A last minute penalty robbed Motherwell of a point at Tynecastle in an exciting game that revolved around Kevin Clancy’s decisions.
It was a disappointing end as Motherwell seemed to have salvaged at least a point after recovering from a two goal deficit. With ‘Well having the initiative Hearts were reduced to ten when Grant’s high challenge on Slattery drew the referee’s red after 38 minutes. Craig Gordon got a yellow after his fifty yard run and complaint. Up till that point the game was goalless with the home side wasteful of a couple of excellent chances. Shankland had the goal at his mercy but Kelly pulled of a great one handed defection.
A minute before the interval Hearts had a couple of corners (the second of them much disputed) and Halliday found room to deliver a looping header over the ruck and into the postage stamp corner.
Hearts doubled their lead a minute after the break when the same player drove low across Kelly from the left of the penalty area. It was a huge blow to Motherwell.
Stevie Hammell responded by replacing Shields with fan favourite Moult and the game turned. With five minutes the striker chased the ball over the edge of the eighteen yard line to meet Gordon’s outstretched arms. The penalty was awarded and confirmed by the busy VAR officials. For reasons known only to himself Clancy elected not to deliver the expected second yellow.
Moult scored from the spot and the travelling fans took heart that the game might be recovered.
Ten minutes later the game was level. McKinstry crossed to give Spittal a finish from close range. Hearts looked out of it as Motherwell threatened to score an unlikely winner.
Cochrane thumped a ball into the Motherwell box. It struck Solholm’s arm and an 89th minute penalty was awarded. The goal won the game.
After the game downhearted Hammell could not understand why Gordon had not received a second caution but resolved to pick the players up for Wednesday’s meeting with Celtic.
Hearts 3 Motherwell 2
Team: Kelly, McGinn,(O’Donnell 18) Solholm, Lamie, Penney, Goss, Slattery, McKinstry, Spittal, Shields (Moult 55), Van Veen
Sunday 6 November 2022