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Motherwell 2, Hearts 0: Ten-man Hearts broken by classy ‘Well

Motherwell grabbed back-to-back Premiership wins as they breezed past 10-man Hearts at Fir Park.

Connor Shields had the hosts ahead by the interval with his first ever Motherwell goal, and Ricki Lamie doubled that lead immediately after Taylor Moore saw red for the Jambos.

It was no more than Motherwell deserved for a dominating performance against the Edinburgh side, who looked strangely toothless.

In fact, the Steelmen could have scored more, on a freezing cold evening in North Lanarkshire.

A frankly dull first 23 minutes was livened up when Motherwell took the lead, with Connor Shields latching onto a mis-hit Tony Watt shot to smash the ball past Craig Gordon.

It got worse for the visitors with Moore’s dismissal and Lamie’s goal, and it was a case of damage limitation by that point.

Motherwell boss Graham Alexander made four changes to the side that beat Aberdeen 2-0 last time out. Ricki Lamie, Callum Slattery, Connor Shields and Kaiyne Woolery came in for Juhani Ojala, Mark O’Hara, Kevin Van Veen (suspended) and Jordan Roberts (ineligible due to his loan from Hearts).

Robbie Neilson made one change to the Hearts line-up that demolished Dundee United 5-2 a fortnight ago, with Michael Smith coming in for injured Craig Halkett.

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Motherwell were nearly the architects of their own downfall when Lamie’s slack backpass nearly let Josh Ginnelly in on goal in seven minutes, but keeper Liam Kelly neatly side-stepped him before clearing the danger.

Hearts were nearly away again in 10 minutes when Barrie McKay’s neat through-ball sent Ben Woodman clear on goal but his first touch let him down and Kelly cleared.

At the other end Sean Goss tried his luck from outside the box, but his deflected shot was comfortably held by Craig Gordon.

Woolery was given a sight of goal in 16 minutes, but pulled his low shot narrowly wide of the left post corner.



Motherwell players celebrate Connor Shields' goal
Motherwell players celebrate Connor Shields’ goal

Motherwell had another chance moments later when a free kick was nodded down into the box by Sondre Solholm, but Hearts hacked it clear.

The hosts took the lead in 23 minutes when Woolery’s cross from the right was mis-hit by Tony Watt, but fell into the path of Shields, who rifled past Gordon.

Motherwell nearly doubled their lead shortly afterwards, with Gordon doing well to beat Barry Maguire’s powerful effort away from the right post corner.

Alexander’s men were in the mood, and in 29 minute Watt did well to latch onto Woolery’s disguised pass, but his powerful shot was well blocked.

Hearts had a glorious chance to level in 45 minutes when McKay sent Ginnelly through, but a superb tackle from Lamie scooped the ball away from him inside the box.



Motherwell's Sean Goss challenges Hearts star Michael Smith
Motherwell’s Sean Goss challenges Hearts star Michael Smith

Motherwell went close early in the second half when a corner from the right was volleyed at the near-post by Bevis Mugabi, but he collided with the upright, and needed a period of treatment.

Hearts had their first real shot on target in 57 minutes, but Woodburn’s rising shot was no problem for Kelly.

Callum Slattery’s rising shot flew over the bar in 62 minutes as Motherwell pushed for a second.

Hearts were reduced to 10 men in 64 minutes when Taylor Moore was shown a second yellow card, and Motherwell immediately made them pay for that, when Sean Goss’ free kick was headed in by Lamie.



Lamie heads in Goss' free kick to double Motherwell's lead
Lamie heads in Goss’ free kick to double Motherwell’s lead

Watt nearly added a third with a shot that was deflected narrowly wide of the left post.

And Watt nearly turned provider with a cross that Woolery headed, which was blocked, with Shields’ rebound was also rebuffed.

MOTHERWELL: Kelly, Mugabi, Solholm, Lamie, McGinley, Goss (Grimshaw, 90+2), Slattery, Maguire, Shields (Amaluzor, 86), Woolery (O’Donnell, 79), Watt.

Subs (not used): Fox (GK), Carroll, O’Connor, Cornelius.

HEARTS: Gordon, Souttar, Smith, Kingsley, Moore, Devlin, Baningime (McEneff, 71), Cochrane, McKay, Ginnelly (Gnanduillet, 67), Woodburn (Boyce, 58).

Subs (not used): Stewart (GK), Haring, Walker, Mackay-Steven.

Sent off: Moore (64)

Bookings: Moore (47, 64), Gordon (90+3)

Referee: Willie Collum.

Attendance: 7908.

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