We were well beaten in a game of contrasting halves. We probably deserved our lead after the first forty five minutes but (oh dear!) what a collapse in the second period. We got our just deserts.
Eric Black surprised the substantial number of travelling 'Well fans by swapping the goalies around. Stevie Woods started and Mark Brown had a day on the bench. The only other change from the regular starting eleven was the appearance of Eddie Forrest who stood in the back three in place of the suspended Karl Ready.
The opening exchanges were without incident but we came to life in the thirteenth minute when Stuart Elliott found himself with a free header. His usual accuracy was lacking and the ball bounced wide of the post. But he made amends five minutes later when he scored from inside the box with only the keeper to beat.
Woods then produced a wonderful save as Hearts made their first attempt to gain an equaliser. His quick reaction drew much praise from the 'Well fans behind his goal.
The referee's somewhat erratic decisions were beginning to irritate when he booked Lasley for a high boot. No danger to anyone, it was a bad decision.
But we got to the break one up, and well deserved too. We had compete well, were first to the fifty fifty balls and looked like the team most likely to succeed. But then……
Hearts made a substitution (Fulton came on) and within the first couple of minutes we could see that the game had turned around. We found it hard to get good possession and we were pinned back for extended spells.
We almost conceded the equaliser when our defence stopped playing when a Hearts forward was in an offside position. However, no whistle came and on onside player took control and sauntered into our box with only Woods to beat - but his shot went wide.
That was only to delay what looked inevitable. We conceded another silly foul too near the box and they scored from the resultant set piece. But worse was to come.
Forrest (already booked) tugged a shirt at the halfway line and he was dismissed (the ref got that decision correct). It was a silly, unthinking act by Forrest and his removal took any chance of a recovery with him. Kelly had to restrain him. The rest was predictable.
They went ahead just after the hour and then extended their lead with a smashing goal from Fuller. Most of our ten men were caught in the wrong half of the park when he set off on a long run from the halfway line. He evaded several desperate tackles, rounded the goalie and sealed the game.
We tried to get one back but the game was well out of reach. Afterwards Eric said, "Eddie is a young player who gives his all. It altered the game completely." Damn right. But he left us with ten men. He was silly and should be fined. Getting sent off for tugging a jersey!
The next game is on Boxing Day against St Johnstone - we need to win it.