Match Reports

Motherwell 4-1 Hearts

1st March 2014

Hearts 'Well beaten at Fir Park.

Motherwell 4-1 Heart of Midlothian
(Vigurs 17' Ainsworth 36' Sutton 64'  McFadden 74'- Paterson 67')
From Hearts Media at Fir Park.

Hearts suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of Mothewell at Fir Park.

The Steelmen knocked four past the Jambos, with Callum Patterson nodding a consolation in the second half.

Gary Locke's lads went out unchanged from the side that narrowly lost at home to Celtic a week previous, though a formation change saw the Gorgie boys line-up 4-4-2.

Though the Jam Tarts started the brightest it was the hosts who had the first chance of the match. Lionel Ainsworth pulled the trigger with a half volley at the edge of the box which took a heavy deflection off Kevin McHattie, but Jamie MacDonald scrambled back to tip the ball over the bar.

The Hearts no. 1 was called into action again in the 14th minute. Zaine Francis-Angol's cutback found John Sutton in the area but his snapshot was parried away by MacDonald.

The warning signs were there that Motherwell were close to a breakthrough and that came in the 17th minute through Iain Vigurs. He played a one-two with James McFadden that carved open the Hearts defence, and the former Ross County man stabbed home from 10 yards.

Hearts continued to attack the flanks, with Jamie Hamill instrumental in moving the ball from the centre of the park. Ryan Stevenson went close with a thunderbolt free kick on 28 minutes, but his effort flew inches wide of Lee Hollis' right-hand post.

Motherwell doubled their lead after the 36th minute with a spectacular strike from Ainsorth. He met a looping ball from McFadden with a stunning half-volley at the edge of the area which sailed into the top corner.

The hosts came flying out of the traps in the second half and almost made it three. Sutton found Vigurs at the edge of the box and he dinked his way through before curling a shot the wrong side of MacDonald's left-hand post.

Substitute Dale Carrick made an instant impact and nearly halved Motherwell's lead. He carried the ball from the left into the box before rattling the crossbar from 10 yards.

The Jambos had MacDonald and Kevin McHattie to thank for keeping Motherwell at bay just after the hour mark. Jack Leitch sprung the offside trap to fire low at MacDonald, and though the 'keeper blocked at his near post the ball bounced back out to Ainsworth, but his seemingly simple tap-in was brilliantly blocked by the diving McHattie.

The next goal arrived minutes later and it was for the home side. McFadden's long-range shot was blocked by Paterson but the ball fortuitously bounced into the path of Sutton who made no mistake and prodded home from the penalty spot.

A seemingly impossible cause was made that bit easier when Hearts pulled a goal back three minutes later. Paterson rose to nod home unchallenged from McHattie's corner.

The glut of goals continued with a fourth for Motherwell on 74 minutes. Vigurs' free-kick into the penalty area was headed beyond McDonald by McFadden, as the home team buried the game. 

A deeply disappointing day for the Jambos with attentions now turning to next week's match at Rugby Park.

Motherwell: Hollis; Reid, Hutchinson, McManus, Leitch; Lasley (Carswell, 78'), Vigurs; Francis-Angol (Murray, 33'), McFadden, Ainsworth (Cadden, 82'); Sutton. Subs: Nielsen, Shirkie, Thomas.

Hearts: MacDonald; McGowan, McKay (Carrick, 46'), Wilson, McHattie; Stevenson, Hamill, Robinson (Holt, 65'), Nicholson; McCallum (King, 65'), Paterson. Subs: Ridgers, McGhee, Beith, Oliver.

Referee: John Beaton

Top man: Jamie MacDonald