Motherwell’s poor form continued with a 2-1 loss to Hearts at Fir Park.
The visitors ran the show for most of the afternoon and a goal in each half gave them a comfortable three points.
Blair Spittal converted a penalty in the last quarter but an equaliser never looked likely. During the game Motherwell used five strikers and even employed Bevis Mugabi as a target man in the added minutes but Zander Clark was never troubled.
Theo Bair skews this attempt wide
Stuart Kettlewell changed the shape of the team as they lined up with four at the back. Brodie Spencer was benched as Theo Bair joined Conor Wilkinson and Mika Biereth in attack.
There were some positive signs in the opening exchanges. Bair rose to head Spittal’s corner wide of the far post and ‘Well were on the front foot. The ball was pushed into Hearts’ territory at every opportunity although the South Stand defence held firm.
Hearts grew into the contest and soon looked the better team. Their passes found team-mates and they pounced on the loose balls. A careless slip by Calum Butcher at the edge of his penalty area offered Alex Lowry the chance of a free shot but he passed to Liam Boyce and the chance was missed. Boyce spent much of his time on the floor as he tried to gain favours from the referee.
Just before the half-hour Jorge Grant was on the far side from a corner kick to head the ball back into the ruck. Lawrence Shankland got a touch and the ball, with little pace, avoided a couple of defenders to find the corner of the goal.
Formation changed at the break when Bair was replaced by Spencer. From his left back position he produced a fine run into the box but he declined the shot and his poor pass ended the move.
Motherwell huffed and puffed to little effect and lost the contest in 71 minutes when another half hearted attack failed. Beningime released Shankland with Kelly the only barrier. The ‘keeper was rounded and the ball rolled home.
A possible lifeline appeared when Oli Shaw fired at close rage. The ball struck Cochrane’s arm and Spittal smashed the resultant penalty high into the net.
The ‘Well crowd tried to lift the team and urged them forward but Hearts killed the game.
Motherwell now have a couple of weeks to contemplate the dismal winless run before the uninviting prospect of a trip to Parkhead in three weeks.
Motherwell 1 Hearts 2
Attendance 5,884 (1,686)
Team: Kelly, Blaney, O’Donnell (Gent 78), Butcher, Casey, Spittal, Slattery (Mugabi 90), Paton, Wilkinson (Shaw 71), Biereth(Obika 71), Bair (Spencer 71)
Saturday 11 November 2023