The morning downpour had little effect on the pitch and the Motherwell kicked off with the sun shining. The visitors brought over a thousand fans in support but they had little to cheer for most of the game.
Neilsen made his SPFL debut in goal with Hollis sidelined because of an ankle knock. With Ainsworth and Mcfadden also on the sick list Francis-Angol was handed the task of adding some pace on the wing.
Sutton helps out in his own box
Sutton had the first of many half chances for the home team after two minutes and it soon became clear that we would have to break through ranks of visiting defenders if we were to score. Vigurs and Anier tested MacDonald but Hearts kept the door firmly shut. Neilsen saved us from an embarrassing setback moments before the break when he pulled off an impressive double stop. Walker bore into the right side of the box and from close range fired on target. The 'keeper blocked but had to react quickly to get a hand to the second strike from Smith and with relief we conceded the corner.
The second period started with an increase in urgency from Motherwell. Francis-Angol delivered for Sutton and the side net bulged. A couple of corners followed and on both occasions it seemed we had the opener. Headers from Sutton and Hutchinson forced desperation of the goal line and the pressure of the Hearts defence continued. We pounded their goal, piled more and more men forward and it seemed inevitable that we would score.
Our old vulnerability surfaced and we had warning of it. On the third breakaway Stevenson converted his chance firing low from our right side to beat Neilsen. The goal, completely against the run of play, stirred the away fans in the top of the South stand into song for the first time in the match.
McCall's reaction was to replace Carswell and Francis-Angol with Lawson and Moore. The young striker repaid his manager's faith with a blistering strike seconds after he crossed the line. From 25 yards he unleashed a powerful strike that flew into the net and we were level with plenty of time to find the winner.
It came when Hutchinson (inspired by the bugle sounding the cavalry charge?) headed home Vigurs corner. It was no more than the team deserved. Hearts pushed for an equaliser but there was no reprieve.