Hearts: 24h On

It was clear early on in the game that we looked a little bit off the pace. It was inevitable that the three week layoff would blunt the sharpness which had been built up by mid season. In contrast Hearts, already with two January games behind them, settled to the difficult conditions quickly and we couldn't complain about being behind at the break.

The players thank the fans

The loss of the second goal was a real blow but it seemed to galvanise our troops into a renewed effort. The pace quickened and our passing and touch seemed to improve.

Our first goal was a gem. It was typical of our form this season. A driving twenty yard run from Clarkson on the left wing resulted in Hughes on the ball. He turned, found space and prodded a pass forward to Lasley. A first time flick found McCormack already moving into the box. Another first time pass along the six yard line allowed Porter to stroke the ball into the net. The equaliser followed and the replay was secured.

The game provided a reminder, if one was needed, that our league position is not false. There should be no doubt that we are capable of finishing in at least fourth place. When the trip to Paisley is out of the way we have the prospect of five consecutive league games at Fir Park (and we can add another two to that total if we beat Hearts in the home replay!).

Debates about the future of our manager and the thin nature of the squad will take place but there are nine teams below us in the table who will envy the opportunity that is now presented to this Motherwell team.