Motherwell 2 Heart Of Midlothian 0

Last updated : 28 August 2004 By Footymad Previewer

Motherwell secured three points against Hearts in a hard-fought encounter.

The game almost started in explosive fashion with Scott Leitch and Patrick Kisnorbo having to be calmed down by referee Freeland following a clash at the front post in the first minute.

Sadly the crowd were to be treated to little further action in the first 30 minutes apart from a couple of long-range Hearts efforts that flew over Gordon Marshall's bar. The game then deteriorated into a midfield battle with neither side looking like creating anything in the final third.

Motherwell finally started to push forward and a bursting run from midfield by Kevin McBride was halted by a strong challenge just inside the box, but no penalty was awarded.

A minute later a great cutback from ScottMcDonald was hacked clear at the front post as Phil O'Donnell waited to pounce. The resultant corner caused a panic in the six-yard area and ended with Richie Foran shooting into the side-netting.

Foran was in the action again three minutes later, this time heading a McBride free-kick just over. Just before the break Hearts almost took an unlikely lead when Kisnorbo got his toe to a right-wing cross but his effort scraped the outside of the post and bounced clear.

The home side started the second half the brighter with David Clarkson causing problems and Andrew Webster eventually cautioned for his efforts to stop the young striker.

Motherwell did turn their good outfield play into goals in the 57th minute when Steven Pressley pushed Phil O'Donnell while the pair waited for a McBride free-kick to come into the box, and a penalty was awarded. McBride took the spot-kick and coolly beat the diving Craig Gordon at his right-hand post.

It was the first goal the Jambos had conceded this season and it was soon followed by a spectacular second. A McBride corner was only half-cleared to the 18-yard line where O'Donnell was waiting to volley high past the helpless Gordon.

Motherwell saw out the remainder of the match comfortably as Hearts put no real pressure on their goal with the visitors front two devoid of any decent service.

As the game petered out Motherwell could have extended their lead but Clarkson could only fire into the midriff of the advancing Gordon.