London Hearts Supporters Club

Report Index--> 2003-04--> All for 20031227
<-Page <-Team Sat 27 Dec 2003 Hearts 0 Motherwell 0 Team-> Page->
<-Srce <-Type Sporting Life ------ Report Type-> Srce->
Craig Levein <-auth None auth-> John Rowbotham
5 of 007 ----- L SPL H

Hearts 0 Motherwell 0

Hearts could not find a way past a dogged Motherwell in a disappointing game at Tynecastle.

The closest either side came to scoring was a poor second-half strike by Jambos' midfielder Jean-Louis Valois which failed to trouble Well goalkeeper Gordon Marshall nine minutes from time.

Indeed, the biggest talking point of the whole game was Terry Butcher's decision to omit Stephen Pearson from his starting line-up.

The Scotland international is a transfer window target for Celtic, Everton and Blackburn but the Fir Park boss left him on the bench.

Hearts enjoyed the better share of possession during the early exchanges but failed to make it count.

Stand-in striker Kevin McKenna and Andy Kirk caused Rangers several problems last week and the pair enjoyed a lively start against Motherwell.

Northern Ireland hitman Kirk latched onto a Patrick Kisnorbo cross after eight minutes but his glancing header landed comfortably in Gordon Marshall's hands.

And just three minutes later Kirk strolled along the 18-yard box unchallenged before unleashing a powerful shot but Marshall dived high to his right to tip the ball behind. From the corner Kevin McKenna nodded the ball just over.

In comparison, Well strikers Alex Burns and David Clarkson were largely subdued in attack and failed to trouble Hearts goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

Ten minutes before the interval Motherwell striker Clarkson tried to break the deadlock from the edge of the box but his shot was deflected wide of Gordon's goal.

Clarkson then nearly got another chance after Robbie Neilson lost possession in defence but team-mate Andy Webster came to his rescue.

After watching his side fail to cause Motherwell any serious problems in the first half, Levein decided to replace Paul Hartley with French playmaker Valois at the interval.

The former Auxerre winger has not managed to recapture the form which endeared him to the Hearts faithful last season but he nearly made an immediate impact.

Valois picked the ball up on the edge of the box and his drilled effort was well held by the experienced Marshall.

The home side were far more direct after the break and put the visiting defence under concerted pressure. Valois was eager to be involved in everything but his crosses into the box were easily cleared.

Mark de Vries was given a rapturous welcome when he came on for McKenna just in time for a corner.

But it was one of the smallest men on the park who should have broken the deadlock.

Robert Sloan delivered a well-placed corner and the unmarked Kisnorbo bulleted his header wide of goal in the 63rd minute.

The home side bombarded the Motherwell box with crosses from both wings in a desperate attempt to find a goal.

And defender Martyn Corrigan had to look alert as he headed away a Sloan pull-back just as de Vries was getting ready to pounce.

With the game crying out for a goal de Vries nearly obliged with just 13 minutes to go.

Kirk passed to the commanding Dutchman and he showed great skill to beat Paul Quinn on the edge of the box, but Steven Hammell got back to make a last-ditch tackle just as de Vries was about to pull the trigger.

And with nine minutes left Valois raced clear inside the box but pulled his shot wide of the target with just the keeper to beat.


Hearts Gordon, McKenna (de Vries 61), Kisnorbo, Neilson, Webster, MacFarlane, Severin (Berra 82), Stamp, Sloan, Hartley (Valois 45), Kirk.

Subs Not Used: Moilanen, Weir.

Motherwell Marshall, Dair, Quinn, Corrigan, Hammell, Craigan, Lasley, Leitch (Fagan 86), Burns (Pearson 62), Clarkson (Craig 84), Adams.

Subs Not Used: Corr, McDonald.

Att: 10,046

Ref: J Rowbotham (Scotland).

Taken from

<-Page <-Team Sat 27 Dec 2003 Hearts 0 Motherwell 0 Team-> Page->
| Home | Contact Us | Credits | © 2004 |