A Motherwell team short on ideas and good fortune was well beaten by Hearts and the 3-0 scoreline reflected the balance of play.
We were lucky to be only a goal behind at the break but despite a half time adjustment we conceded within minutes and the contest was over. Ironically we then produced our best efforts an only some first class defending prevented us gaining a consolation.
First half defending
The manager sent out and unchanged eleven hoping that we could match the opposition but it was clear from the outset that the home team would be dominant. Samson had to make three saves inside the opening ten minutes whle Hamilton at the other end could have been a spectator for almost all of the first forty five.
Heneghan and Patterson both needed treatment following a clash of heads and while our man was able to complete the game with the help of a substantial bandage, the Hearts' defender had to be withdrawn
We held them out until ten minutes before the break. McDonald lost possession in midfield and Djoum delivered a telling forward pass for Johnsen to collect. The tall striker rounded Samson and rolled the ball into the net.
Hearts followed it up with a glancing header from Johnsen, foiled by the assistant's flag, and on the stroke of half-time Djoum's goal bound header was blocked by Samson's quick reaction.
Hammell and Aisworrth joind the fray when the game resumed with Ferguson and McMillan having early showers but we lost the second almost immediately. Johnsen rose above our defence to head a corner kick beyond Samson.
Motherwell picked up the pace and set about reducing the deficit but it was too little, too late. Ainsworth delivered a couple of corner kicks and found first McDonald then Heneghan. Both had headers cleared off the goal line and it was clear that we were not going to score.
Another dead ball from Ainsworth was cleared high from the Hearts penalty area and it fell to Hammell on the centre spot. He took too much time to act and lost the ball under pressuire from Walker. The third goal followed within seconds.
McGhee summed up the defeat admitting that we were beaten by a team with more aggression and quality.
Hearts 3 Motherwell 0
Attendance 16,199 (504)
Team: Samson, Tait, Heneghan, McManus, Molt, Cadden (Hastie 64), Lasley, Clay, Ferguson (Hammell 45) , McMillan (Ainsworth 45), McDonald