Motherwell make ground on the pack

Last updated : 08 January 2009 By Firparkcorner

Manager McGhee fielded the same eleven that took a point from the Love Street farewell party and Hearts kicked off facing the Cooper Stand end.

Kick off

The opening minutes were very scrappy but there was early evidence that we were going to control the game. O'Brien was involved twice before the opener, first with a good ball across the face of goal then with a quick free kick which penetrated the opposition box.

The goal was a peach. O'Brien's neat back heel found Hughes who chipped to Porter at the back post after a one-two with Quinn at the angle of the box. The header was well placed to the keeper's right and it proved to be the winner.

Hearts were awful. We snuffed out any threat of an attack early and Smith had little to do. He dealt well with a few crosses but we never looked like conceding.

Hearts press in the second half

After the break we expected more of a fight from the Tarts but none came. Motherwell produced a few high paced charges from midfield but we tried to be too intricate with the final pass and Balogh has no saves to make in the second period.

They threw on three subs late on to try to recue the game but nothing came of the switch. The fourth official signalled four extra minutes and we showed some real professionalism in the way those minutes were killed. The ball spent at least three of those minutes within ten yards of their corner flag.

The only concern came when Porter was substituted with five minutes remaining due to an injury.