Motherwell were at their frustrating worst this afternoon as we contrived to throw away what would have been a great three points. Chance after chance was squandered in the second half and Hearts punished us on the counterattack.

The game started fairly slowly although James McFadden went on a couple of runs and showed he was in the mood. A Faddy backheel was crucial in setting up the first chance of the game but Lasley’s shot was parried by Moilanen and he snatched at the rebound.

Happy Martyn...but not for long
Hearts were beginning to take control but we struggling to create clear cut chances. A couple of headers were won in our box but Frankie dealt with these easily. We were playing a 4-4-2 and we struggled to deal with Hearts running down our left side. The opening goal came from here when McKenna somehow evaded the challenges of two defenders to rifle home from the edge of the box.

Hearts received a brief lift from this but failed to use the momentum to kill us off. We came back into things at the end of the half and McFadden forced Moilanen into a save from a free kick and was then denied a stonewall penalty when he was hauled down after receiving a short corner.

Whatever Butcher said the team at half time worked wonders and we flew out the starting blocks at the restart. We almost equalised instantly when Moilanen dropped a cross but he recovered superbly to block from Partridge. The goal was only delayed though and it was Keith Lasley who opened his account for the season. The ball had bobbled along the box until he flicked it back inside his man and smashed a half volley high into the net.

At this point Hearts were on the ropes and for the next twenty minutes we pounded them. We created chance after chance which we squandered – McFadden blazed over and lost an opportunity to a saving tackle, Pearson sclaffed wide, Clarkson was unlucky with a snap shot and also had an effort blocked. It is hard to remember the last time we performed like this at Tynecastle but sadly that does not put points on the board.

During our attacking, we failed to notice Stamp pinching the ball and rampaging down our right flank. His cross took out Frankie DuBourdeau and Stephen Simmons was left with a simple task to tap into the net.

We made some substitutions to chase the game but we lost our shape and never seriously threatened. Indeed, if anyone Hearts looked more like scoring but again, Frankie was rarely called into action.

It was another good shift from everyone involved but we have only ourselves to blame for losing. Particularly away from home, chances must be converted into goals and we just did not do that. With United winning we are now joint bottom of the league but Thistle, Aberdeen and Livingston are all within touching distance. There is an interesting few weeks ahead!