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Craig Levein <-auth Ronnie Esplin auth-> Robert Orr
[D Leitch 55]
1 of 001 Scott Severin 23 ;Robert Sloan 82 L SPL A

Motherwell 1 Hearts 2

By Ronnie Esplin, PA Sport

A late goal by youngster Robert Sloan gave Hearts a 2-1 win over an unlucky Motherwell to consolidate the Edinburgh side's top-six SPL position.

Scott Severin had given the visitors a first-half lead and the impressive Edinburgh side looked in a commanding position at the interval.

But after the break, the Fir Park men battled back and grabbed a deserved equaliser through Keith Lasley.

However, with the game evenly poised, up popped Sloan in the 82nd minute to send a lovely shot past Stephen Woods and snatch all three points.

Motherwell wing-back Martyn Corrigan made an early impact on the game when he clattered Hearts striker Ricardo Fuller within a minute of the kick-off and the big Jamaican required treatment before carrying on.

From the resultant free-kick there was chaos inside the home side's penalty area with Tynecastle defender Kevin McKenna having his shot from close range blocked before the ball was eventually cleared.

The visitors were clearly on top in the early stages and the Lanarkshire men could not get their gameplan into action to the frustration of the impatient home fans.

In the 21st minute Corrigan was lucky to escape a booking from referee Bobby Orr after yet another foul on Fuller.

But there was no real surprise two minutes later when Hearts took the lead with a simple yet well-worked goal.

Utility player Thomas Flogel attacked the Well penalty area and slipped a great ball into the path of Severin, who had timed his run to perfection and the midfielder slammed a first-time shot past the helpless Woods from 12 yards. It was no more than the Edinburgh side deserved.

As the first half continued Hearts grew in confidence and Flogel tried his luck with a shot from 20 yards but the midfielder's effort went well wide of Woods' left hand post.

The home side showed nothing in return although a late flag halted winger James McFadden as the youngster was clear through on goal with the Gorgie defence, for once, missing.

In the 35th minute the impressive Fuller pulled off a remarkable, breath-taking piece of skill inside the Motherwell box which fashioned a shooting opportunity but his angled shot went narrowly wide.

After the break Motherwell came out in much more determined mood and in the 55th minute they levelled the scores.

A Greg Strong free-kick from the left hand side arrived at the back post and Lasley was on hand to fire a tremendous shot past Niemi who stood rooted to the spot.

The goal boosted the home team and their fans and the game became a much more even contest.

The visitors battled hard to regain the upper hand but found the Lanarkshire men in much more formidable mood.

Flogel had another attempt on goal only to see his shot from the edge of the box sail high over the bar.

In the 61st minute, a Karl Ready header caused havoc in the Hearts six-yard box and Lehman's shot ricocheted off a posse of defenders before being cleared.

With the home side now in the ascendancy, Lehman then unleashed a shot from 25 yards out which Niemmi was content to punch away.

Lehman should have given the home side the lead in the 73rd minute when he was clear through on goal but shot tamely at Niemi from 14 yards.

The disappointing Well midfielder David Ferrere, quiet throughout, was replaced by Stuart Elliot as the Lanarkshire men went all out for the winner.

But Hearts were still in the game and in the 82nd minute they regained the lead after yet more good work by Flogel.

The midfielder brilliantly picked out Sloan with a raking pass and the youngster stepped inside Corrigan before placing his shot in off the far post.


Motherwell Woods, Ready, Strong, Lehmann, Corrigan, Leitch, Lasley, McFadden, Hammell, Ferrere (Elliott 75), Adams.

Subs Not Used: Brown, Forrest, Martinez, Pearson.

Booked: Leitch.

Goals: Ferrere 55.

Hearts Niemi, Maybury, Pressley, McKenna, Mahe, Flogel, Gronlund, Severin, Sloan (Boyack 84), Fuller, Weir (Simmons 90).

Subs Not Used: McKenzie, Adam, Fulton.

Booked: Maybury, Boyack.

Goals: Severin 23, Sloan 82.

Att: 7,177

Ref: B Orr (Scotland).

Taken from

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