-me-ups in the previous week, with Hearts disposing of Rangers in the Scottish Cup before taking care of Hibernian in the league, while visitors Motherwell ended an eight-match run without a win by hammering Ross County.

So it was no surprise to see both sets of players having a real go from the opening whistle.

Confusion between Declan Gallacher and Mark Gillespie at the back almost led to a Hearts opener, before Rolando Aarons had a fresh air shot from 12 yards at the other end after good build-up play.

The strong wind was giving defenders all sorts of problems, and when Gillespie had to race out of goal to clear, the ball fell to Sean Clare, who took aim from inside his own half. His effort was on target, but the ball held up in the wind and allowed Motherwell time to get back and clear.

Both teams had to make early changes through knocks, with Clare and the visitors' Allan Campbell making way but Motherwell dealt better with the disruption, and duly took the lead.

Halkett was slack in possession and allowed Long a clear view on goal. The former Everton trainee took the ball round Hearts goalkeeper Zlamal, and fired into the empty net.

The Pole in the home goal was having another interesting afternoon, with his decision-making called into question when he elected to head clear despite the fact he was inside his own penalty area.

Stat

Steven Naismith and Washington both passed up chances for an equaliser, but Motherwell had a golden opportunity to make it two when they had a four-on-one advantage on the break.

However, Long chose the wrong option and the chance was gone - with Zlamal coming out to challenge the striker, but the appeal for a Motherwell penalty was waved off.

Stendel made a second change at the break, with Oliver Bozanic being replaced by Liam Boyce, and the hosts drew level within four minutes of the restart. Naismith cut the ball back, and Washington raced in to hammer home his fourth goal of the campaign.

The home fans among the Tynecastle crowd of 17,339 were now in full voice, as Hearts looked for the win that could possibly lift them off bottom spot. Boyce, Naismith and Washington were combining well, with the former spurning a decent chance.

But at the other end, the visitors almost snatched a second. Liam Polworth's header was punched out by Zlamal, but Long's rebound shot was tame and allowed the goalkeeper to save with ease.

Declan Gallacher also came close with a header from a David Turnbull cross and Jermaine Hylton was thwarted by a fine save as Motherwell looked for the win.

Head knocks to both Boyce and Jamie Walker meant there were six minutes of time added on and, during that, Naismith missed from two yards out and Michael Smith blasted over, meaning a point apiece was the result at the end of a pulsating 90 minutes.

Man of the match - Rolando Aarons

Aaron Hickey has been the one ray of light for Hearts this season, but he was given a tough afternoon by Motherwell winger Rolando Aarons.

On loan from Newcastle, he was outstanding from the first minute, and his pace and trickery was a constant threat to the Hearts defence all afternoon. He fully merited the man of the match award.

'We should have had a penalty' - reaction

Hearts 'not steady enough' at moment - Stendel

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel: "Everybody knows that we are fighting well, and tried to win this game against one of the best teams this year. We are not stable enough at the moment.

"We brought on another striker and it worked for a while. But after this we want too much too quick, and we need a little bit more patience. When we play more in possession we have more chances."

Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson: "I thought it was a penalty on Jermaine Hylton. [Bobby Zlamal] made no contact with the ball at all, and for me it's a penalty.

"For a club like us to come here and create that many opportunities, the gameplan worked very well, but unfortunately we didn't take all the points."

Robinson 'disappointed' by Motherwell draw

Line-ups

Hearts

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Zlamal
  • 2Smith
  • 26Halkett
  • 28DikamonaBooked at 60mins
  • 51HickeyBooked at 90mins
  • 8ClareSubstituted forWalkerat 28'minutes
  • 22Damour
  • 7BozanicSubstituted forBoyceat 45'minutes
  • 27MooreSubstituted forMeshinoat 80'minutes
  • 14Naismith
  • 9Washington

Substitutes

  • 10Walker
  • 23Castro Pereira
  • 29Boyce
  • 32Langer
  • 40Irving
  • 41Henderson
  • 77Meshino

Motherwell

Formation 4-3-3

  • 20Gillespie
  • 4Grimshaw
  • 31Gallagher
  • 5Hartley
  • 2Tait
  • 6CampbellSubstituted forMaguireat 18'minutesBooked at 39mins
  • 52O'HaraBooked at 78mins
  • 19PolworthSubstituted forTurnbullat 73'minutes
  • 17AaronsBooked at 58mins
  • 9Long
  • 14Hylton

Substitutes

  • 1Carson
  • 7Turnbull
  • 8Watt
  • 11Seedorf
  • 12Manzinga
  • 15Maguire
  • 37MacIver
Referee:
Don Robertson
Attendance:
17,339

Match Stats

Home TeamHeartsAway TeamMotherwell
Possession
Home57%
Away43%
Shots
Home13
Away14
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home7
Away5
Fouls
Home11
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Heart of Midlothian 1, Motherwell 1.

  2. Full Time

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

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Michael Smith (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Liam Boyce.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Liam Boyce.

  5. Booking

    Aaron Hickey (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Aaron Hickey (Heart of Midlothian).

  7. Post update

    Rolando Aarons (Motherwell) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Conor Washington.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Ryotaro Meshino (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Liam Boyce.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Conor Washington (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Liam Boyce.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Heart of Midlothian. Conceded by Liam Grimshaw.

  12. Post update

    Offside, Motherwell. Jermaine Hylton tries a through ball, but David Turnbull is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Corner, Motherwell. Conceded by Zdenek Zlamal.

  14. Post update

    Attempt saved. Jermaine Hylton (Motherwell) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  15. Post update

    Attempt missed. Chris Long (Motherwell) header from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Chris Long with a headed pass.

  16. Post update

    Offside, Heart of Midlothian. Liam Boyce tries a through ball, but Conor Washington is caught offside.

  17. Post update

    Steven Naismith (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Liam Grimshaw (Motherwell).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Barry Maguire (Motherwell) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Chris Long.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Ryotaro Meshino replaces Lewis Moore.

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