Match Reports

Motherwell 2-0 Hearts

20th November 2021

Hearts were defeated by Motherwell in the cinch Premiership this afternoon. 

Goals in each half from Connor Shields and Rickie Lamie earned the three points for the home side, while Taylor Moore saw red for the Jambos. 

Robbie Neilson made one change to the side that defeated Dundee United two weeks ago, with Craig Halkett dropping out through injury and Michael Smith returning to the team. 

That meant Josh Ginnelly continuing his role at centre forward, supported by Barrie McKay and Ben Woodburn while Liam Boyce made the bench. 

Hearts thought they had an opening after a cagey start from both sides, when they broke at pace and McKay found Woodburn sprinting through the middle but his touch was heavy and the ball rolled through to Liam Kelly. 

Motherwell’s first threat came through Kaiyne Woolery, who gathered the ball at the edge of the penalty area but fired a shot past the post. 

The hosts took the lead midway through the first half, when Woolery hit the byline and played a ball across goal that missed everybody before it rebounded to Connor Shields who finished from close range. 

Craig Gordon was then forced into a fine save after a corner when the ball broke to Barry Magiure at the edge of the area, and his strike was pushed away. 

Hearts had barely threatened in the opening period, and the support would have been hoping to see an improvement in the second half. 

Woodburn had Hearts’ first shot on target early in the second half, but his left footed drive from the edge of the box was held by Kelly, and that was Woodburn’s last involvement as he was replaced by Boyce. 

Just after the hour, Motherwell had an opportunity when Callum Slattery drove at goal but his strike flew harmlessly over the bar from 20 yards. 

On 64 minutes, the task was made harder. Taylor Moore, already booked for a late challenge early in the second half, received his marching orders for bringing down Shields to stop a counter attack. 

From the resulting free kick, Motherwell doubled their lead as Rickie Lamie rose unchallenged to nod home from close range. 

The hosts had their tails up now, and Tony Watt almost grabbed a third but his effort from the edge of the area was deflected just past the post. 

Gordon then produced a stunning double save to deny Woolery’s header which was tipped onto the post, before somehow getting out to stop Maguire’s rebound. 

Hearts had a sight of goal inside the last 15 minutes when sub Armand Gnanduillet flicked on a header for Boyce but his shot was straight at Kelly and diverted wide. 

That was the last action of the match, as Motherwell were content to kill the game and see out time to consign Hearts to their second league defeat of the season.

Hearts: Gordon, Moore, Souttar, Kingsley, Smith, Baningime (McEneff 71), Devlin, Cochrane, McKay, Woodburn (Boycee 58), Ginnelly (Gnanduillet 67). Subs not used; Stewart, Haring, Walker, Mackay-Steven.