Hearts cruised to a 2-0 win over Motherwell at Tynecastle on Wednesday night.
Goals in either half from Gavin Reilly and Billy King saw the Gorgie boys back all three points and maintain their 100% start to the season.
The Jambos started the game with three changes from the side that beat Dundee four days previous; Reilly, Sam Nicholson and Billy King were in, with Juanma and Jamie Walker dropping to the bench while Blazej Augustyn missed out altogether.
Hearts started brightly and went close after only two minutes. Nicholson cut inside from the left and flashed an effort inches wide of the target, which had goalkeeper Connor Ripley scrambling across his line.
The men in maroon looked comfortable in possession, with Motherwell failing to put them under any real pressure.
Chances were few and far between, however, as Igor Rossi’s header from Billy King’s free-kick, which was deflected wide, was as close as either team got in the opening half an hour.
That was until 32 minutes when Hearts were awarded a penalty. Nicholson jinked his way into the box and was crudely brought down from behind by Scott McDonald. Reilly stepped up and slammed home for his first goal in a maroon shirt.
It was so very nearly 2-0 five minutes later. Nicholson’s floated cross was met by Prince Buaben, but his header fell just wide of Ripley’s left-hand post.
The Jambos were now playing with extreme confidence, as King started terrorising the Motherwell defence, He found Reilly on the edge of the box, but the goalscorer’s turn and shot was straight at Ripley.
The visitors started the second-half stronger but it was the Jambos who threatened with a quick break forward, Nicholson’s pass found Reilly who curled an effort goalwards only to be denied by Ripley.
King then had Ripley scrambling just after the hour mark with a low 30-yard drive, but the Motherwell ‘keeper got down well to push the ball behind.
It was King who doubled the Jambos’ lead after 64 minutes. The flying winger cut in from the right, after Buaben had brilliantly carried the ball through the Motherwell defence, and drilled an unstoppable shot through Ripley from just inside the box.
Hearts kept on going and substitute Juanma nearly got on the end of Callum Paterson’s deep swinging cross, but his outstretched leg just couldn’t get there.
Reilly nearly got his second of the game in bizarre fashion. He pounced on a loose ball in the box to send over a low cross that Ripley stopped. However the ‘keeper moved without taking the ball with him, but luckily it stayed firm on the goalline before he managed to pick it back up again.
Three wins from three for the table-topping Jambos as they settle nicely back into life in the top flight.
Hearts: Alexander, Paterson, Ozturk, Rossi (McGhee, 84'), Oshaniwa, King (Oliver, 88'), Buaben, Gomis, Nicholson, Reilly, Sow (Juanma, 59'). Subs: Hamilton, McHattie, McKirdy, Walker.
Motherwell: Ripley, Hammell, Laing, McManus, Ainsworth, Johnson, Lasley (Leitch, 67'), Law, Moult (Thomas, 76'), Taylor, McDonald (Clarkson, 87'). Subs: Twardzik, Chalmers, Kennedy, Cadden.
Referee: Brian Colvin
Top man: Prince Buaben