The game was a face paced, hard fought affair and the ball players found they had little time on the ball to show much in the way of skilful football. There were plenty of goals to compensate.
There were no surprises in our line-up and Hearts kicked off the game facing a decent travelling support. The hosts has the best of the opening exchanges and big Boab was booked in six minutes as he cut short a developing threat on the touchline.
We began to show a few touches and Hammell and McGarry did well on the left wing to deliver a tempting cross. A careless moment from Quinn almost cost us dear when he lost easy possession at the edge of the box. Fortunately the resulting dive was noted by referee Brines and the striker entered the book.
A first half corner
The first goal was conceded in 24 minutes when Stewart's unchallenged midfield run gave Smith no chance of a save. The Motherwell heads stayed up and we set about retrieving the game. The equaliser came courtesy of superb work from Hughes on the left by-line. He supplied a fine cut back for Clarkson to bundle the ball into the net from a yard.
Hearts restored their lead six minutes later and on this occasion Reynolds and Craigan were the culprits. They failed to deal with what seemed to be a harmless punt and a Ksanavicius was on hand to squeeze the ball beyond Smith.
The second half progressed without any real goal threat from Motherwell and McGhee rang the changes. Fitzpatrick replaced Malcolm (probably to avid a second caution) Smith relieved McGarry and in 78 minutes Lasley made way for O'Brien.
The second equaliser arrived in 80 minutes when Clarkson's second effort took a wee deflection to find the corner of the net. The enthusiastic celebrations of the away fans had hardly quietened before we lost the third.
The left side of our defence was posted missing as Mikoliunas fired in a fine strike from the corner of the box. It was a killing blow although we produced a few half chances to keep interest until the final whistle.
Clarkie scores again!