Motherwell produced their best performance of the season to earn a 2-0 win over Hearts at Fir Park. Jon Obika and Blair Spittal scored the goals.
Stuart Kettlewell engineered a second win in a week to dispel the recent black clouds that had settled over Fir Park with a second win inside a week. The players put on a show that seemed beyond them only a fortnight ago.
The game started with the visitors in charge. Hearts kept the home defence busy and it was not until the ninth minute that Motherwell had decent possession in front of the McLean stand.
Lawrence Shankland thought he opened his account with a well directed header but Liam Kelly threw himself to get a finger tip touch and the ball bounced to safety off the post.
Motherwell had the balance of play and grew in confidence. They played with confidence and commitment and got the breakthrough five minutes before the break. Sean Goss unleashed a rocket that Zander Clark tipped away for a corner. The set piece was headed clear to give Goss another opportunity. His shot was bundled into the net by Obika.
An explosive start to the second half produced the second. From kick off a long ball allowed Obika to lay off to Kevin van Veen for a cross into the area. Spittal headed the ball backwards to hit the post only for Spittal to pounce and slam the ball into the net.
Hearts had made one change at the break but another three were thrown on to save the game. Motherwell withstood the new threat with comfort and played out the remainder of the game to deliver a massive three points to bolster the shaky league position.
Speculation remains over the unfilled manager’s post but Kettlewell’s transformation of the team will do his chances no harm.
Next up is a trip to Rugby Park.
Motherwell 2 Hearts 0
Attendance 6,450 (2,413)
Team: Kelly, Johnston, Casey, Butcher (Mugabi 88), McGinn, Furlong, Spittall (Danzaki 88), Goss (O’Donnell 85), Cornelius (Slattery 79), Obika, Van Veen
Sunday 19 February 2023