Heart of Midlothian 1-1 Motherwell
Saturday 7th March 2020, KO 15:00 | Ladbrokes Premiership | Tynecastle Park
Hearts were made to settle for a point in today’s Ladbrokes Premiership match against Motherwell at Tynecastle.
Conor Washington struck early in the second half to cancel out Christopher Long’s first-half strike but the Jambos were unable to grab all three points despite creating a number of goalscoring opportunities.
Daniel Stendel made on change to the side that defeated Hibs in midweek, with skipper Steven Naismith restored to the starting eleven in place of Liam Boyce.
The visitors had the first opportunity in the 11th minute when an inviting cross found Rolando Aarons inside the Hearts box but the Motherwell winger missed the ball completely and the chance went begging.
Hearts were on the front foot minutes later as Washington forced the Well keeper into a clearance; the long ball was met by Clare and, spotting the goalie way off his line, the Hearts number 8 shot for goal only to be denied by a Grimshaw block just yards from goal.
The breakthrough came on 21 minutes as Craig Halkett was caught on the ball; his clearance closed down by Long who then raced in on goal before slotting the ball beyond Zlamal to give the visitors the lead.
Naismith came within inches of equalising shortly after as he found space at the near post only to see his shot trickle wide. The Jambos were then forced into a change on the half hour mark with Sean Clare hobbling off to be replaced by Jamie Walker.
Daniel took the opportunity to make a change at the interval as Liam Boyce was introduced in place of Ollie Bozanic ahead of the second half.
The offensive switch paid dividends within minutes of the restart as Naismith was played in on the left side of the box; his low cross finding Washington who lashed home from close range to level the scores.
The goal, as well as the support, spurred Hearts on as Stendel’s men began to dominate proceedings with Washington, Naismith, Hickey and Walker threatening the Motherwell defence.
The game began to open up as both teams looked dangerous on the counter. Naismith found a gap in the defence to play the ball into Walker but the ball was just out of reach for Hearts’ No. 10. Walker was involved again for the home side’s next chance, playing an unorthodox ball to Washington who managed to control and lay it off for Boyce but the striker’s shot flew wide of the goal.
Going into the final 10 minutes of the 90, Motherwell were the team creating chances. A long throw-in drifted into the Hearts box, with Long beating Smith in the air but the striker’s flicked header went wide of the post. A few minutes later, Hylton went close for the visitors with an audacious volley from the edge of the box which went narrowly wide thanks to a fingertip save from Zlamal.
The fourth-official held up six minutes on the board as the game headed into stoppage time. Hearts looked to grab a late winner as Washington burst forward and towards the by-line, cutting the ball back for Naismith but the captain failed to get a clean connection and the chance was gone.
An all-action afternoon of football came to an end at Tynecastle with the points being shared.
Hearts: Zlamal, Smith, Bozanic (Boyce, 46'), Clare (Walker, 28'), Washington, Naismith, Damour, Halkett, Moore (Meshino, 79'), Dikamona, Hickey. Subs: Pereira, Langer, Irving, Henderson.
Motherwell: Gillespie, Tait, Grimshaw, Hartley, Campbell (Maguire, 18'), Long, Hylton, Aarons, Polworth (Turnbull, 73'), Gallagher, O'Hara. Subs: Carson, Watt, Seedorf, Manzinga, MacIver.
Referee: Don Robertson